Members of the genus, Lilium, are susceptible to several different viruses. The most common ones are the Lily Symtomless Virus (LSV), Tulip Breaking Virus (TBV) and Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV). These virus are moved from plant to plant in the saliva of aphids feeding on the lilies.

Typical of most viral diseases of plants, these types are generally not fatal to the lily. They cause streaking or mottling in the leaves, distorted and twisted growth in the stem or leaves, loss of vigor and plant size and may cause rings on the bulbs.

  • Resistance - There is a range of susceptibility among the various species and cultivars of lilies. Use those that are resistant IF you have had a problem with virus diagnosed in your garden.

  • Insect Control - Try to minimize the number of aphids feeding on your lilies.

  • Sanitation - Remove plants that have been diagnosed with virus. They will never get better. Destroy them away from the garden and do not use them in a compost pile.
  • Disinfect - IF you have a virus problem, be sure to disinfect tools used to prune or cut lilies or their bulbs. You can use a 1 part bleach to 9 parts water solution.
  • Chemical Control - There are currently no chemical controls for plants including lilies that are infected with a virus.
  • Propagation - During the early part of the 20th century, a serious virus infection threatened the entire Easter lily crop. Eventually, they figured out that the virus moved up the plant at a slower rate than the tip of the stem grew. So, they were able to take cuttings from the uninfected tips to produce new, virus-free plants.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Some lily species resistant and susceptible to lily mosaic virus:

Lilium auraturn
L. canadense
L. cancolor
L. farmasanum
L. lancifalium
L. maculatum
L. pensylvanicum
L. superbum
L. tigrimun

Lilium amabile
L. brownii
L. dawdii
L. hansanii
L. henryi
L. motto gon
L. monadelphum
L. pardahnum
L. pumilum
L. regale



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