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Summer flowering clematis

I have a summer flowering clematis with deep purple flowers. I planted it last year it did not thrive. I hoped I would have a better year this year.  
Although it has flowered the leaves have turned brown and withered and it has not grown significantly
i am new to this forum and would be happy to send photos if that is possible 
Any help or tips greatly received

i have attempted to grow other climbers in that area of the garden, namely honeysuckle, without success
thank you


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,857
    Clematis need plenty to drink, especially in hot weather and when first getting established.  In my experience it can take a clematis a couple of years to get its roots down and start to thrive even ina year of normal temps and rainfall.

    Questions - did you water it well before planting; did you plant it deeper than it was in its pot and did you work plenty of good, moisture retentive organic matter into the bed before planting?   Is the planting site against a fence, wall, tree, other?

    If honeysuckle fails too it sounds to me like you need to improve your soil conditions and watering levels so please tell us about the kind of soil you have and which way the garden faces and how exposed it is to wind, rain, cold as this info will help us advise you.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • The clematis us in front of a fence and is facing west, my garden is quite sandy but this area receives good sun in the afternoon
    i think the soil is a clay soil
    i did not plant it deeper than it was in its pot
    i did not make any attemp to improve the soil, it is my gut feeling that I probably need to do this.  Can you advise best way
    thank you
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 577
    Clemitus can be tricky  to start, good news is that i have found even when the top grwoth dies they can come back the following year. Watering is essential as the previos poster said. Some say put some flat stones around the roots to cool and shelter the roots
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,857
    Sandy and clay are opposites.   Sand is large grained and free draining and usually poor in nutrients.   When you hold a handful and squeeze it tends to be dry and flow out.   Clay is tiny particles fertile and cling together so when you hold a handful and squeeze it sticks in a ball.  In summer it can dry out and be like concrete and in winter it can slow to drain.

    On the whole, clay soils are usually fertile and drainage can be improved by adding plenty of well-rotted compost and manure and sometimes fine grit to open it up and make it easy for roots to penetrate and find the nutrients and moisture they need.   Sandy soils can be made more fertile and moisture retentive the same way but without the grit.

    The easiest way to do this is to wait for the autumn rains to moisten the soil thoroughly and then pile on a thick layer of compost and manure, several inches at a time and leave it for the worms to work in over winter.   Do it after any perennials have died back and any spring bulbs have been planted.    If your garden is new you can work in plenty of this stuff while digging over to clear weeds and rubble to make new beds and then add a further layer of mulch.

    Have a look in your local area for stables that offer well-rotted manure and councils who provide compost from the municipal pile.  It's worth doing every autumn if you can.  In the mean time, water that clematis thoroughly and give it a mulch once wetted and keep watering.  It may well recover from the roots.   Do you know the variety?

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Can you tell us, please, what size the plant was when you planted it ?  Was it from a supermarket ?
  • I'd like to know what your clematis is called as I inherited one with the house.It has bloomed all summer,is a deep purple,smallish flower,with a Montana type leaf,which is now browning at the base.It sounds very much like yours?
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    It sounds like it could be a mix of issues Karen - soil that's a bit light and doesn't hold moisture well, perhaps too hot and sunny [for the honeysuckle anyway ] and maybe a very small plant which needed grown on a bit. That's why Richard has asked the size. If there's loads of other planting nearby, that means a lot of competition for moisture as well.
    Have you any photos of the plant and the surrounding area? That will help with offering a solution  :)
    I think many clematis will have been struggling with the hot conditions this year. We normally don't have to worry here, as we get regular rain right through the summer months, but I've had to water clematis this year that I've never had to before. The early flowering ones have got quite a few crispy brown leaves, but they'll drop and the plant will be fine. I never put stones or anything at the base - just provides a home for even more slugs and snails than we already have!  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I'm happy to post a photo. Not sure how to on this forum
    bought it from a supermarket (Aldi) for about £5. It was about 2 foot high
  • I definitely have  clay soil
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358
    if you click on the little icon that looks like a mountain and follow instructions, that will get a photo on Karen. It helps if the pix are around 1MB or less, as they load more easily.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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