This viral disease of roses has no cure

Sunset  – September 7, 2004

There are many mosaic viruses, each afflicting a different plant. Rose mosaic virus is the most common viral disease of roses. New leaves that unfurl in spring show yellow zigzag patterns, spots, and mottling; they may also be distorted. Leaves produced during summer, however, may not show these symptoms. The virus’s effect varies; some infected plants grow and bloom with no apparent problems, while others grow slowly, bloom less profusely, or show greater sensitivity to winter cold.

Rose mosaic virus is transmitted through infected rootstock or budwood during the commercial propagation process. If you buy an infected rose as a bare-root plant, you won’t know it has the virus until it leafs out. If you discover a virus-infected plant, it’s best to remove it and replace it with virus-free stock (more and more growers are trying to eliminate the virus from their stock plants).

There is no control for this virus.