Roses are among the most beautiful plants that we grow in the landscape. However, they are susceptible to invasion by certain viruses that can cause them to lose their luster.

The most commonly noticed symptom of a virus infected rose is the presence of a mottling color effect in the leaves. Mottling is that mixture of yellow to cream to white mixed in odd patterns amongst the green plant tissue.

A virus will also cause the leaves to crinkle and become distorted. Occasionally, the flowers may become affected too.

As with all viral infections of plants, once the virus is in the cells, there is nothing you can do about it. So, the key is to prevent a virus from getting into the plant in the first place. This may be accomplished in a number of ways:

1. Buy Virus Free Plants - Purchase roses only from reputable sources known for having certifiably virus free plants. Also, be sure that any plants that you get as gifts are watched carefully to see if any symptoms appear.

2. Take Care When Pruning - One way a virus can be moved is on pruning shears. So, if you suspect that a rose plant has a virus be sure to thoroughly clean the cutters before moving to another plant.

There is no real chemical control for a virus once it gets inside a plant. So, the only real "treatment" option is to remove any plants that are infected by a virus and destroy them away from the garden.

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.

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