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Clematis not looking great

jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
Hi, this is the second year this Clematis has been growing here in our clay soil. It flowered a month or so back… but isn’t putting on any new growth and looks a bit sorry for itself.

I’ve given it fairly generous waterings every 7 to 14 days… but still not sure what I’m to do. Any ideas appreciated.


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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,730
    looks like it's become a bit dry at some point
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 62,247
    What’s the variety?

    Which way does the fence face?

    Is the clay unimproved or were you able to dig a load of organic stuff into the area before planting?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
    Hostafan1 said:
    looks like it's become a bit dry at some point
    this is my theory now, it is about 10-12" from the fence and that part is always drier than the main border after heavy rain. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    In addition - what variety is it, and have you pruned appropriately etc? Was it a mature plant when you got it? They take a few years to get to maturity.
    The majority are more than happy in clay, but some are the opposite and need a drier site.
    They also drop foliage as the year goes on. Is that [the yellowing foliage] the main problem?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
    What’s the variety?
    either Eiole Violette or Pink Fantasy

    Which way does the fence face?
    South-East

    Is the clay unimproved or were you able to dig a load of organic stuff into the area before planting?
    There is some organic matter in that border, although birds / creatures sometimes dig around there but not too close to the roots of this particular one.
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
    Fairygirl said:
    In addition - what variety is it,
    either Eiole Violette or Pink Fantasy

    and have you pruned appropriately etc?
    it was bought about 15" tall from wilko and zero pruning so far ... it hasn't grown enough to warrant it 

    Was it a mature plant when you got it?
    it was bought about 15" tall from wilko

     They take a few years to get to maturity.
    The majority are more than happy in clay, but some are the opposite and need a drier site.
    They also drop foliage as the year goes on. Is that [the yellowing foliage] the main problem?
    yeah it's that yellowing, i'm wondering if i need to water more / less ... or do something else, like feed ... i haven't fed it at all

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    They're both Group 3 for pruning, so you would cut right back in late winter/early spring. They're both fine in that aspect.

    Ideally, you would plant those deeper than they were in their original pots too, but you can counteract that by adding a mulch of compost on top of the base. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
    Fairygirl said:
    They're both Group 3 for pruning, so you would cut right back in late winter/early spring. They're both fine in that aspect.

    Ideally, you would plant those deeper than they were in their original pots too, but you can counteract that by adding a mulch of compost on top of the base. 
    Thanks @Fairygirl ... we get nocturnal visitors that like to remove mulch layers :-:neutral: ... and this year sparrows who i think like the water source of our little water pump and seem to be always around, even in our garage ... and they have this odd habit of landing in the border and just flapping on the spot, as if building themselves little bath-shaped cut outs in the border and they just sit in there, flapping.   Never seen it before, but they've been doing that about 10" from the planting point of this clematis ...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,494
    edited 31 July
    Sparrows won't do any damage.  :)
    I don't really understand what you mean about visitors removing mulch, but the purpose of having the plant deeper is so that it will send up more shoots from below ground to create a bigger, more mature plant. A good layer of organic material on a regular basis will aid that. They will take about four or five years to be a mature plant though.
    E. Violette  should flower regularly from about July into autumn. Perhaps you need to feed and water more. Feeding should stop once the plant is in flower though.
    They certainly need a lot of moisture, especially watering that gets down deep into the soil, so that those root systems are strong, and able to withstand drier spells. 
    Just looking at your original post - watering every one or two weeks probably isn't nearly enough if you don't get a lot of rain either. I take it you're using a large canful when you water too? 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 443
    @Fairygirl not even removing mulch asuch ... just creatures burrowing and they tend to go for the area just around the roots of certain, usually freshly planted (or mulched), plants.   I've seen birds doing it ... but either a fox / hedgehog or even my dog is doing it but I never catch anyone in the act.  So in the case of one of my clematis (one called Francis Riviis or somthing like that as I remember) ... that one has had about 2" of the soil around it sculpted out by something ... might be the birds, but I assume it's nocturnal as I always spot it in the morning.  In the past I haven't put tonnes on it ... maybe one litre ... I'll try increasing it so deeply watering ever 4 days or something to see if it perks up?
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