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Clematis problem - leaves shriveling and going brown


By Bernard

Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom Gb

The leaves at the lower part of a couple of rwo year old clematis have started to shrivel and go brown, while the upper part seems healthy although the flowers are not as good as last year. They were fed, watered and mulched in the spring and again recently. I've tried to take a photo, but there's so much growth in the background that I'm not sure if it will be much help. I could take another pic with the background obscured if anyone thinks it will help. I'm frightened it might be wilt and would welcome any comments and suggestions anyone might have.

On plant Clematis




It won't be wilt - that starts from the top of a shoot and works back to the root. You don't say what variety the clematis is, which is what will dictate whether it needs pruning at some point or not, but leaf loss from the bottom isn't particularly unusual. Jackmanni varieties, if not pruned yearly in winter, have about 4/6 feet of brown stems at the base with all the flowers and leaves much higher up.

13 Jun, 2009


Thanks for your speedy reply, Bamboo. I did specify the variety when asking the question, so I don't know where it went, however it is Comtesse de Bouchard and I will go a bit heavier on the pruning next year. Thanks for taking a weight off my mind; at our last property we failed completely with Clematis because of Wilt and I'm so relieved that we might stand a chance of success here.

13 Jun, 2009


It is in the prune group 3 section, the Jackmanii varieties. Needs pruning by end of February (though my book actually says by 15th February!) back to 2 or 3 buds from the base. The way to keep wilt at bay is to catch it early - inspect and remove any shoots that are withering from the top down.

13 Jun, 2009


Thanks again, Bamboo. I think I'd better put you on my favourites list.

13 Jun, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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