Orchid Virus Diseases

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Care and Culture, Classification, Diseases, Growing Indoors, Growing Outdoors

Several different virus diseases have been identified in cultivated orchids.

The symptoms of virus infection are pale patches, often in the form of an irregular mosaic pattern, on the young shoots and leaves. These become brown or black as the plant ages. The most common orchid virus is Cymbidium Mosaic Virus (CyMV) which is particularly common in Cymbidium collections but has also been identified, with slightly different symptoms, on other orchids including Phalaenopsis species and hybrids, Angraecum, and various members of the Cattelya and Oncidium alliances.

It is hardly worth keeping suspect plants, which often grow weakly and flower poorly, as they can contaminate other plants, the virus passed on through insect bites or cutting tools. There is no cure for virus infections in orchid plants at present.

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