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I don't know what is wrong with my Clematis this year, I have three, they have grown to approx six feet tall but the bottom two- thirds is all brown and papery ! They are in pots, I have fed them but wondered am I over/under watering. I haven not treated them any different to any other year but they look awful. Two have given out a couple of small flowers. Do you think they are frost damaged or something? Should I cut them down? thanks in advance.
Clematis are very hungry plants - have they been potted up with fresh compost each year and have they been regularly fed?
Hi Dove, thanks for replying, no, not fresh compost. How often should I be feeding?
They could be suffering from Clematis Wilt which can be fatal but not always - my Clematis Polish Spirit was affected last year. I cut out as much of the wilted brown leaves/stems as I could - and hoped for the best this year. It's been wonderful; full of healthy leaves and masses of flowers.
Give them a good soak to make sure their compost is damp throughout and then, the next day, give them a liquid feed of tomato food to see if that helps. Next year, treat them to some specialist clematis food in spring and refresh at least the top of the sompost in the pot. After that, follow the instructions on the pack for frequency of feeding.
Clematis have fleshy roots and like a long, cool root run so if your pots aren't big enough, or they've been baked too hot in the hot summer sun, the plants will suffer. Cut out any dead stems right back to the base and dead head any flowers. With luck, the tomato food will perk them up.
Do you know which varieties of clematis you have ? If they are summer flowering, Group 3, and you did not chop them back to the floor in Spring then they will look like that,
Also it sounds as if they are too dry, definitely not clematis wilt.
If they're in pots you need to make sure they have enough food and water and it's surprising how much they can take especially with the temperatures this year. I have some in pots and I have other pots and plants shading them at the base and I keep on top of the watering. I use tomato food for mine. It does sound as though that's the problem. A bit of tlc and new compost as mentioned above and hopefully they'll come away again.
I also use tomato feed on mine,how often have you been watering them?.
What size pots are they in?.
I think they have got too dry. Clematis are quite thirsty but they must be really soaked every few days rather than little and often which will only wet the top of the compost.
Thanks to everyone for replying, my Clematis are in 36cm pots. I have been giving them a good 'drink' but maybe I have not been so good at feeding. I have been using miracle grow ( the blue granules that you dilute in water) the top foliage on two of them looks o.k but it is definately at the bottom where they look awful.
If the top foliage is alright they are definitely still alive - i expect they will come back fine next year - and then you can keep on top of the feeding - that will give you more flowers too
Ok, so I've learnt a lesson re Clematis Wilt. So sorry for incorrect advice. Good to read all this input; I guess it's how we can learn.
Absolutely Stanley - this forum has taught me loads, and is still doing so