Clematis Armandi "Snowdrift" browning

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by RZP, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. RZP

    RZP Member

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    Location:
    Seattle, USA
    We have two Clematis Armandi "snowdrift". Both were planted in the early winter-early spring of 2005. One is on an east facing trellis and the other on a north facing trellis. The one on the east facing trellis has many brown leaves at the base (seems like the growth that was there when plant was planted had died -photo 0197) and has kept it's seed puffs since spring this year (see photos 0198 and 0199) It just started a little new growth for the year (photo 0198). If get lots of morning and mid-day sun and is against a house wall.

    The north facing one has browned on some of the old vegetation photos (photos 0196 and 0202), but has not kept its seed puffs and seems to be growing reasonably well although it only has new growth on a relatively small number of its vines. Photos also included. It is against a fence and gets little direct sun.

    Any thoughts on how to get these plants more robust would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     

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  2. Koehle

    Koehle Member

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    Charleston, South Carolina, USA
    I will give it a shot, the best way to care for this plant is alot of sun and cover the base with lots of mulch. This plant loves the sun but likes its feet wet. Works for ours, we have a bunch of small plants around the base of one in a plater and lots of mulch aroung the one planted in another bed, that keeps them happy. I don't know if moving yours would be an option. As far as beefing them up if you aren't afraid of trying something new - I accidentally cut one down because I saw brown vines (I think this may be somewhat normal for clematis) and thought they were dead, learned later that they were attached to the really nice blooms I saw, lost the flowers that year but it came back thicker the next year. It's been moved to a planter to keep me from snipping it again - I must warn you, I am an accidental gardener so I can't guarantee this will help. Hope it helps.
     
  3. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    The plant in your picture does not look like the Clematis armandii "Snowdrift" that we have in our garden. Ours has simple leaves (as I thought all C armandii do) and do not have showy seedheads. It seems to thrive best out of the hot early afternoon sun, and sheltered from the wind. The leaves do seem to brown and burn or become "leached" and yellowed in full sun exposure. Desicating winds do most of their damage in the winter.

    Your pictures resemble those of Clematis ×cartmanii 'Joe' (named after the New Zealander, Joe Cartmann), which has deeply dissected leaves just like your plants. We have this gem in our garden too. However, I understand that Clematis ×cartmanii 'Joe' is a male clone and, therefore, do not produce seedheads. So I may well be on the wrong track here. In anycase, Clematis ×cartmanii 'Joe' is one of the few "evergreen" clematis and it's a beauty. Although rated hardy down to USDA zone 7, the leaves are prone to winter browning if not grown in a sufficiently sheltered position.
     
  4. RZP

    RZP Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. A little web research on my part shows that my plants are not Clematis Armandii Snowdrift as our landscaper indicated, but Clematis Early Sensation. The thought from Weekend Gardener that they looked like Clematis ×cartmanii 'Joe' was esential to figure out what they are. They are evergreen and related to Clematis ×cartmanii 'Joe' and "female". Now that we have the right plants can anyone offer other ideas on keeping them from browning? Thanks Again.
     
  5. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I am thinking that it is getting too much sun exposure and too much heat off an east facing wall.
     
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    I only grow armandii, but my experience has been that keeping them evenly watered, never letting them stress from drought, is a key with this genus. Browning of leaves was common when I was careless about watering, esp. in these heat waves...is nonexistent now with lots of diligence about sprinkling.

    Another observation is that it can be real tough the first year or so keeping a new plant's roots moist...I have many that even years later still have a ball of roots and old potting mix that doesn't want to get moist even with lots of watering of the overall garden bed area. If you poke around in the planting spot, you just might find something similar...the centre of root growth being much drier than the rest of the soil with resulting stress on the plant. Not real sure how to fix this, other than somewhat bare-rooting the plant in the first place when planting out (I know landscapers almost never want to do that) and it's too late now if that is the problem, as several plants in my landscape will testify!
     

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