Something’s Wrong With The Clematis

Usually, my clematis are one of the stalwarts of my garden.

Clematis "Jackmanii superba"

They grow beautifully with very little attention.  But this year, after being gone to Yosemite for a few days, I came home to both my Clematis “Sugar Candy” looking like this:

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

It was really puzzling. My two ideas as to what was happening where that somehow some stems were cut down low by an animal or accidentally during weeding, or round-up was used in the area without me knowing.  Although, that seems less likely since only the clematis seem to be affected and it seems to be stem specific.

I looked carefully at the base to see if there was anything obvious that I could see.  There didn’t seem to be anything I could see.

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

After another week or so, things weren’t looking any better.  One of the plants does seem to still have a thriving stem and continues to bloom.

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

The other barely has any green remaining so my hope for that one surviving are not very high.

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

But there are two lonely green leaves, so maybe???

Clematis "Sugar Candy"

So what to do?  Before fall, I’m going to carefully prume out all the dead stems.  Once the clematis goes dormant it would be impossible to tell live from dead.  Then basically wait and see how it does next year.  I probably won’t prune them as I have in the past (Checking in on the Clematis) to let them recover.

On the flip side, The Clematis “Jackmanii” is doing spectacularly well this year and is overgrowing everything in its path.  Not sure why, but I’m not complaining.

Clematis jackmanii

Clematis jackmanii

How’s your clematis doing?

(I do wish I could have taken better pictures, but it’s been so cloudy and gray.  Dead plants and gray skies don’t make for a cheerful image 🙂 )

2 responses to “Something’s Wrong With The Clematis

  1. Good luck, I hope your Clematis recovern (and the healthy one stays that way).

    • Did some more digging and it looks like they have clematis stem wilt. I’m hoping it doesn’t spread, and it sounds like a bad year for it. Hmm…

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