Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 36 replies

Apparently the first two are clematis and the third is a boston ivy, according to the people we bought this house from. Last spring just as we moved in, I had a baby, and consequently the garden got a bit neglected and none of these were watered all summer. Are they now dead? T

here does seem to be green wood in the stems.


If you scratch the stems with your fingernail and it's green underneath, they're not dead. Some clematis look like that in the winter and some have shoots coming from the soil in the spring.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 08:13:59

Thank you. Sorry the photos didnt all post with the first post. The last picture here is of the

boston ivy - should it not have leaves on it year round?

Sorry - having photo issues. This should be the boston ivy.


Agree but wait a while longer.  Clematis in particular can look dead right now but keep your eyes peeled for new buds to suddenly show.  

There was a question about when to feed plants and feeding clematis now is a good idea.  A good thick mulch too.  



No - Boston ivy's deciduous. It's also quite hard to kill  

The first clematis is possibly a montana, which looks dead at this time of year until you get the little shoots appearing at the leaf joints. A well established one will be absolutely fine, so don't worry too much. You should see some growth soon.

Check the other one by scratching a little of the 'dead' looking woody part. As has been said, if there's a bit of green there, it'll be fine. Water is essential for good clematis growth, so if you're in  a dryish area, or the clematis is in a dry part of the garden, just make sure it's watered in long dry spells, and add a mulch afterwards to keep it happy.

In any case, if you don't know what varieties they are, wait till they flower and post some pix, and you'll get a bit of help with the ID. That will help with the pruning regime and any maintenance in future.  

I'm wondering why the Boston Ivy has a trellis - it's self clinging, so no need for any. 


neither of those photos of Boston Ivy,  are Boston Ivy.

Right! Sunday morning detective work is underway. Thanks so much for the help. The clematis both appear to be alive. I'm going to find the thread about clematis and give the poor neglected things some nourishment. Any tips on what to use for mulch? Manure? Bark chip? Some kind of mixture? 

The boston ivy however doesn't appear to be alive. Most of the distal stems are crunchy brown with no green and look very dead to me. However some of the proximal bits look possibly ok - there's a green bit with a less green core.

Trying to attach some photos of all 3 plants.

Thanks, the third one is a boston ivy - I've checked photos of the house when we bought it and that's definitely what it is. Not sure about the trellis - possibly to avoid it destroying the brickwork? The photos didn't post the way I intended, will go back and edit to avoid confusion.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 08:46:07


don't forget some climbers die back, but they're not dead. They regrow from the base. Note the dried curly bits on your 'Boston Ivy' 

Boston Ivy doesn't have those.

Some of the photos don't enlarge to a clear image but I think these are all clematis

The boston ivy (?) is the one on the far right in this Rightmove photo, in a metal pot. Is there something else it could be? Off out to check near the roots! 

Last edited: 05 March 2017 08:49:56


I think you're right nut. I didn't really look closely at the pic of the 'ivy', and just saw the trellis....

 It does look like a clematis as well. Boston Ivy leaves a 'tracery of stems' clinging to the structure it's growing on. New growth comes from that. We have it covering the building I work in. 

Montana's new growth comes from the existing framework which is there all the time. The early flowering clematis, in general, are like that as they don't get pruned in the same way as the later ones. Later ones produce new stems for flowering,  but growth also come from the existing stems which get pruned back around this time of year.  

Oh dear. Shall I just get rid of it then? I had always thought they were best avoided but, well, this one is already here, so I've just left it for the last year. Seemingly I've managed the impossible and killed it though! It's brown and crunchy near the base too. Near the middle you can see where I just snapped off a small branch. No green.



Can't see that well enough janer2, but it's not Boston Ivy.

The building I work in has had that growing on it for many decades - and it's still standing aym. Victorian house are often covered in it, and it's cousin Parthenocissus/Virginia Creeper, with no issue . They've all been around a while  

There are often scaremongering stories about ivy of all kinds. As is often the case, a little common sense - and maintenance - is all that's required   

Mind you - so many modern houses are made of cardboard and glue, so perhaps they're not such good subjects for it! 


aym - it isn't Boston Ivy - not in the pic janer was showing! 

And if it's dead - the issue's solved anyway  

Last edited: 05 March 2017 09:12:52

Well, it seems to be moribund at best, whatever it is, so perhaps we'll never find out!

I think I might use a different pot from the metal one, and plant a climbing rose of some sort. It's a north facing wall but not sheltered.


Are you unable to plant directlyinto the ground janer?

If you want to put another climber in a pot, get a really big one. Climbers of any kind need plenty of room for sustenance and water 

No, the drive is tarmac. I will track down a big pot though!