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I don't believe it

Printed From: British Clematis Society Forum
Category: Clematis
Forum Name: Postings
Forum Discription: General chat and help about anything Clematis
Printed Date: 07 Aug 2020 at 10:44am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.06 -

Topic: I don't believe it
Posted By: sacromonte
Subject: I don't believe it
Date Posted: 03 Jun 2010 at 9:27am
This is why, regretfully, I am going to give up growing clematis.  I can't stand the disappointment any longer.  Beautiful plants, growing well, flowering and then wilting.
Heresy I know, but can anyone recommend another species of plant, similar to Clematis in look?
Took photo 1 - at long last a plant that I thought was going to survive.
Ten minutes later, yes ten minutes, went back into the garden and there it was.  See photo 2.  First the bloom had wilted, then half an hour later the leaves on that stem, wilted as well.  I've never actually witnessed a plant wilt in so shorter time.  I always notice it the next day and it's the first time I've seen it action.  How can something so beautiful, wilt in under ten minutes?
Someone suggested I buy a copper based drench fungicide - but I can't find anything in liquid form - any suggestions before I rip them all out?  Dare I invest in some Group 3 plants instead?  Why is it happening to me?  I can't believe my whole garden is "infected".  This plant was kept in it's pot (as recommended by someone) for a year.  I made sure it never dried out, put a saucer under the pot, thinking that it may prevent anything in the soil coming up through the pot.  I had another clematis, kept in a very large pot, away from the garden, same thing has happened. 
I don't think I've got any alternative but to give them up.

Posted By: Nunn00123
Date Posted: 05 Jun 2010 at 3:54pm
I noticed on one of your pictures, that showed the dead leaves, that there apeared to be a conifer growing on the other side of the fence/trellis. Is there a yew hedge or something similar growing on the other side of yoiur fence and could the roots be spreading through under the fence?
If this is the case it would certainly be difficult if not impossible to grow group 2 clematis as the ground is likely to be too dry and devoid of nourishment.
It is possible to grow group 3 clematis under these conditions, but there are some specific things you need to do to give the clematis a start in life.
If indeed you do have a hedge or similar growing against the fence let me know and I will explain what you need to do to get clematis to grow under these conditions.
Best wishes

Posted By: yaku
Date Posted: 06 Jun 2010 at 12:00am

Originally posted by sacromonte

I am going to give up growing clematis.

The only product I know of helping in the management of Clematis Stem Wilt (CSW) is Trichoderma (the friendly fungi) and best used in a liquid form (wettable powder) this have to be used on a good organic base, if used on plain soil there are nothing for the fungi to live in.
The Viticella Group are pretty easy on soil requirement as long there are sufficient water available, the large early flowering Group "B" (II) are acid lovers and are much healthier if grown in forest soil (worm free) You will never totally overcome the problem with wilting stem with that group,  but by winter hard prune all  (all clematis  do carry the wilt fungi on the leaves) and do a winter cleanup, this include a final cleanup with Lime sulphur or 2% Formalin , CSW as it's spread mainly from leaves on the ground as well as from infected ground, cover with a good layer of leaves (not mulched) around the plants all the way to the stems, this stop the fungi to splatter up to the leaves.

Finally I'll suggest you go and have a look on some of the Clematis Viticella National Collections to see if those will satisfy you. There are a few Group “B” (II) there never get wilt.

Cheers Peer

Posted By: sacromonte
Date Posted: 10 Jun 2010 at 11:17am
Hi Roy,
Further to my previous post - you were right!  I think it was wind damage.  Plant is still flowering- well it is for now.  No there isn't a hedge or conifer the other side.  The clematis next to it, is thriving and about to flower, but
alas, two fence panels along, definitely wilt and have cut it right back.  That's the third I've lost this season.  Can't remember the name of the plant, but it was growing well, no flower buds yet and didn't have a problem last year with it.
I know I've asked you before, but can you recommend something for the wilt.  I think I mentioned that someone recommended a copper fungicide drench and the only one I can find is Murphy's, but it's expensive and not sure they are still making it. 
Thanks for all your advice.

Posted By: Nunn00123
Date Posted: 11 Jun 2010 at 7:24pm
The Murphys Traditional Copper Fungicide has been withdrawn from the market and I am not aware of any fungicide that combats the Wilt Fungus that is available to the amateur. You certainly seem to want to keep your group two clematis. Peer (Yaku) made an interesting point in his article on growing Clematis in the International Clematis Society Journal; that group two clematis may prefer an acid soil and growing in an alkaline soil may increase their chance of getting Wilt. This point I agree with and would say that at least 60% of clematis varieties grow well in acid soil. As stated I only grow the odd group two clematis, this may be due to the fact that they do not do well on our chalky soil, but tolerate an acidic compost when they are grown in pots.
A few tips that may be useful, ensure that you grow your group twos in a neutral to slightly acidic compost.
Mulch the plants with a compost that is acidic in nature in spring.
Feed plants especially pot grown ones with an ericasious liquid plant food (cristals disolved in rainwater) such as Rhododendron or Azalea feed. Once a fornight during the growing season should be enough.
Look out for dead and or damaged leaves and stems and cut them back to undamaged material.
It is quite possible that after a year or two the affected plants will settle down and become a healthy floriflorour plant, but there is always the chance that the plant will always be a weakling and the only option is to dig it up.
If this is your option there are many group three clematis that could take its place. Look for something of similar colour, the chances are that the flowers will not be as large but the flowering period will be much longer, it will not be intolerant of unsuitable soil types and if a stem or leaf gets damaged they will quickly be replaced by many more stems. In our area new clematis growth is very often cut back by late frosts, in group twos this generally mean no flowers for that year or just a few smaller flowers in the autumn. In group threes all that happens is that each stem that has been damaged has the potential to produce two new stems, the flowering may be delayed by a month, but it may continue to the first frost of November in some cases.
Best of luck

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