Help! Is my clematis dead?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Lulu, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. Lulu

    Lulu Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    My clematis show no signs of life as of yesterday (April 7). Is it too soon to see leaf buds? Both plants are on a south-facing wall (protected though). The roots are shaded and the tops are in the sun, they get plenty of moisture and are well ventilated. I love clematis but I seem to have no luck with them! Do I need to be patient, or do I need to dig 'em up?

    Dang if I can remember which varieties they are. I do know that they're not evergreen, but probably the more popular varieties, ie. Niobe or Edward Somebody-or-other.

    Thanks in advance,
    Lulu in Langley
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Hi Lulu:

    If you are in doubt as to whether your plants are still
    alive, start breaking off some of the small twigs one
    by one from the ends of the vines and check to see
    if they are green inside or not. Sometimes I have
    had to stick the broken end on my tongue to check
    and if it is green then you are okay. If it is brown
    then break off another segment and test again.
    You'll know if the plant is dead or not by continued
    attempts.

    I've seen some forms of deciduous Clematis stay
    in their dormant state until the middle of May in
    Fresno, California, even in 90° weather, all due to
    the cold temps we had during late December, early
    January.

    Jim
     
  3. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    princegeorge b.c
    Hi You mentioned that they get plenty of moisture. Do you fertilize them?
    You might want to try what I did in the lower mainland
    (Chilliwack and Abby) and that is to mulch them with mushroom manure and give them a drink of 1/4 cup bonemeal dissolved in a 2gallon container. I did this in the
    spring and fall and continually got 20 to 30 feet of growth
    per year. Allso when they bud out give them a mild mixture of 20/20/20 as a foliar spray.

    If you are what is dead or alive check the stems/stocks starting at the base and working up.
    What to look for is where the bark is seperatted from the stocks/stems this is generally an indication that these ones are healthy and will grow.

    regards doug
     
  4. Lulu

    Lulu Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Thanks for the good advice - I will check the stems to see if they are alive.

    As for fertilizing them? Yes I did, last year, a few times after I bought them in late summer. Should I fertilize now, even though they are still dormant?

    Thank you!

    Lulu in Langley
     
  5. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    princegeorge b.c
    If its warmed up in your area go for it. It will help wake them up. However in Chilliwack and Abby we used to wait til the 2nd week in May. As we usually got 1 more cold blast around the end of April.

    regards doug
     
  6. Lulu

    Lulu Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    I fertilized them this weekend. While doing so, I noticed new growth about 2" high coming from the base of one of the vines. There is green inside both stems though! I will be patient... I will be patient...

    Lulu in Langley
     

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