Asked July 8, 2017, 1:31 PM EDT

My Atumn monkshoods leaves are getting blotchy ( lighter color than the dark green). what is the problem? Too much water? Not enough water? OR a disease?

Outside United States monkshood

3 Responses

Thank you for your question about your monkshood. First, I need to know where you and your plant are. Second, I need a picture of the plant. Thanks!

Hello, thanks for getting back to me. I am in Regina,Sask. Here is the pic for you to look at. I should also say that I just planted the monkshood this year. F rom what I have read about this plant....its a dangerous plant to have!!! Don't know if I will keep it or get rid of it!!!

Monkshood does contain highly caustic alkaloid chemicals. (But, so do members of the family containing tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and chili peppers--but they contain belladonna.)

I'm concerned that your monkshood has the tomato mosaic virus, which is incurable and can spread to other plants. Here's a link to an article about it.
I have not been able to find a specific reference to monkshood (Aconitum) contracting TMV, but have found a source that identifies it as having contracted a similar virus (INSV).

The Tomato Mosaic Virus is spread by humans; the INSV is spread by the insect thrips. Here's what the management recommendations are, regardless of virus:

"Management: There is no cure for infected plants. Remove and discard infected plants. Weed control and sanitation are very important since weeds and plant debris can serve as sources for viral infections. Eliminate weeds that can act as reservoirs of the viruses where aphids, larval thrips, and nematodes can acquire viruses. People who use tobacco products should wash their hands with a phosphate detergent or soap before handling plants. Sanitation is especially important for controlling TMV since it is very heat stable and remains infective for long periods of time in sap and plant debris."

The only good news is that you don't seem to be too attached to this plant. :-) Good luck!