There are several types of virus that affect roses, but the most common is the mosaic virus. It causes interesting yellow patterns to form on some of the otherwise healthy green leaves of the plant, hence the name mosaic. Plants with virus will usually live, but they will be less vigorous than non‑virused plants.

Mosaic can not be transmitted from one plant to another by pruning. It can be transmitted by grafting a healthy rose onto a virused rootstock, or less likely, by grafting a virused rose onto a healthy rootstock.