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Armandii Failures

Printed From: British Clematis Society Forum
Category: Clematis
Forum Name: Postings
Forum Discription: General chat and help about anything Clematis
Printed Date: 19 Dec 2018 at 3:14pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.06 -

Topic: Armandii Failures
Posted By: roemg62
Subject: Armandii Failures
Date Posted: 12 Nov 2009 at 8:11pm
Can anyone advise me on the care of Armandii please ?
I have lost 2 recently (one planted in full sun one in semi shade) both were newly bought plants, but well established, they died 3months after planting. 
Both were planted with well rotted compost mixed with a peat based compost.
I had watered them generously and often.Treated them no differently than 2 other well established ( 3-4 years old) Armandii plants.
The two that died went completely brown. Both were planted next to trees one a spindle tree the other a dead Leylandi tree stump.Could this be down to the dreaded Clematis Wilt and/or have I over watered.
Any comments/advice appreciated
Many thanks
Malcolm Roe

Posted By: Wim Snoeijer
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2009 at 6:34pm

Dear Malcolm Roe,

It seems you did not post a popular item as you had no answers yet. I will have a go.
Via a forum it is difficult to give some advice. Usually with an item like yours it is better to advice on the spot, or at least a picture. But, luckely, from your information there are several words and phrases you use which started to ring all alarm bells with me, especially the combination of "Clematis armandii" versus "watered them generously and often".
Actually, you answered your question yourself by suggesting you over watered them. You sure did.
Clematis armandii and related plants and/or groups (see my privately published book on Clematis Cultivar Group Classification, I hope the forum does not mind refering to it) has fibrous roots that does not like to much water, let allong "generously and often". When soil is too moist the fungi Phytophthora makes a party and will kill the plant from bottom up.
Especially on old plants it is possible that the bottom part is completely brown, because of the fungi, while the top shoots are still green.
In general, wilt or stem rot, will enter the plant via the leaves into the stems. That is why you might see wilted clematis with the top shoots brown and the bottom part still fresh and green.
Good luck next time.
Best wishes,

Wim S

Posted By: roemg62
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2009 at 9:33pm
Dear Wim
Many thanks for your response and advice.
I will be more sparingly with watering in future.

Posted By: Nunn00123
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2009 at 9:42am
Dear Malcomb,
I agree with Wims advice, but the other possibility is that you added too much compost and rotted manure to the planting hole, the combination of too much water combined with a rich moisture retentive soil mixture could have resulted in the death of the plants. Another factor to consider is if digging planting holes in poorly drained soil, sumps can be created where water is slow to drain away, again resulting in root rot.
Also bear in mind that if planting when the plant is dormant, little or no water will be required, but for Armandii I would always recommend spring planting.
Best wishes
Roy Nunn

Posted By: Ron.G.Carlile
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2009 at 12:08pm
Hi Malcomb.
I thought I had the ideal spot for a C.armanndii a warm corner that was protected by the corner of two walls , the soil is sandy and well drained
but two years and the whole plant died . The next one was planted against a
south facing fence ,  again two flowering seasons and again it died .  I can't make out if the virus is in the plant stock when you purchase it or there are other factors involved . The only one I have had any successes with was
grown from seed and grown for a number of years in a container  , in a good soil mix .  I may have another go this next year if I can get some good seeds .
All the best with any new plants you get , it may be worth putting it in a pot and
burying the pot into the ground just with about a third of the plant pot clear of the ground , I have grown a number of plants this way .
Best Regards

Posted By: roemg62
Date Posted: 16 Nov 2009 at 10:53pm
Many thanks Roy and Ron
I have a new Clematis Armandii ready and waiting for me to plant as per your and also Wems advice.
I will post you details of what I am sure will be a success next year.

Posted By: Aidan3
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2009 at 9:07pm
Hi Malcolm
I agree that the combination of too much watering with the moisture retentive soil mixture probably finished your plants off. It is probably worth adding a good helping of grit to your soil mixture as well as mixing it with some of the existing soil. I have very thick clay in my garden and have found by trial and error that by making a planting mixture of sieved existing soil, grit, john innes number 3 and some home produced garden compost mixed together, the plants manage to get established.
What you don't want to end up with is, as Roy says, a sump, so you need to be able to make the soil mixture in the planting hole not too disimilar to the surrounding soil. 
I have by my last count about 50 clematis planted in the garden and this is in soil that becomes yellow clay, below which is blue clay about a foot down. I don't have any Armandii but I have C.Henryi, C.Irisevi and C. Urophylla Winter Beauty that are all similar evergreen types and planted in the soil. As Ron says in extreme cases you might want to raise the plants higher than the soil (this was mentioned in the International Clematis Society journal 2009 article by Ralf and Doris Schreck) where they plant into a large plastic container with the bottom cut out of it so the clematis can be planted deep into the container but is high enough above the water level.
Anyway enough of this rambling, here is a picture of C. Armandii growing on a house in Ripley, North Yorkshire, in the highstreet. It shows that the plant can grow in the north in the right conditions.

Posted By: roemg62
Date Posted: 21 Nov 2009 at 5:34pm
Hi Aidan
Many thanks for your comments and advice. Which together with Wim's ,Ron's and Roy's I shall follow in the spring.
Much appreciated

Malcolm Roe

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