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Here is a photo taken on 26th June of a lovely clematis that I have had growing in a pot for several years.



Closeup of one of the flowers below - label long since gone (can anyone identify it?)


But 2 weeks later the next flowers looked like this:


Then I have a newly planted Viticella Venosa Violacea whose buds are opening before the flower has had a chance to form properly - pic below:


 and now a new crop of buds on this are even worse - opening when they are really tiny.  What's going on?




Not sure, but it looks as if the sap isn't filling out the petals for some reason. Have you seen a lot of aphids on the plants lately?


any chance they could have had drift from any weedkillers, yours or a neighbour.

I remember seeing some very strange effects in artjak's garden when the next door farmer had used a weedkiller


Anybody been spraying weedkiller nearby?


I don't use weed killers and I doubt if my neighbour does, but I'll ask him.  But even if that was the case, would it not have also affected the roses blooming next to the clematis?  They were fine.


Some plants are more sensitive or show the effects in different ways



I think it's in shock 

Moving it from a pot to soil but I maybe wrong what soil have you got also ph maybe a factor. Also it could be the fence it looks new, how strong is the smell of chemicals when the sun is on the fence.



Good point about the new fence, Clueless.

Lavender Lady

If it is in a pot and has been for a few years then maybe it needs repotting and some fresh compost.  Clematis are hungry plants and need feed.  Tomato feed is the  best to use but they will also deplete the compost in the pot of nutrients and will need repotting.  I have one that has had similiar probs and I spoke with my local clematis nursery (Thorncroft Nursery in Norfolk) and they suggested I repot.  You could send them a pic of your prob and I am sure they would be happy to help.

The best time to repot is Feb time.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.  Just to clarify, the first two photos are of a large flowered clematis, which has been growing in the same pot for about 5 years (tho' I have regularly removed some of the old compost and added new).  It is now growing up the trellis on my new pergola ( which was erected 10 months ago).

The 3rd photo is of a viticella bought from Taylor's in May, which I have planted in JI compost in a pot which is standing against the opposite side of the pergola.  I have put slow release fertilizer into the pot.

So neither is in the ground.  As the big one flowered so well in June to begin with, I can't think that the new trellis is to blame.

LL - I could send a photo to Taylor's - good suggestion.

So, have any of you any clues as to the name of the large flowered one?  It's a deeper purple than the photo shows.


It has been very hot this summer and clematis like their thick, fleshy roots deep and cool so maybe they've just been too baked and too thirsty.

Try giving them a really good soak until you're sure the compost is damp all the way through and then give them a feed of liquid tomato food to try and perk them up.  Next spring, feed them with specialist clematis food and make sure they have enough to drink all through the growing season.

Thanks obelixx.  Would all purpose Liquid Miracle-Gro work as well, as I don't have any tomato food?


I don't know as Ii've never used it but it's worth a try. Just make sure the pots are good and damp first as putiing food enriched water in dry pots can burn the roots and inflict further damage.

Ah!  Perhaps you've put your finger on the underlying cause of the freakiness, obelixx!  I didn't know that you shouldn't put food enriched water into dry pots! 



I had the same happen to one of mine, with the flowers looking the same and the leaves turning black.I had some aphids on it so I sprayed, fed and watered. The whole plant looks sad now and I'm wondering if I should cut it back a bit. But then maybe new growth would be damaged once it turns cold. Never had this problem before, through years of growing clems.

Hello DD - nice to know someone else has had the same problem as me!


I think it's been a funny year for clems.  Some of mine are romping away and I have three "Lazarus" clems that have just started to grow after playing dead all year but others are struggling to grow to their usual size and have feeble flowers.

I had surgery to fix both feet earlier in teh year so wasn't able to get out and train the new growth when it started in earnest but I did manage to feed them all and do slug and snail treatments at Easter.

I don't think a long, cold, wet spring did them any favours and then going to heatwave conditiuons and being baked for so long in July may have shocked them a bit.    i suggest trimming out any dead stems, dead heading as much as possible and then hoping for better things next year - along with lashings of proper clematis food in spring. 

This year  my Clemetis in a pot started to look realy poorly its one I put in 2 yr ago . I cut it back to soil level and gave it water each day  .It was not long before it sent up thick new growth . But mine could have been Clemetis wilt . 

flowering rose

I think you find it is because of irratic watering,How do I know because I have the problem because I have not been able to keep the watering everyday up during this hot weather.They need alot of water and feed when flowering.