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Clematis looks dead

jennyhowell55jennyhowell55 Posts: 3
edited 18 April in Problem solving
I planted a clematis alpina Constance last spring against an arch and it grew well. This spring it hasn’t yet come into leaf, though by now it should be flowering. There are buds but they look very dry as if it’s dying. Any idea what the problem is? I planted it deep and it seems attached to the root ball ok, though I’ve not dug it up to check the roots.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025
    edited 18 April
    They're generally very easy @jennyhowell55 . How and where is it growing? Was it a mature plant, and what care has it had since you planted it? 
    They prefer a slightly drier site compared with the large flowering types, but, as with all plants, they need well watered until established.  :)
    I've just noticed you said you planted it deep. They don't like that. It's only the larger flowered Group 2s and 3s that you do that with.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • It was a 1 litre pot when I bought it, kept fed and watered all summer and I’ve kept the roots shaded. I didn’t prune it back.  As you can see, it looks very unhappy
  • Are those pebbles/stones placed over the root?  Could there be slugs underneath eating the plant?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025
    If it was only in a 1 litre pot, it's a very young plant. I'd take all those rocks away too. They're not helping.  :)
    They really don't need food, apart from when first planted. Mine has never been fed since the day it was planted, about 7 or 8 years ago. They prefer a poorer site - mine is in a tiny raised bed with virtually no room, but the roots can get down into the ground below. 
    It would benefit from being cut back, so that it can produce more shoots. If it's been planted very deep, that won't help it though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks for your comments. I had a dig around at the base of the plant and unfortunately found that the stem had rotted. Must have over watered it I guess.I have cut I right back in the hope it will send up new shoots
  • mikeymustardmikeymustard Posts: 447
    If the stem has rotted it might be overwatering or planting too deep, but it's just as likely to be mechanical damage from slugs, birds, pets etc. 
    Such a shame as it looks like it put on some good growth last year 🙄
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,174
    As @Fairygirl says the Alpinas tend to do better in drier conditions.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025
    I think that's the combination of too deep, and too wet. The slugs never touch my alpinas and macropetalas - only the bigger flowered types, and we have loads of slugs. The new growth comes from the existing framework, rather than lots of new shoots from below ground, so they're less vulnerable anyway. The big snails we have here used to hide in between the trellis mine is on, and the fence behind   :)
    If you get another one, don't plant it deeper than it is in the pot, and if it's a small one, it's worth growing it on for a good 6 to 12 months before planting out. That will ensure it's a good, healthy plant before going in the ground.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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