What Is Fig Mosaic Virus?

Fig mosaic virus (FMV) is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense or F. oocysts. It affects both deciduous and evergreen trees, but its most common host are conifers such as pine, fir, cedar and larch. It is not known what causes it, although some believe that it may be due to environmental factors like poor air circulation, too much moisture, and lack of sunlight.


The first symptom is the appearance of small white spots on leaves and branches. These appear as soon as the infected tree becomes active after being cut down. The disease spreads rapidly from branch to branch until all the affected branches have developed these symptoms.

Eventually the whole tree will develop them. The disease is usually fatal if left untreated.


There are no drugs available to treat this disease. You can try fungicides, however they do not work very well and may even cause more damage than prevention. There are several methods which can be used to prevent the spread of the disease, but none of them completely stop it.

1: Plant your tree in well-drained soil.

2: Try not to move any tools from one location to another. Make sure you disinfect all your tools before and after usage.

3: Cut off and dispose of all infected branches as soon as possible, this should be done immediately if you notice the disease spreading.

These are the most common methods for treating and preventing the spread of this disease.

Personal Story:

When I purchased my house, there was a large pine tree in the front yard. It was already quite tall and had beautiful green leaves. Unfortunately it also had a large amount of Fig Mosaic Virus.

I noticed the disease spread rapidly, but did not know how to treat it. By the time I realized what was happening, all the branches had been covered with white spots. I tried to apply fungicides, but that did not work. I finally had to cut down the tree and remove it completely from my property. The Fig Mosaic Virus is very persistent and does not let go of its host easily. It was a sad sight seeing that beautiful tree shrivel up right in front of my eyes. Thankfully I was able to save the other trees on my property by cutting off all the branches which had come in contact with the diseased ones.

Some websites say that you can cure the disease by cutting off the branches and treating with fungicides. This is not true, I have tried it myself and it did not work. The disease has already penetrated too far into the wood to save the tree.

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Once this happens, the tree has already been infected for too long and is therefore unsavable. Despite this it is still important to treat as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading to other trees.


Damping-off, also known as pithy stem or root rot, is a fungal disease that affects the roots of young plants. The disease attacks when the environment and soil are favorable to growth for the fungi. This could either be due to overwatering or other conditions.

It is important to maintain the right moisture level in the soil, as well as the environment being not too hot or cold. There is no cure for plants that have already become infected.

1: DO NOT plant your tree in poor quality soil, or soil that was taken from the wild

2: If you do not have a green house, keep the tree outdoors in a well-lit area, but not directly in the sunlight.


If your tree shows any of the below symptoms, you could have damping-off. If you do not act quickly enough, your tree will die.


1: Brown/yellow wilting leaves on bottom of the tree.

3: Mushy, soggy, rotten roots. Could also smell like mushrooms. This happens when the fungus has spread to the roots.

4: Wilting of the whole tree. Sadly there is nothing you can do for the tree at this point and it will die.


If you see any of the above symptoms, do the following before it spreads to the roots. If it has already spread to the roots, there is nothing you can do. I’m sorry.

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1: Cut 2 inches off of bottom of the tree. Also cut 1/2 inch off of all sides of julyaitis bark all around the tree. Then remove bottom layer of soil and dispose of it somewhere else.

2: Place tree in a shallow container filled with new dry soil.

3: Water the soil until it has dried out, then water it again. Continue to do this until the tree shows signs of healthy green leaves.

4: Re-pot or plant your tree in a different spot that drains well. (I.E.

Away from hills or slopes.)

“If you take care of your tree, your tree will grow strong and bear fruit.” -Grandpa

Pest and Disease Control

If your tree gets infested with bugs or molds, it could be fatal if you do not do something about it immediately. Try some of these methods below.

Neem Oil

This method is used to get rid of insects and mold. Using the oil on your tree will keep pests away and prevent mold from growing on its skin.

1: Take a paper towel or rag and soak it in Neem Oil.

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2: Wring out excess oil so that it does not drip onto the leaves.

3: Begin rubbing the oil onto the skin of the tree. Be sure to get into all of the cracks and crevasses.

4: Wait 3-5 days and then water your tree normally.

Natural Pesticides

There are many different natural pesticides that you can find in your own yard or home. If you choose to use one of these be aware that they may not always work or could even harm your plant.

1: Garlic Spray – This is 1 of the best natural pesticides and can be used on all plants. It keeps many bugs away. 2 cloves of garlic mashed up with 1 cup of water will keep most pests away.

2: Neem Oil – As mentioned above, this is a great way to stop mold and kill insects that land on your plant.

3: Alcohol and Soap Spray – This is another mold and insect deterrent. It helps to keep ants away. To make this mix together 1 cup of alcohol, 1 cup of cooking oil, and 8 oz.

of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.

4: Fruit and Vinegar Mixture – If you are trying to get rid of aphids, this is a good way to do it. Get yourself some old fruit that is going bad (or even ripe ones) and mix them in a bowl with white vinegar. The bugs will become stuck in the mixture and then you can dispose of them without harming the environment.

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5: Salt Spray – This is good for preventing bugs. Take some salt and mix it with water in a spray bottle. Then just spritz your plant once every few days.

The salt will dry out any potential bugs that land on your plant, but it will not harm your plant.

6: Cinnamon Mixture – Mixing cinnamon with water in a spray bottle will keep most bugs away. The smell of the cinnamon is quite strong so they will not want to come near it.


This is one of the most common problems for house plants and even cacti. Unfortunately it is also one of the hardest things to prevent if you are a regular waterer. There are some methods of prevention and some signs to look out for to know if you are over watering your plant.

Watering Methods

If you have poor soil, your plants will have a hard time getting water from it. It is best to water the soil and not the plant because if the roots get water they will become bloated and this can cause them to rot and possibly kill your plant. To water the soil you should pour water into your pot until you see it streaming out the bottom.


If you can’t tell if your plant needs watering or not, stick your finger in the soil to see if it is dry a few inches down. Another way is to pick up the pot and feel how heavy it is. A very heavy pot means you need to water it, a light pot means you don’t.

The best way to water is to put your plants on a schedule. Water every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Signs of Overwatering

There are several signs to look out for if you think you are over watering your plants.

1: Pits on the leaves – These look like little tiny dots or collections of very small dots on the leaves. These are a sign of bug infestation and too much water. If you find these, you need to get some neem oil to stop the bugs from eating your beautiful plants.

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2: Brown Spots – If you notice little brown or dark black spots on your plants, this is a sign that you are over watering. These spots are usually clustered together and kill the area around it.

3: Drooping branches – If your plant starts to droop and the leaves begin to fall off, you are probably over watering it. This can be fixed by cutting back on watering and making sure the soil has proper nutrients.

4: Slow Growth – If your plant is not growing as fast as you think it should, you may be over watering it. This kills the nutrients in the soil and can cause your plants to be weak and grow slowly.

5: Cracking – If you see your pot or planter cracking a lot, this means you are over watering it. The added weight of the water puts too much pressure on the container and causes it to crack.

6: Wet Contents – If you notice that the contents inside your planter or pot are wet, you are probably over watering. You need to make sure that everything dries out before adding more water (usually daily).

Over Fertilizing

This is another common problem that many people do who are new to houseplant care. Fertilizer contains nutrients that help your plant grow and bloom. However, too much of a good thing can be very poisonous.

Fertilizers come in two forms: liquid and solid. Both are bad for your plants if you put in on too frequently. Too much liquid fertilizer can burn your plants leaves as well as the roots.

Too much solid fertilizer will give your plant very weak roots as well as burn the stems and leaves.

Too little fertilizer is much better than too much. Always follow the instructions on how and when to use the fertilizer you buy.

If you find that your houseplants are having fertilizer burn, there are two ways to fix it:

1: Dilute the Effect – First, stop using fertilizer for a while. At this point, all you can do is wait for time to heal his wounds. All of the burned areas on the stems and leaves will fall off in time.

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If you are looking to speed up the process, you can take a small brush and lightly dust the affected areas with a fine layer of powered milk. This will act as a type of “first aid” to help heal the burns.

After everything has grown back, do not fertilize for at least three months.

2: Take it Out – If you have suffered from fertilizer burn over a large area, it may be best just to take the burnt plants out and try again later.

Stop using any kind of fertilizer and repotting your plants into fresh soil. Water the roots lightly and let them rest until all signs of burning have gone (usually about a month). Then, you can try again.

In Conclusion

These are just some of the most common houseplant problems that you may run into while taking care of your indoor garden. However, if you are still experiencing problems, it is best to contact your local gardening center or nursery for more advice.

Who knows, maybe they are having a sale on some items?

Happy Planting!

Sources & references used in this article:

A multipartite single-stranded negative-sense RNA virus is the putative agent of fig mosaic disease by T Elbeaino, M Digiaro, A Alabdullah… – Journal of General …, 2009 – microbiologyresearch.org

Cotranslational disassembly of tobacco mosaic virus in vitro by TMA Wilson – virology, 1984 – Elsevier

A protein linked to the 5′ termini of both RNA components of the cowpea mosaic virus genome by J Stanley, P Rottier, JW Davies, P Zabel… – Nucleic acids …, 1978 – academic.oup.com



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