Clematis montana problem

I have a new Clematis montana which appears to have had all the bark stripped from top to bottom! The remaining leaves have started to wilt (it has lost most leaves) although they do not show the signs of Clematis wilt. It is grown against a fence/trellis which has horizontal, fairly deep scratch marks on it. Another established montana nearby is fine and still in full leaf. 

I am very perplexed, does anyone have any ideas please?



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,234

    Snails will strip off clematis bark. 

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Slugs will strip bark at ground level, but I suspect that such widescale damage is an animal of some sort, possibly a cat, dog or squirrel. It's not common, but animals can sometimes get strange obsessions.

    Stripped stems won't survive, so you may as well trim them down to ground level; new ones will grow next year. Make sure that you protect the new growth from slugs in spring, and protect the shoots higher by constructing a tube of chicken wire that surrounds the new shoots - that should stop problems from animals.

  • Thankyou. Would they strip a whole plant?


  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,032

    Scratching post for some animal/cat perhaps? BTW leaves are dying back now anyway, so that's normal, unless the stem scratches are deep enough to have damaged the internal parts? J.

  • Thankyou Alina, I appreciate the advice. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,646

    Yes, snails will strip the bark off a whole montana image the little b*******s image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Thankyou everyone. I think I'll cut it back to gound level and hope for the best. My poor plant, it was doing so well....image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,631

    Put some wildlife friendly slug pellets out now if it's warm and then again on Valentine's Day (cos it's easy to remember) and at regular intervbals throughout spring.  this way you'll get the blighters just before the hibernate and also when they emerge, hatch and before they start to munch and breed.   Used sparingly but regularly they can save clematis, hostas and other plants from becoming slug and snail gourmet feasts.

    The Vendée, France
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,094

    I'll just add my probably irrelevant contribution that deer ate my clematis, before we fenced off most of the flower garden. In my previous garden in Kent it was rabbits.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    What are wildlife friendly slug pellets?  Friendly to what wildlife?  If you kill all the slugs and snails what will the hedgehogs and birds have to eat? 

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