What can kill a 20 year old clematis?

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by deadclematis, May 3, 2007.

  1. deadclematis

    deadclematis Member

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    We have a large older clematis that is approximately 20 years old. Every year it fills in thick and produces beautiful pink blooms. This year nothing. Not one shoot. The branches seem to be dead. What can cause such an old established vine to simply die?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Clematis wilt (Phoma clematidina)
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Especially since you are in Delta (on the flat?) maybe that record wet November did it in. Is this the pink anemone clematis that was shown earlier? Clematis wilt is seen mostly on large-flowered hybrids. It can be quite a bother with those.
     
  4. deadclematis

    deadclematis Member

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    We are actually up on the hill in North Delta. I suppose the wet November could have killed it. I can't actually say what kind it was as it was here when we moved in. I don't think it was the anemone type you mentioned.
     
  5. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Drought is another factor in the death of some trees and shrubs in the local area that I have seen.
     
  6. deadclematis

    deadclematis Member

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    It was healthy right until the fall came so I doubt drought was the cause and I guess it is too late to tell if it was wilt. I did notice that the first 8 inches of the stalk (ground up) seems to be darker than the rest. Perhaps the wet winter did it in. I guess we will never know.

    Does anyone know if it is safe to grow a new one up the main stalk of the old dead one or should I dig out the old one in case it died from wilt?
     
  7. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Oh dear. Mine also died - I posted earlier because I thought it just needed pruning (see this thread http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=23709) as large amounts of stems were draping quite low. Turns out it was a goner - though I now see the occassional shoot near the ground. It is quite heart-breaking. One of the responses to my question included a link which suggests the montana's can suddenly die off when large due to a bacterial infection. I think it had something to do with stress over the winter - I wonder how many others in the lower mainland experienced similar die off this year? Anyway, see the other thread for a picture of my clematis in bloom - last year.
     
  8. deadclematis

    deadclematis Member

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    Thank you West Coast Garden for helping identify our clematis (Montana). It looked identical to yours when it was alive and well. I guess the next question is should I dig it out or can I use the main stalk as a guide for a new one?
     
  9. dandy

    dandy Member

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    I have also lost two large Montanas this year - the wood is still green so I am hoping that they will come back. It is winter kill. If they don't come back, I'll dig the roots out, replant with Montanas and leave the framework.
     
  10. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    With trees it is always the following season that show the worse symptoms from last years heat and drought stress, including death. The damaged roots are unable to help in setting buds for the next years growth. Not too sure how Clematis are effected.

    Water soaked roots are usually fine when plants are dormant, it is when the they're still saturated come the growing season that death can occur.

    A disease would have shown signs in the heat of last summer from stress, and to kill a 20yr old plant in 1 shot is not too common from what I have ever dealt with.

    Possibly more from our freezing temperatures in November right through to January may have had an effect.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2007
  11. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    since there have been a number of serious answers I feel I can finally post what I thought of when I first read the thread title.

    Godzilla.

    I bet he can kill a 20 year old clematis.

    anyhoo, back to the regular programming. :D
     
  12. deadclematis

    deadclematis Member

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    We do have a dog the size of Godzilla. Maybe he pee'ed it to death!

    Good one though. We laughed!
     
  13. spindoctor325

    spindoctor325 Member

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    Just wanted to jump in as the newcomer on the dead Montana bandwagon. I too had a death in the family which shocked me as I didn't have any expectation that our 4 year old would bite it. But indeed, your thoughts about a bad series of storms in November seems to make sense to me as a possible cause. Thanks for your insight and fingers crossed for this year. Have a happy global warming year.
     

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