Cabbage

Cabbage Mosaic Virus – Learn more about Cabbage Mosaic Virus

Whenever I hear the word “mosaic”, I think of beautiful things like mosaic stone that blinds the eyes or glass tiles in the landscape or in the house. However, the word “mosaic” is also associated with things that are not so beautiful, such as the mosaic virus in plants. This virus affects brassica crops such as turnips, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, to name a few. But what about cabbage, you ask? But yes, there’s also a mosaic virus in cabbage – it is a brassica crop after all. Let’s take a closer look at cabbage with the mosaic virus.

Symptoms of Cabbage Mosaic Virus

What exactly is the mosaic virus in cabbage? Generally speaking, the cabbage mosaic virus is presented as follows: Yellow rings begin to form on the young leaves. As the head of the cabbage develops, you will notice that it begins to have a mottled or “mosaic” appearance, with a series of rings of different colours and spots, which in some cases become black and necrotic.

The veins of cabbage leaves may also show signs of chlorosis. Let’s say the cabbage head starts to look very coarse and not very appetizing.

Control of Cabbage Mosaic Virus

How do you get the mosaic virus in cabbage and how do you control it? One of the routes of transmission of new cabbage mosaic virus infections is through aphid populations. There are 40-50 species of aphids known to carry the virus from one cabbage plant to another, but two aphids in particular take credit for this: Brevicoryne brassicae (cabbage aphid) and Myzus persicae (green peach aphid).

If you have aphids in your garden, then you will need to take steps to reduce their population in your garden, as they are not only a threat to your cabbage, but also to everything you grow.

The disease can also spread when the infected leaves of a plant simply touch those of a healthy plant. For this reason, plants infected with mosaic virus should be removed (not composted) from your garden immediately.

This virus can come back every gardening season because it has the ability to overwinter on perennial weeds (which aphids also feed on). It is therefore strongly recommended to weed your garden regularly. The general recommendation is to keep your garden free of perennial weeds within a radius of at least 100 metres around your garden.

It is important to note that there is no cure for cabbages with the mosaic virus once they are infected. Damage cannot be repaired by the application of a fungicide. Good garden sanitation and insect pest control are the best ways to keep mosaic viruses affecting cabbages at bay.

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