London (change)
8 messages
05/10/2013 at 19:47

I planted a clematis this year which didn't flower and has now turned brown like its dead, can anyone tell me if I should leave it alone or pull it up? 

05/10/2013 at 20:44

Hello Danielm2323,

It certainly sounds bad.

You could try snapping the stems just above a leaf joint, starting at the top of the plant and working down to the ground, to see if the stems as well as the leaves are dead. If they are dead they will be very brittle and break easily.

Sometimes the leaves die but the stems are alive, so try this and you may be pleasantly surprised.

05/10/2013 at 22:26

Sometimes, as waterbutts says, Clematis is very surprising - even if you're almost sure it's dead, don't pull it up - I have been amazed by new spring shoots from 'dead' ones before.  I'd cut it right back later in the autumn and leave the roots where they are - either it'll come up in spring or you'll have forgotten it's there anyway!  ~(or is that just me?)

06/10/2013 at 11:59

Happens to me too Sarah.  It can take a couple of years for a clematis to settle in and perform and I have several I call Lazarus as they have come back from the dead, sometimes after a 2 year gap and by then I've lost the label and have no idea what they are any more.   Always a nice surprise though.

06/10/2013 at 13:07

Happens to me to - think they're such greedy feeders they know they've got to get their root system well established before they start doing that fancy flowering stuff 

06/10/2013 at 13:11

great name obelixx the same thing happened to me.........not with a clementis but with an everlasting sweatpea. Cut if right off at the ground one year.......thought I'd killed it. After about 18 months disappearance,up it poppped a few months ago and is really going for it, no flowers but it's very much alive. Amazed that it stayed  alive in the ground with no light

06/10/2013 at 16:23

Clematis can surprise you. I'd cut it back to ground level and watch what happens in the Spring - it may re-grow.

06/10/2013 at 16:40

If you've planted it deeply enough, the roots like to be cool, then cutting it back should do it little harm. Patience is whats needed.

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