Yesterday, I wrote about the terrible condition of two of my clematis plants (Something’s Wrong With The Clematis).
They said it sounded like my clematis have clematis stem wilt. Yikes! That’s not good, but not awful.
Within just a few days the stem and leaves turn black and start to die. It may only affect a singe stem, or the whole plant.
Again, exactly what I’ve seen. One has only some of the stems dying, the other all.
Pretty much the only way to treat it is to cut back and remove the infected stems and leaves. Also, clean up any dead leaves underneath the plant so that the spores don’t stay in the soil and reinfect the plant. Don’t forget to disinfect your pruning tools afterwards to keep them clean. So that’s what I did today.
Here’s what they looked like when I was finished.
The one above has a mysterious new small plant growing right in the center. I’m hoping it is the clematis already recovering and not a random weed. We’ll see.
Large flowered clematis seem to be more susceptible than small flowered, something to consider if this becomes a chronic problem. And as with most fungal infections, a cool and damp environment can contribute to the infections. The good news is that the plants usually recover.
The odd part for me is how close the stunning clematis jackmanii variety is to the infected clematis. It looks about the best I can ever remember. Not much I can do about it except remove all the infected stems and leaves and say a little prayer.
As I was cleaning up I was looking at the clematis seed heads. So interesting and pretty in its own right.
Hopefully your clematis are finding this a good year and the stem wilt doesn’t show up in your yard.