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What is it?

Many different types of viruses infect roses. They are sometimes also called streak viruses.

What does it look like?

Roses will have brown or yellow splotches or rings of various sizes on the leaves. Uninfected leave sections will remain dark green. New leaves may appear to pucker or curl. Occasionally brown rings will be present on the canes. Growth is usually stunted.

How does it manifest?

Viruses are transmitted and infect roses when one infected plant is grafted or budded with a healthy one. This typically occurs in the nursery where the plant was grown. Even though some plants may only show infection in a few leaves, the entire plant is infected and more symptoms may appear over time. Most viruses are harmless unless the browning and yellowing become extensive. The viruses will suppress development of chlorophyll (the green pigment) causes splotches or rings. Stunted plant growth may result.

What can you do about it?

When you notice the signs of virus-infected plants, there is little you can do about it. No cure is available, but as there is very little natural spread of viruses between rose plants, only the weak plants need to be removed. A way to avoid viruses is to buy only healthy rose plants from a reputable dealer or nursery.