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Talkback: Clematis 'Arabella'

I've tried five Clematis in my garden over the years and every one survived for only one year before keeling over with Clematis wilt. I'm not sure if it's the local soil but they're not successful for me, I even tried burying a large pot in the ground with a special mix in it but again it died in the second summer - so I've given up with Clematis, any advice would be happily received.


  • Marina, you must try growing any variety of Clematis viticella, as these are resistant to clematis wilt. I grow a fabulous variety called 'Pagoda' that has been in flower for weeks. The blooms are smaller than large-flowered summer hybrids, but what they lack in size they make up for in quantity.
  • As Arabella is an herbaceous clematis is it liable to wilt? and should it cut to the ground each year
  • I have this clematis that grows up through my Climber "Golden Showers". I cut it right back to the ground as soon as the flowers finish and each spring I have loads of new shoots which flower right up to the end of September.
  • Reply to Julie: I don't think impatiens downy mildew will spread to other non-related plants, like wallflowers. And no, there really isn't any soil treatment available to gardeners. Perhaps the weather will be different next summer and this disease will not be a problem, but the nurserymen I have spoken to are very worried about it. If your impatiens were affected this summer I would recommend avoiding growing them next year, but remember that New Guinea Impatiens are not affected.
  • How deep should clematis be planted? If I remember correctly I read it can be planted a couple of inches below soil level to protect the fragile stem. Would it be advisable to leave a depression for the first year or so and then fill it in later?
  • I have a very unrully Ckematis macropetala "Markham's Pink" neglected for years. Can I cut it right down and will it come again?
  • I am looking to buy 'Arabella' Clematis but I can't seem to find one, could you help I live in Hornchurch Essex thankyou
  • Maureen, I just purchased a small pot of Arabella clematis from Morrisons supermarket for £1.79. They have a surprisingly good selection of climbers!
  • yes, Morrisons are wonderful for a wide variety of inexpensive climbers. Ecery year i go in week after week and 'fill my boots' but BE WARNED!
    if you rush home and put them straight in the ground, like i did the first year round, the slugs and snails will be in seventh (slug) heaven! These plants are inexpensive for a reason...they are rally young! The best way to profit from Morrisons 'generosity' is to re-pot them in a larger, long pot and grow them on for a year in a greenhouse or porch! Next year you will have wonderful strong plants to plant out (preferably before the S&S's are out and about)If you just can't wait for them to decorate your garden or you haven't anywhere safe for them, plant them in a large pot and put outside, preferably on a paved area
  • I've just dug up my 'Arabella' because after 6 years it is swamping everything!
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