Is my clematis dying?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by EbyClaire, May 11, 2011.

  1. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Guys, I am confused. For a month my clematis had been so good to me. It had a ton of flowers, it was lush and green, and I couldn't ask for a nicer plant. Well, recently, I noticed started getting burnt tips. The most perplexing to me is that the base (vines that come of the roots) have all turned brown and feels VERY dry. I only have 1 flower left and it's at its last days.

    I know there are clematis that only bloom ONCE and I probably have something like that. :( What do you all think? What should I do? It is located outside and it gets morning to afternoon sun. For the rest of the day, it is shaded by the house.

    1st pic: from beginning of April, I had it in the garage for a day because the wind was so bad.

    2nd pic: when a lot of it flowers had died and only very few was left (also, it is when I noticed the dried stems/vines/branches at the base)

    3rd pic: what it looks like now.
     

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  2. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    I just wanted to let everyone know that my clematis WAS dying. Or something like that. The branches/vines had become really brittle and usually when I pinch a healthy vine, it is soft and is green inside it. When I tested it, it just snapped... with a crunch... and it's NOT green anymore. :( So I cut it all down to the root and I have 1 healthy (for now) vine left that has a faded flower on it. It hasn't had any growth for a while, though. I don't know what's wrong with the plant. This is my first clematis...
     
  3. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    I see it's in a container. Did you let the soil dry out too much? Clematis like cool feet, meaning the roots like to be shaded by another plant growing in front of it. Perhaps your soil in the container got too hot from the sun?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look up clematis wilt, see if that fits. Prevalent on large-flowered hybrid clematis.
     
  5. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Try moving the leaves, are there bugs flying out, if there are, may be leaf hoppers kill it.
    Have to wash the plants and get rid of leaf hoppers. Then it will grow back.
     
  6. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    I didn't see any bug whatsoever. Also, I looked up clematis wilt, but the plant never wilted like what Google images showed... the leaves were healthy looking aside from being smaller and the branches being "dead-like" --- dried out, crunchy, brown. I cut the vines down to the root ball and left one healthy vine (the only one it had left, with a flower on it). It has now turned brown as well and even though there are leaves on it, it has completely halted growth. It has been raining like crazy and we've had a few close calls of tornado, so I'll check it out tomorrow when it stops raining. I'll let you know what I find out. Thank you.
     
  7. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    The vines of clematis do not stay soft and supple, with age they get stiff, woody and somewhat brittle. If there are healthy green leaves on a vine then it is still alive, even if the vine itself looks brown and dead.
     
  8. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Thanks, Maf. You are absolutely right, but it was completely BROWN even after pulling it out. I pulled it out of the container and washed the root ball (it had gravel in it and some of the roots were rotted out, which I removed and cut). I saw it has new root growth on top. I re potted it and hopefully comes out of it, even if it doesn't flower again this year. Clematis has got to be one of my favorite plants and I'll try to find one that blooms from spring to fall, if at all possible! Any suggestion? The one I have now is only suppose to bloom in the spring, I think... Thanks again!
     
  9. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Rotted roots makes me think overwatering or waterlogged soil, how was the drainage?

    I am not an expert on clematis but it sounds like you are looking for something like the Boulevard (compact patio) collection from Raymond Evison, very long flowering period and suitable for container growing. I imagine they are available in North America but I would not know where to look.

    My favorite clematis is 'Fujimusume', blooms May-June and repeats late summer. The blue flowers are 8 inches wide on a well grown plant, and it is suitable for growing in containers.
    Clematis 'Fujimusume' at Clematis on the Web.
    Clematis 'Fujimusume' at Taylor's Clematis.
     
  10. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Those are very pretty! We have a nursery near where we live... I might see if they have any or if they could point me where I could get one!

    Yes, I think the soil was waterlogged. I know it had been raining for a few days and it looked like the soil dried up in between, but it must've been just the top of the dirt.

    Thanks again!
     
  11. bumblebee

    bumblebee Member

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    I have been growing Clematis for over 20 yrs. and have never had a problem (except once when a fairly new one grew just one stem and then died. I left it alone and
    2 yrs. later, when I was digging down to plant something else in its place, I found the very healthy root ball. I quickly covered it up again and since then it has been magnificient.) I think it is very hard to kill a Clematis.
    However, this year in Ontario, we have had a very wet Spring and I think this may have affected Clematis. About half of my 20 Clematis are doing very poorly, with many stems dying back, even with buds on. I know from experience it is not Clematis wilt. A couple of friends also have the same problem and I have just read a newspaper gardening columnist who wrote about having this problem.
    Is anyone else having the same problem or know what the problem might be?
     
  12. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Bumblebee, I don't know anything about that and I do apologize that I couldn't help you. As for my clematis, I dug the root ball out (May 10) and it looked terrible! As I mentioned before, it was water logged (I believe). The root ball had slimy, brown, skinny roots so I cut it all up until I got to "whiter" part and repotted it in a bigger pot. I left it alone for about 2 weeks and noticed it was sprouting again! Recently, I planted petunias (that I grew from seeds from petunias I planted 3 years ago) around it to keep its "feet" cool and it seems to really like that. I doubt the clematis is going to bloom for me again this year, but at least I know it is alive! I'm going to post pics later when I get a chance to take pics! =)

    I hope someone responds to your inquiries soon.

    Thank you everyone for your help!
     
  13. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Hi, guys! The Clematis is doing really, really well. Here's what I did, for anyone that would be interested. Note that my Clematis died all the way down to the root ball in the Spring after flowering. It wasn't Clematis wilt. The root ball was just being drowned in water for some reason (the soil/pot may not have been draining well).

    1) Dug the root ball out and cleaned it up (cut up pieces that looked dead until I got to the white part). I believe I cut the root ball pretty severely, but it was definitely worth a try.

    2) Placed the root ball in a bigger container with drain holes.

    3) Planted petunias around the root ball.

    4) Place plant in a sunny location (gets direct sun 6-8 hrs/day), water regularly, and let it go!

    That's it!

    Thank you for all that have helped me. :)
     

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  14. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    So you still got another flower from it afterall!

    The only clematis I grow is a native swamp wildflower. Clematis crispa. Very different culture, but equally difficult to kill.
     
  15. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    Yes! I went out there and there's 3 flowers on it now. Although smaller, I'm just glad it even flowered this summer after dying back to the root ball in the spring. I'd like to add some other clematis to my "babies".

    I'll have to look clematis crispa up. I definitely like plants that would be difficult to kill.
     
  16. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    C. crispa is not showy and not an open flower. It's a purple bell, roughly cherry sized. And for clematis, the seed head is not even all that pretty. Uneven spikey and green. I doubt the seed is available commercially, and I'd imagine that only native plants people would be interested in growing it at all. It just happens to grow in my yard and it took me a couple of years to identify it because it didn't flower when I first noted it. I think it may have some utility as a cordage plant fiber, but that's just a guess and not any research I've done.
     
  17. EbyClaire

    EbyClaire Active Member

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    I googled it... wow. It's beautiful!
     

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