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clematis in pot drainage problem

Hello! I have climbing clematis on either side of my front door, planted last year. This year they have grown rapidly and have many large flowers on each side, however in the last 3 weeks or so I have had a problem with drainage. I put a thick layer of slate over the top of the pots to help shade the roots when they were potted. The problem is now when I water them (twice a day) the water is sitting on top and going into the soil very slowly - like a blocked drain with bubbles coming to the surface? The soil appears cool under the slate and up until now the water has always been absorbed quicker. Wondered if I could be over or under watering, or if there are too many roots? The small lower leaves nearest the dirt are crispy and dry but unsure if this is lack of water or scorching from the sun. Any help gratefully received!!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,875

    Twice a day is a lot to water anything and if the water's not being absorbed then it sounds as if the soil is sodden.  Although they need regular watering they don't like their feet permanently damp I wouldn't water them any more until the soil on top (under the slate) is dry.

    Do yu feed them?  Clematis are quite hungry plants.

    Lots of info here which might be helpful



    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • lynscolynsco Posts: 15

    Thanks I meant to say there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot but I can not see water coming out of it

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    It also sounds as though the pot is full of roots.  Actually, it doesn't matter if the water goes through slowly, but bubbles coming up doesn't sound as though enough water is in the soil despite how often you water.  Have you tried soaking the whole pot for several hours to ensure the soil is well soaked.  Sometimes the water runs down the outside of the soil ball and does no good.  Have you got a saucer under the pot in this dry weather?

    Dig down a few inches under the soil and feel what is going on.

  • SunnydayzSunnydayz Posts: 50

    Can I just ask ... did you put any broken crocks over the drainage hole to stop it getting clogged up with compost. Sorry if you have done this already, but just checking.

  • lynscolynsco Posts: 15

    I didnt as the garden centre potted it for me, however i have just dug down and can see roots but not enough, also put kutchen towel under the drainage hole to make sure water was getting through and within a couple of mins it was wet

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