Rose Mosaic Virus

The Rose Mosaic Virus is a Viral disease that affects Roses.

It comes from infected rootstock used to produce new roses. It was unknown until 1920.

The popular rose 'Dr. Huey', used by commercial growers as rootstock for grafted roses, was said to be infected by the virus. These infected plants continue to produce new generations of (RMV)infected plants!

The problem lies with Nurseries that simply don't care. They produce the plants, sell them, and have a 'too-bad-so-sad' attitude. Once they've made the sale, the problem is passed on to the unsuspecting rose buyer.

Even own-root roses propagated from infected plants, will most likely be infected also.

How do you deal with this? How do you know if your rose will be virus free? Only buy plants from reputable dealers who care Ask them if their roses are "Virus indexed roses" meaning that they have been tested for RMV.

Responsible rose growers are actively involved in measures to remove this disease from commercial root stock.

What does Mosaic Viral Disease look like?

It can look a bit different in different regions, but a few suggestions:

Symptoms ;

  • The leaves become mottled, streaked, or spotted with circles of yellow or light green. (or)
  • They will develop a patterned yellow netting appearance.(such as a mosaic tile)
  • The leaves may curl, and the plants growth is sometimes stunted.

A rose bush that is infected with Rose Mosaic Virus will sometimes not grow as well as a healthy bush. You might get less flowers than you should, with shorter stems.

Symptoms usually appear in the Spring, and continue all season.

Pruning off infected canes does not cure the problem. If the bush is infected, and has this rose disease,it is throughout the bush.

This is one of the rose diseases most common in areas along the Pacific coast.

What's the Cure?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure! Sometimes the plant can live for many years with this disease. The only thing you can do is to dig up the plant and discard it, replacing it with a virus-free one.

The only preventative is to buy healthy plants that are virus indexed roses.

Luckily, this virus cannot be spread by pruning shears, or sucking insects.

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