Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Mottle Mean?

A mottle is a pattern or blotches of different colors and shades that cover the surface of a plant. Usually mottle appears due to a botanical virus or disease, and commonly covers the leaves in brownish yellow spots. In some cases, mottle is an indicator of poor plant nutrition.


Maximum Yield Explains Mottle

Examples of botanical viruses that cause mottle are the bean pod mottle virus (BPMV) and the tobacco vein mottling virus.

In cases such as the bidens mottle virus, the plant may exhibit severe leaf distortion followed by mild to severe mottling. Some plants suffer from flower abortion, flower break symptoms and vein stunting and clearing.

Other types of mottling can occur as a result of another common virus, the pepper mild bottle virus (PMMV). This disease characterizes itself by light green or yellow mottling, and a lumpy appearance, especially if the plant produces fruit and exhibits stunted growth.

In most cases, infections and viruses that cause mottling tend to happen in the early stages of growth. Plants exposed to colder temperatures may also experience mottling.


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Plant NutritionPlant SciencePlant DiseasePlant Health

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