Poor performance with a clematis

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Daniel Mosquin, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    The following was received via email:


    I have a blue ravine clematis (my favourite of all clematis) on a southern fence; open lattice and fairly exposed. It shows no sign of life. Every other clematis that I have, does.

    Some of the stems looked very thin and ragged at the bottom and I cut those out. The roots look very good still. It looks as though maybe there was some new growth started (very small) and it was killed by the late snow! What should I do? This was the year it would have been spectacular!
  2. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC
    All clematis need protected roots kept shady and moist while the rest of the plant flourishes in sun. Perhaps your plant is too exposed. It is also very temperamental the first few years, so keep it watered well, and I suggest planting a low shrub nearby to offer shade to the roots.

    Avoid fertilizing at the end of the growing season as late frosts may damage new, soft growth.

    Also, keep in mind that clematis is most susceptible to fungi in the first few years, so keep the area clean and well maintained with good air circulation.

    The new growth may have been damaged by this year's late frost, however, it should come back providing you have given it optimal growing conditions.

    Mulch annually, and do not over prune!

    Best of luck!

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