If you’re a plant parent, chances are you’ve come across menacing images of what is known as the “Mosaic Virus Monstera.” Described as an aggressive and seemingly unstoppable killer, this malicious monster can wreak havoc on your plants if left unchecked.
But don’t be too scared just yet. While it sounds like something out of a horror movie, the mosaic virus monstera isn’t all that threatening once you know how to handle it.
We explore everything there is to know about this mysterious creature, from signs and symptoms of infection to prevention tactics for protecting your beloved foliage babies.
So grab your gardening gloves, and let’s get started taking down the mighty mosaic virus monstera!
What is Monstera Mosaic Disease?
Mosaic disease refers to a group of viruses that affect different types of plants, including monstera. Examples of these viruses include Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) and Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV).
They affect mostly nightshades and cruciferous vegetables, although other types like Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DsMV) affect plants in the aroid family, for example, peace lilies, philodendrons, and monsteras.
Just like any other virus, the mosaic virus invades cells of living organisms. The mosaic virus infiltrates and destroys your monstera on a cellular level, which will ultimately lead to the plant’s death.
The Life Cycle of The Mosaic Viruses
Just as with all creatures, there is a distinct sequence the activities follow. How does the mosaic virus survive and thrive? How does it spread, and how does it infect our plants with a disease?
Aphids are generally the main vector for transmitting mosaic viruses that affect potatoes. By taking a ride on aphids and grasshoppers, the Mosaic Virus is able to spread its infectious nature easily.
These insects feed on the sap of already-infected plants, acting as a carrier for the virus and spreading it to healthy plants.
Subsequently, it will interact with its host plant species. Nearby plants may act as alternative hosts for the virus, too.
Types of Mosaic Viruses
Differentiating mosaic viruses can be challenging if you do not know the signs and symptoms. So, in this section, we detail each of them.
Taro Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DsMV)
Many edible and decorative aroids are hospitable to the Taro Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DsMV), making them vulnerable to its spread.
The Dasheen Mosaiv Virus is a virus transmitted by aphids, occurring mainly in tropical and subtropical regions.
The patterns vary on the plant vary from very light structures between veins or even over the veins in case of infection. Similarly, the leaves roll and twist, finding it hard to expand. However, some of the infected leaves are fully distorted.
The virus can attack potting media, acting as a breeding ground for the virus. Surprisingly, the virus can sometimes hibernate without any signs, yet the plant is already affected.
Tobacco Mosaic Virus
There’s an interesting fact about this Tobacco Mosaic Virus you should know.
Well, it’s known as TMV and was among the first mosaic viruses to be discovered around the mid-1880s.
The most notable feature of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus is it will survive outside the plant even when its host is dead.
TMV is one of the most common types of mosaic viruses. It usually affects leaves and young growth, causing them to mottle or turn yellow.
Mosaic virus strain attacks several plant varieties, mostly belonging to the Solanaceae and nightshades.
This Tobacco Mosaic virus mainly favors the Marigolds and Petunias among common houseplants.
Cucumber Mosaic Virus
The name “Cucumber Mosaic Virus” comes about since this virus mainly attacks cucumbers.
Other than cucumbers, it attacks most woody and herbaceous plant species making it known as the most common killer of such plants.
Ornamental plants take the largest share as the primary victims. That includes the following:
Its signs include stunted growth, mottling leaves, yellowing of the leaf’s veins, and others. The plant also suffers a “shoestring syndrome,” where the leaf edges become malformed and do not continue to develop properly.
How Do I Know If My Monstera Has Mosaic Virus?
1. White, Green, or Yellow Streaks, Strips, or Spots on the Foliage
Leaf discoloration is the first sign monstera or other infected plants, show when a mosaic virus attacks.
The monstera plants’ leaves may have white, green, and yellow strips and spots.
As this mosaic virus builds up, the above symptoms worsen, and soon, the monstera plant’s health begins to deteriorate.
In mild cases, the virus appears as small yellow spots on the monstera leaves.
2. Yellowing Veins
The mosaic virus may turn your monstera leaves yellow along their veins.
That usually starts at the leaves’ tips as it works its way down. As it progresses, the leaf can turn yellow, brown, and later die.
3. Wrinkled or Curled Leaves
The mosaic virus also causes the monstera leaves to become curled or wrinkled. This happens if the monstera plant isn’t getting adequate nutrients or water.
Such moisture or nutrient inadequacy may be because of this mosaic virus.
4. Stunted Growth
Unfortunately, if your monstera is experiencing stunted growth, it has the mosaic virus. So, your lovely monstera won’t grow as fast as it should or even stop growing at all.
5. Dried Out Stems
A stemming that rapidly dries out is another common symptom of this mosaic virus or sunburnt monstera. That happens when the virus restricts the monstera plant’s ability to absorb moisture.
So, the plant dehydrates if the monstera roots don’t absorb moisture.
6. Dark Green Blisters on the Leaves
Finally, if the monstera foliage has green blisters, be sure it is the mosaic virus. Such blisters come about because of chlorophyll accumulation.
Mosaic Virus vs Variegation
There’s an easy way to differentiate between the mosaic virus and the variegation on monstera. That is, the mosaic virus often causes other symptoms. Such symptoms may include the following:
- Dried stems
- Stunted growth
- Curled/malformed leaves
Such symptoms will help you know if our monstera plant has variegation or the mosaic virus.
What Causes Mosaic Disease?
Most houseplant owners don’t know what causes the mosaic disease on monstera. If you’re one of them, then you’re in safe hands! I’ll tell you what exactly causes this menace on monstera or other plants.
Right into it, the following are the common causes of this virus spreading to your monstera:
- Contaminated greenhouse environment
- Contaminated shops
- Homes with infected plants
Also, touching your monstera with infected hands/tools can spread this mosaic disease. Besides, insects like spider mites or aphids also spread the mosaic disease.
Just like viruses sicken animals or us, this virus affects plants and is a pathogen. It even spreads through the following:
- Close contact with an infected plant
- Contaminated soil and tools
So, when your monstera touches this virus’ surface, it gets infected.
What’s the Best Mosaic Virus Monstera Treatment?
Now, this is it! As always, prevention is the best treatment for this mosaic virus. That’s is since there’s no known cure for this mosaic virus. And once the mosaic virus attacks your monstera, you won’t cure it.
This is usually a sad part. Unfortunately, you’ll need to destroy the monstera plant immediately. Otherwise, it’ll quickly spread to your other houseplants. When the viruses attack, the entire leaf system will be affected.
You can control the damage if this virus attacks your monstera plants. This control helps prevent the mosaic virus from spreading further.
You can do so by clearing and destroying any plant with the mosaic disease. I also recommend burning or throwing away the infected plants.
How to Prevent Mosaic Virus?
1. Wash Your Hands Before and After Handling a Plant
Washing your hands before or after handling your monstera is the first step to preventing mosaic virus. Otherwise, you can boost the spread of this mosaic virus.
That’ll happen when you touch infected plants and your lovely monstera.
2. Quarantine Newly Bought Plants
Again, it would be helpful to quarantine a plant before adding it to your other plant collections. Doing so involves keeping your new plant in a different area or room. It should stay in that area/room for around 2-4 weeks.
That’ll ensure the new plant isn’t infected with monstera pests and diseases.
3. Keep an Eye Out for Pests
Inspect your monstera plant for pets regularly since pests like spider mites and aphids can attack your monstera. But if the monstera is already infected, take action immediately.
Often, insects spread mosaic viruses. So, regular plant checks for pests are essential.
4. Disinfect Tools and Surfaces
Finally, it would help to disinfect surfaces/tools that touch your monstera. Those include pots, pruning shears, soil, and other gardening tools.
Soak these tools in a mixture of bleach (10%) and leave for 30 mins for them to disinfect.
Is Mosaic Virus Harmful to Monstera Plants?
Yes, the mosaic virus can be harmful to your monstera plants, although the plant can live for some time with the mosaic virus. Unfortunately, it won’t have healthy growth, dying eventually.
This mosaic virus is extra contagious to other plants. Thus, it would help if you destroyed monstera plants with this virus the soonest.
Otherwise, the chance of the mosaic virus spreading will shoot up.
Does Mosaic Virus Stay in Monstera’s Soil?
Yes, a mosaic virus can live in your monstera’s soil. The mosaic virus sometimes stays in monstera plants for a year. Because of that, you must dispose of the infected plant’s soil.
Otherwise, the monstera soil will hasten the spread of the mosaic virus. Thus, making it move to your other plants growing in the same soil.
Is Mosaic Virus Contagious?
Yes. The mosaic virus can be contagious, like viruses affecting animals and humans. Also, it can spread to different plants via the following:
- Infected pots (here’s a guide on picking the right pot for monstera plants.)
- Potting soil
- Proximity to infected plants
It’ll be infected if your monstera plant touches surfaces with this mosaic virus.
Can monstera deliciosa get Mosaic Virus?
Yes, the mosaic virus Monstera Deliciosa is common. Further, the mosaic group consists of viruses that affect several plant types. Such plants include your favorite monstera. Viruses attack an organism’s cells, and this specific virus isn’t any different. The mosaic virus will attack your monstera plant on a cellular level, killing it eventually.
How quickly does Mosaic Virus spread?
The mosaic virus spreads within minutes or hours. In particular, the cucumber mosaic virus spreads to plants via many aphid species. These aphids can only retain the transmission ability for a shorter period. Thus, the mosaic virus spread is local and very rapid in most cases.
Can philodendrons get Mosaic Virus?
Yes, mosaic virus philodendron can happen too. The Dasheen mosaic virus affects mainly the Araceae family members only. Within that family, the range of hosts is quite broad. The range encompasses species the following 12 genera species:
- Zante- deschia
How do you treat monstera Adansonii Mosaic Virus?
Unfortunately, there’s bad news. There’s no known treatment for this monstera disease. Since it’s a virus, you can’t kill it in whichever steps you take. Ultimately, your monstera adansonii will die.
How long does Mosaic Virus stay in soil?
Investigations/studies show that the Mosaic Virus can survive in the soil for a year or more. But that’s subject to relatively faster inactivation under several natural conditions.
Which organelle is affected by Mosaic Viruses?
Mosaic viruses can affect the chloroplast membrane. The two most culprits are;Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus (TYMV) found in the Tymoviridae family and Turnip Mosaic Virus (TuMV) found in the Potyviridae family.
Take preventative measures if you notice one of your monstera plants has the mosaic virus. That’ll help derail the virus’ spread. Also, isolate the plants you suspect may have this mosaic virus.
Again, dispose of the infected monstera plants immediately.