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I bought Clematis Jingle Bells in the summer of last year to grow in a container and up a trellis on a south facing wall. Initially the plant put on strong growth and sure enough flower buds started to appear in late autumn. However, despite this initial success the leaves appeared to wither along with the flower buds. This was followed by new growth and new flower buds during the unseasonably mild weather but again, the leaves and buds appear to be suffering the same fate. Could this be a drainage issue as the problem seems to occur after periods of heavy and prolonged rainfall? I drilled extra holes in the base of the container prior to planting and placed crocks in the bottom before filling with multipurpose compost. Should I mix grit with the compost and re-plant? If so when would be the best time to do this?
It sounds like its water logged.
I'd change the compost for a john innes no3 mix and raise the pot off the ground to assist with the drainage.
If you do it now it may recover, but it may be spring before you see any real improvement.
Put it in a larger pot and put and good layer of grit in the bottom and add some to the compost.