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Sad clematis

GrumpymumGrumpymum Oxfordshire Posts: 77
Two years ago I planted a clematis Guernsey cream, but it has hardly grown and the leaves look very pale and sad.

It's on a South facing wall, but only gets sun until about 2 pm when the sun disappears behind the house. Clay soil, but I've added plenty of homemade compost to try and improve it. There are some other plants in front of it to shade its roots. Last year I watered it regularly,  mulched it, and gave it BFB in the Spring,  and then some liquid feeds over the Summer.  Nothing seemed to perk it up though. I have some summer flowering clematis just a few feet away and they are fine. 

This Spring it still looks very sad and although it has some flower buds, there's not much sign of any new leaves growing. What am I doing wrong?


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,203
    If t is planted up as close to that wall as the photos imply it will be very thirsty because it will be in the rain shadow of the roof and also have loads of moisture absorbed by the wall so I would suggest regular watering especially in dry periods and an annual, generous feed of slow release fertiliser for clematis, roses or tomatoes and an occasional liquid feed with rose or tomato feed.

    If you do all that and then dead head after the initial flowering in May/June, you should get good growth and new flowers in September.  Training any new shoots sideways rather than up will also encourage flowers.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GrumpymumGrumpymum Oxfordshire Posts: 77
    Thanks Obelixx. It's actually on a garden wall about 5 feet away from the house, and planted about a foot out from the base of the wall. I watered it thoroughly a couple of times per week last summer, and gave it regular liquid feeds with some tomato food, but it didn't seem to help at all :( 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,203
    Maybe it's just taking its time to settle in then.  I've had clematis do that and they suddenly take off in year 3 or 4.   Don't give up on it.   Do try a slow release feed too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • If it was mine I would chop it down to the floor and flood it with a hosepipe for half an hour, treat it as a Group 3, get some water to the roots.  You said that your Summer flowering varieties are good.
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