US (MI): Growers of fall garden mums need to inspect and test for tomato spotted wilt virus now

By inspecting and testing fall garden mums now, growers can avoid problems later this summer and fall. Recognize tomato spotted wilt virus symptoms and thrips control strategies.

Growers of fall garden mums need to be checking all incoming cuttings for symptoms of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) now and/or do some in-house testing or send samples to the MSU Diagnostic Services lab. Last summer’s outbreak of this virus was detected too late to save some plants. Michigan State University Extension advises growers to be proactive now to be able to reduce the risks to their crops. The following article was updated for the 2014 season.

Thrips can be a major pest of fall garden mums during the summer months. Michigan State University Extension advises growers to be aware that thrips are the vector for tospoviruses like tomato spotted wilt virus, impatiens necrotic spot virus and iris yellow spot virus.

Tomato spotted wilt virus has one of the largest host ranges of any plant virus, affecting both dicots and monocots. It infects more than 800 plant species with more than 80 plant families. In the past few weeks, tomato spotted wilt virus was found in a crop of greenhouse-grown fall mums.

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