Question and Answer

Date sent: Thu, 21 Mar 2002
Subject: Cymbidiums

I bought a blooming cymbidium yesterday that has 2 pretty spikes. I bought with some trepidation because the seller told me that a good number of her cymbidiums have a virus; however, the one I bought is not infected. She said virus is spread by using a cutting tool from an infected plant to another. This is the only way virus is spread. I want to know if this is true; cannot the virus spread to other plants in the same area just by its presence there?

Does the air carry the virus around?

I would appreciate your response.


Virus is generally spread by cutting tools. There are some reports that aphids (and other sap sucking insects) etc can spread it, although I
believe that has not been totally proven. Generally there must be a transfer of sap, and therefore air spread itself cannot occur. The spread by cutting tools is regarded as the major cause of spread.

It is possible to test for virus and if you are uncertain you may wish to have the plants tested to see if they are in fact infected. Sometimes
physical signs of infection are not readily apparent, and therefore caution should always be exercised, especially if it is known that virus
is present in the source collection. I believe testing is reasonably accurate but I do not know cost etc.

I trust these comments assist.



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