How to Check for the Cymbidium Mosaic Virus


Cymbidium mosaic virus is one of the most common orchid diseases. It does not, however, only infect the cymbidium. Transmission of some strains of cymbidium mosaic virus is by contaminated pruners, so it is important to disinfect your tools before and after working with plants. Keeping the growing area free of plant debris and providing the proper temperature and climate to keep the plants healthy will also help prevent infections. Symptoms of cymbidium mosaic virus may vary by species, but several signs are common in all.

Moderately Easy


    1. Check older leaves for signs of the virus. Look for elongated, irregular spots that are black or brown. This is known as leaf necrosis and infected leaves will eventually dry up.
    2. Inspect the cymbidium’s flowers. Look for brown streaks or spots, indicative of blossom necrotic streak, caused by the mosaic virus. These will usually occur when the blossom is a week or two old.
    3. Look at newer foliage. Long, yellow streaks are a symptom of blossom necrotic streak as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you suspect that your orchid is infected with cymbidium mosaic virus, deliver a leaf or blossom sample to your country cooperative extension office for an accurate diagnoses. The plant, if infected, will need to be destroyed so that it doesn’t pass the virus to your other orchid plants.

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