Tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants

The tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a disease that attacks not only marijuana plants, but also tomato, pepper, eggplant, tobacco, spinach, petunia, and marigold.

It isn’t very selective, but it does have a high impact. Read this article and learn how to recognize and treat TVM.

What is the tobacco mosaic virus?

The tobacco mosaic virus is, as its name hints, a type of virus. It can live in contaminated soil, infected plant debris, the coating of a seed, and even in tobacco products that have been manufactured. The virus travels between plants generally through a mechanical cause.

What is the tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana
What is the tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana

Your hands can even spread the infection. If you unknowingly work with an infected plant and then come in contact (or your clothes or tools come in contact) with a healthy marijuana plant, the healthy plant has a high chance of catching the virus.

Some insects may also be carriers of the virus, but aphids are not one of them. It’s generally insects that will chew on your plant.

Signs of TMV

You will know that your marijuana plant has the tobacco mosaic virus by its green mottled areas on the leaves. These mottled areas are both dark and light green and are caused by the presence of the virus. Oftentimes the dark parts of the leaf are physically thicker than the lighter parts. Additionally, if the leaf is underneath shade than it is easier for the grower to spot the discoloration.

Possible sign of tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants
Possible sign of tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants

Tobacco Mosaic Virus causes stunted growth in young plants, and may distort the leaves into a fern-like shape. Older leaves, on the other hand, may be a bit distorted, but they mostly just curl downwards.

Depending on the virus strain, buds might also be mottled, streaked, or show signs of necrosis. While plants that are affected won’t be killed by the virus, they will have worse buds and, therefore, worse yields. Not sure if your marijuana plants suffer from a TVM infection?

Make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information.

How to cure TMV

Unfortunately, once your plants are infected with a virus, there is not much you can do about it. Virus diseases simply can’t be controlled once they have been transmitted. This is why it is particularly important to prevent the virus from infecting your plants in the first place.

No cure for tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants
No cure for tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants

Your best weapons against the transmitting of this disease are sanitation and caution. If you do discover a plant that has been infected, you should remove it from the rest of your garden at once. If caught early enough, this should stop the spread of the tobacco mosaic virus.

Check the article Marijuana diseases for a list with pictures of all possible marijuana diseases

Also read “Diseases on marijuana plants

If you or anyone else uses tobacco or has worked with plant material that was infected, they should wash their hands with soap and water. This will prevent it from spreading to any other plants they are handling.

Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM marijuana seed shop.

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Marijuana plant symptoms

Leaf color:

  • Brown, burnt edges
  • Pale color
  • Yellowing of new growth
  • Yellowing of lower, older leaves
  • Yellowing between veins
  • Dark or purple in color
  • Black or gray patches
  • White powdery patches
  • Brown, dark spots
  • Mottling, mosaic pattern

Leaf symptoms:

  • Upper, newer growth affected
  • Lower, older growth affected
  • Burnt leaf edges
  • Burnt leaf tips
  • Death of leaf tips
  • Yellowing between veins
  • White powdery patches
  • Red stems
  • Spots
  • Mottling, mosaic pattern
  • Old leaves fall off
  • Slowed growth
  • Twisted, abnormal growth
  • Leaves curling under or upwards
  • Wilting, drooping
  • Webbing on leaves

Plant symptoms:

  • Red or purple stems
  • Weakened stems
  • Old leaves falling off
  • Slowed growth
  • Twisted, abnormal growth
  • Wilting or drooping
  • Slowed root growth

Other symptoms:

  • Webbing
  • Bugs
  • Mold
  • Buds not getting fatter

In case you are someone who uses tobacco practices due to cultural practices, you should avoid these practices altogether while you are growing marijuana plants. The tobacco mosaic virus can sit steadily and stably in manufactured tobacco, so this is a crucial step in preventing the spread of this virus to your plants. It’s best not to touch tobacco until the growing season is over.

Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for pests and diseases. So make sure to buy marijuana seeds from a trusted seed bank.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


Avatar for Robert Bergman

Mr Robert Bergman PhD


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

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26 comments on “Tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants”

  1. When I ask If You Are One That Uses Marijuana Due To Marijuana Practices The Disease Is Spread By Even Stored Stable Marijuana,So Its Best If U Stopped The Use Of Marijuana until After The Grow If You Intend To Be growing Marijuana..And This Would Be Easier Than A Person That Uses Tobbacco Quitting,And For The Sake Of Growing Their Marijuana.So After The Grow Season They Can Start Their Tobbacco Use Or “Practices”Whatever The Wording Used In The Phrasing Was…Anywho ,Just Thought U Should Know,As I Believe You To Be A Non Smoker Or User Of Tobbaco,The Obvious Choice Is Wash Hands,Maybe Even Delouse Oneself With Some Tried And True Killer Of The Virus,And Save The Quit Using Tobacco Speil,For It Makes As Much Sense That It Doesnt Only Travel On Tobbacco ,Wouldnt U Think The Infected Marijuana Plant Is Part Of The Handling That Causes This Spread. Cuttings And Grow Rooms As Well As Clone Selling Dispensary,But Accotding To You,This Is Spreading On Pot..Bud..Flower Or However U Want To Say Dope..Weed ..And So Any Person Touching A Clone,Going To Serve You Bud,Grab U A Cartridge Of Vape,Or Selling U Sugar Just Shook Hands With Ya,Took And Spread The Virus On Everything In The Store As Well As Any Monies Touched And Recieved By Customers ..So If It Can Live Stored ,Packaged,Dipped In Ammonia And God Knows What Else To Be Sold,Then Every Marijuana Smoker That Has Contact With Any Human,Bud,Dispensary,Or Even Their Own Plants Can Spread This Disease….Virus.

  2. im pretty sure than i have TMV and i have 4 plants in a big DWC bin, so they all share the same water and cant be moved or quarantine. they are 8 weeks in veg and just about ready to switch to bloom(in 3 days)
    its really not that much spread out yet, really isolated but its on each plants.
    Should i go for it and flower them (its a 7 week) and see what happen ?
    or i should scrap them and start over to save my nutrients?
    what should i do ? any experiences ?

  3. MRMTV,

    We are not set up yo do that type of support here in the blog but, if you join our forum and post a topic including pictures; Our friendly members and expert staff can help you identify the issue/s at hand. Happy growing 🙂

  4. I’m having a huge problem with brown spots on the leaves this year! Growing outside in WI but have never had this happen in the 5 years of growing! Please help!!!!

  5. The tobacco mosaic virus was the very first virus ever discovered back in the 1800,s. It destroyed tobacco crops. And still exists today. It is most certainly in every packet of cigarettes and is only transmittable upon contact. Tobacco mosaic virus canot spread through burning cigarette smoke. It is transmitted through touching or handling tobacco that is infected then touching another plant. It can survive and live dormant for up to 10 years before becoming active. Once a plant is infected it CAN NOT BE CURED. Slow growth, small and poor quality yield. Disaster. Plants MUST be removed.

  6. Get rid of the plants immediatly and start again. Make sure to disinfect absalutelly everything including pots, equipment, tent and anything else your hands have come in contact with. Or not come in contact with. Sanitize everything.

  7. This is from Esoteric Hydroponics: TMV Pro was specifically developed in response to plants that were infected during an outbreak of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus in 2010. The product was finally launched in the summer of 2012. It has been the culmination of both, intensive scientific research and laboratory analysis. We have determined through thousands of hours of study TMV Pro’s effectiveness in combating the symptoms the Tobacco Mosaic Virus. The product works by increasing a plant’s production of a natural hormone which is responsible for the manufacture of a specific protein coating. This protective coating is what prevents the Tobacco Mosaic Virus and other plant viruses from attaching to its genetic material. As a result, TMV Pro successfully prevents mutations in a wide range of crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Finally there is a product that can help in the treatment of the most pervasive plant viruses. No more low yields and poor quality!

  8. I have had some breathing problems and went to a health coach for what is called an “F-Scan” of the body. It picked this virus up. How do you get rid of it in a human?

  9. Solutions for tobacco mosaic virus , we have discovered solution for tobacco mosaic virus in india.

  10. You can cure it but takes time, I use a antiviral product for skin diseases called body immunity booster from sunshine Australia guy does international postage I use it for myself to orally and externally this a place in India that useing 15 herbs and spices to cure about 8 different plant viruses it’s called Vedic medicine, his just modified it for plants you can you pysan 20 but that’s nasty shit. And there is another guy in Australia that sells a antiviral fungal bacterial product.

  11. You can cure it but takes time, I use a antiviral product for skin diseases called body immunity booster from sunshine Australia guy does international postage I use it for myself to orally and externally


  13. Soil solarization is a nonchemical method for controlling soilborne pests using high temperatures produced by capturing radiant energy from the sun. The method involves heating the soil by covering it with a clear plastic tarp for 4 to 6 weeks during a hot period of the year when the soil will receive the most direct sunlight. When properly done, the top 6 inches of the soil will heat up to as high as 140°F, depending on the location. The plastic sheets allow the sun’s radiant energy to be trapped in the soil, heating the top 12 to 18 inches and killing a wide range of soilborne pests, such as weeds, pathogens, nematodes, and insects.

  14. Hi Mike, we haven’t had that complaint recently so there’s not much of a pattern to look for on our side. Make sure you get the infected plant out of the way of the rest.

  15. I believe I have a Northern Lights (1 of 3) that I purchased from with tobacco mosaic virus. My plant sure looks like the pics in the article. To those who believe they have tmv, what strains are you growing?

  16. I bought seeds from your site and one of my plants sptouted with tobacco mosaic virus.Now they are all showing symptoms. I had no idea what it was till now,This really is disappointing.

  17. Daniel,

    I advise you to read this article again. All your questions are answered in the 3 short paragralhs.

    And; No, you cannot cure it with epsom salts.

  18. How do i get rid of it? Tissue culture an option? Can the plants still flower all the way through with just a decrease in production? (or is this based on the strenghth and strand of the virus?) i have heard epsom salt and phed water at 5.8 sprayed with lights off can control it or kill it. ? Thank you for your response.✌

  19. John Lehman,

    If you have it; I advise culling your plants, and solarizing all your grow area. I would probably clear out, clean out any medium and/or soil;

    I would clean everything with a diluted bleach solution. 1-2 TBS per gallon.