University of Maryland Extension

New Problem in the Garden: Garlic Viruses

Fig. 1 Garlic plants showing symptoms of garlic virus infection
Image Credit: 
Dr. Gerald Brust

In the past, I have talked about several different problems with garlic, be it mites, nematodes, fungal or bacterial diseases. However, this year I am seeing something different that I will just call ‘garlic viruses’ that may have been there in past years, but are more prominent now for some reason.

Symptoms of virus infection are plants that display yellowing tips on many leaves with some that are completely yellow (Fig 1). If you look closely at the yellow leaves you’ll see mottling or striping on the leaves (Fig 2). Symptoms are usually more pronounced in young leaves. Infected plants are stunted and bulb size can be reduced.

Garlic crops infected with some of these viruses are more susceptible to weather conditions like frost and do not keep well in storage. Read more about this problem and what can be done to manage it at: http://extension.umd.edu/learn/garlic-viruses

Fig. 2 Streaking and striping on leaves of garlic infected with virus

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