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Droopy Dorothy Walton

Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

The top growth on my clematis 'Dorothy Walton'  ('Bagatelle') has suddenly gone floppy.

I noticed it yesterday morning. Checked for stem damage as the bottom half of the plant looked ok, nothing obvious there.

Gave it a really good soaking and overnight we've had heavy rain and thunderstorms but it's still no better.

There is a bit of snail damage on the lower half and I carefully squish any aphids off the top daily. It's partner 'comtesse de bouchard' on the other side of the arch is fine.

I'm flummoxed, anyone have a clue what's wrong with it?



  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    Could be Clematis wilt. 

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Thanks for reply musher. Just googled wilt, the droopy leaves do look a little darker than the others but not blotchy. No discolouration on the stems though.

    Any advice for best treatment? Should I chop the affected bits off?

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    I've taken a couple more of droopy vs healthy growth, 

    First the problem bit, like a limp lettuce.


    And just a little bit away at the same height healthy new shoots


    Should I chop off the bad bits before it spreads?

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Bumping in the hope that someone here this afternoon can advise.

    Thinking about chopping it off but not sure how much.

    Just the droopy bits or the whole lot?

  • Somewhere on the affected stem there has to be some damage, either by wind or by something chewing at the stem, have a closer look just above the highest good node on the damaged stem.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Hi Richard, thank you for responding.

    Just been out for another look and still can't see any obvious damage (it was my first thought yesterday). The snails have chewed a few of the lower leaves but nothing at the top of the plant.

    Shall I remove the wilted stem as it's showing no signs of recovery? If so, by how much?

    I've removed a few of the leaves that were starting to look blotchy. Is it clematis wilt?


  • It's not wilt, clematis wilt is much spoken of but very rarely seen, just chop the droopy stem off above the highest good node, it will soon bounce back and long term will be beneficial to your plant.

    See, please, if you can show us a good picture of the area where the damage commences.

    Did you prune it hard back in February ?

    If so, this will be all new wood and I notice flower buds forming in one of your pictures, rather early for Dorothy Walton

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    I cut it down to about 1ft high in march and moved it from a planter into a deep hole in the garden,so yes it's all this years growth.

    I've only had it 2 years so I'm unsure of when it's supposed to flower. I'm in the north west of England and have had a bit of a heatwave over the past few weeks. Maybe that's why it's early?

    Most of my garden has been having a bit of a growth spurt with the unexpected sunshine and high temps. Both clematis on either side of the arch have been given a watering can full each every day.

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