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 Post subject: clematis wilting
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:10 am 
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Location: Central NY
I'm definitely not an expert on clematis, although I have two, but only have problems with one.

I have a white clematis that comes up strong and has many buds and then starts wilting. Does anyone know what causes this and what I can do to stop it from wilting? My other clematis never has any problems. They are planted in different areas. The one that wilts every year is planted on a wooden trellis near our deck. The other one is planted in a corner and is part of a small perennial garden.

The white clematis is truly spectatular when it blooms but only has a few blooms because of the wilting.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 12:27 pm 
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Location: philly
are the roots properly shaded? all clematis like their roots to stay very cool - even if they prefer a sunnier spot, the roots still need to be kept shaded.

is it getting enough water?

do you know which particular one it is?

it might be that it's getting too much sun...really need to know which variety it is to be able to advise.

some do better with east or south exposures and others do better with north exposure.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:24 am 
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Location: PNW
Here's one site that has some info on it. Do a search on 'clematis wilt' for more. Hope it helps!

OOPS! Forgot the link! http://www.gorgetopgardens.com/clematis ... -wilt.html


Last edited by luv2grdn on Tue May 27, 2008 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:48 am 
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Location: Kernersville, NC Z7a
When the plant wilts, do the stems actually brown or blacken up and ultimately end up dieing or does the plant just loose rigidity and sort of slump down? Your response here will determine if you have clematis wilt or if the plant is just wilting due to lack of water. If the plant has true clematis wilt, the stems turn brown/black and the stem or affected stems die out completely. If the plant responds and stiffens back up after sitting overnight or after getting water, then you just need to add more water and mulch the plant well. One other thing to check for is to see if there are any critters chewing on the vines down low that could be causing the plants to wilt.

Contrary to popular opinion, clematis do not like cool roots. What they like is the moisture associated with conditions that give rise to cool roots. This is best accomplished by making sure that the soil is properly amended before planting, the plant is planted in the ground several inches deeper than it was in its original pot, the soil is kept moist by adding water when needed especially the first year or two, and mulching the soil with organic matter that will decompose over time and add more moisture holding capacity to the soil.

All these things being said, in the early spring when the weather goes from cool days to warmer days with lower humidity and breezes, clematis will often look wilted during the hotter part of the day due to the sudden changes in environmental conditions which cause the plant to loose more water than they can take up from the soil. Giving the plants some time to accomodate to the environment will generally cause this issue to abate.

Back to true clematis wilt. There is no known cure for this malady. One school of thought is that the cause is fungal in nature and the diseased vines should be removed and destroyed to help prevent reinfection. I have seem some references stating that the ground around the plant should be saturated with fungicides to stave off the fungus in the soil but others discount this treatement.

There are others that believe that clematis wilt is more of a genetic issue where the vascular system of the plant can't supply water to all the top growth and the plant dies back to allow the roots to be able to supply water to the remaining top growth. Since clematis wilt is generally a disease that tends to affect the type II early and late flowering hybrids more than other types, it is postulated that the genetic breeding of these types of plants is the cause of the disease since they tend to be more finicky than the other groups of clematis.

Quite a few people, myself included, who have had wilt on type II clematis have found that the plants often outgrow the condition. One thing to do to help prevent it include making sure you treat the type IIs as type IIIs as far as pruning goes the first couple of years in the ground to help develp a strong root system that is balanced with the plants top growth. Allowing a type II to grow indiscriminately as far as top growth goes will give you a plant that is weak, has few branches exiting from the soil level, and one whose root system may not be in synch with the top growth.

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 5:42 pm 
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Location: Athens, GA, USA 7b
Well put, Miguel. Concise and thorough at the same time.

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:05 pm 
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Location: Virginia
If I notice any wilt on my Clematis, I remove that portion immediately, below the area affected by it.
Seems to work, for me.

Hey Dan. The 'Dr. Ruppel' has done wonderfully!
Wish I'd photographed it in full bloom. But I was never quite certain, when the best color was showing at the time, because it changes, so much...
Then I went on a short trip & 'that's all folks',- at least until next time!
Thanks for that plant, as I really sure do enjoy it. The size sent, was simply amazing.
I've since added (at least figuring, before blooming anyways) 'Henryii' , 'Jackmanii' & last but not least - 'Nelly Moser'!
Bye, Shawn


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 9:57 am 
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Glad to be of help Dan.

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In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed--R.W. Emerson

Miguel


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:08 pm 
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Location: Central NY
As I said I'm not an expert in Clematis, therefore I don't know the name of this particular clematis.

One thing I should mention is that we have a healthy male lab that consumes a lot of water daily (and I mean a lot), so to protect the base of the clematis my husband rigged something up which you will see in the pictures below. You will also see a healthy part of the clematis.

I'm quite sure it doesn't need more water.

In fact, although I feel ill when I see parts of the plant dying off, there are always some buds that manage to bloom. It's just that so many die, and I would like to prevent that. I don't trim the plant back, because in the spring the buds are forming on the last year's growth. Perhaps this fall, I should cut it back.

I tried very hard to upload some pictures here last night and it wouldn't work. So I'll try again today.

I finally went through Photobucket to get these pics loaded. You will see the dog pee deflector, the wilted parts and a healthy part. I have since cut out the wilted parts, which were growing a very hard, brown stem.So what does everyone think? This happened to plant the last 2-3 years.

Now I will take a break and watch the finale of Lost!!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:17 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania zone 6B
I think it might be a snapped stem somewhere.

At a Clematis program, there was a discussion about wilt . One grower believed much of the wilting was not due to a pathogen, but to wind and outside forces breaking stems that were brittle and new. Just at the time the vines are putting on tremendous growth, the winds can be quite gusty.

I wonder if a hard pruning after flowering might give a much better result next year.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 8:17 am 
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Location: Kernersville, NC Z7a
I assume your protection device is a garbage can with the bottom cut out. Even so, it is probably acting as an attractant to the dog--looking like a fire hydrant. If the dog pees on the outside of the can, the pee can still run down the outside of the can and saturate the ground. The plant's roots are probably going to be attracted to the wet ground regardless of what is making it wet and that could be adversely affecting your plant.

It could also be wind. I know I had quite a few branches snapped off or broken slightly with the wind we have had. I still wouldn't discount the dog pee running down the outside of the can and saturating the ground issue.

Pruning will never hurt a clematis and considering the issues you are seeing with yours, I would definitely give it a try now. The plant may have time to still bloom later in the fall depending on the length of your growing zone and even if it doesn't, it will be better off for it next year.

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In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed--R.W. Emerson

Miguel


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