Tobacco Mosaic Virus On Marijuana Plants

June 25, 2019

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.

Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information

What is the tobacco mosaic virus?

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

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.

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

Sign of tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants
Sign of tobacco mosaic virus on marijuana plants

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.

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.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

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

How to cure TMV

Cure tvm on marijuana
Cure tvm on marijuana

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.

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.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

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.

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM marijuana seed shop

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 to not 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


The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. By John Lehman ,10 Apr 2016
    Helpful in identification, but how do I KILL it!!
  2. By latewood.ILGM ,12 Apr 2016
    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 […]Read More
  3. By Daniel smith ,09 Sep 2016
    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 […]Read More
    1. By Tony ,06 May 2017
      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
    2. By Captain ,13 May 2018
      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.
      1. By Captain ,13 May 2018
        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 […]Read More
  4. By latewood.ILGM ,12 Sep 2016
    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.
    1. By Tony ,06 May 2017
      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 […]Read More
  5. By Jonathan T Taylor ,20 Oct 2016
    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.
  6. By Medmanmike ,17 Nov 2016
    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 […]Read More
    1. By Roy ILGM ,18 Nov 2016
      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.
    1. By Roy ILGM ,31 Jan 2017
      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 […]Read More
  7. By CLINTON ,03 Mar 2017
  8. By Prabuddh ,02 Jun 2017
    Solutions for tobacco mosaic virus , we have discovered solution for tobacco mosaic virus in india.
    1. By Ross ,02 Nov 2017
      I would like to know more about your solution for this virus. And if I can purchase it thank you
  9. By Lori ,12 Apr 2018
    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?
  10. By Ropey Wyla ,14 Apr 2018
    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 […]Read More
  11. By MRMTV ,21 Aug 2018
    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!!!!
    1. By latewood_ILGM ,22 Aug 2018
      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 […]Read More
  12. By john ,27 Nov 2018
    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 […]Read More
  13. By Eric Ryan ,09 Aug 2019
    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 […]Read More

World Icon

marijuana seeds worldwide

200 grow guides

500 Helpful Articles

Group Icon

group of growers

35,000+ Daily Visitors

500,000+ Grow Bible readers

Plant Icon

marijuana strains

1500 Strain Reviews

100 Strains For Sale