At what point do I give up and consider this thing dead?

violetta1976(8 Portland OR)March 4, 2009

Hello all,

I know I've been MIA for a while... sorry about that. Had a bad summer on my balcony last year because of some work done on the outside of the building, but am looking forward to seeing all my potted clemmies explode with new growth this year. I can see those new shoots coming out, and it's awfully exciting!

Here's the problem, though... it's my Mme Julia Correvon. I bought it mid-summer 2007 and it gave me a gorgeous show that summer... until it wilted. Then last summer it didn't do anything at all, although I checked at one point by poking down in the dirt with my finger and the roots were healthy. You guys chastised me (lol) for checking the roots because I could have damaged new growth that was trying to come up, so I haven't done that again since.

Now, however, all my clems have new stems coming up except for this one. Everything is in huge pots on my eensy-weensy balcony, so one non-performer is a huge waste of room.

What's your opinion? Give Julia Correvon one more summer to try and make good, or give up and replace it? What are the odds it would come back after all this time? Or, do I have your permission to poke down and see if the roots are still alive?

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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Good to hear from you Violetta. I am surprised that Mme Julia Correvon wilted on you since the viticella are generally not prone to it. I almost wonder if it didn't wilt from soil kept too wet or something similar. In in case, I would give it at least one more summer before I considered it MIA. If nothing else, you could always dump the contents of the container out and see if things are still alive and the roots still viable. IMO that is preferable to poking around in the soil not knowing if you are breaking off new shoots that are starting to come up. Of course, I have no clue how large your container is and whether it is even feasible to dump the contents out.

Clematis are resilient plants in my experience and anything is possible with them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 5:35PM
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One of my friends said she thought one of her clemmies died and about 4 yrs later it grew back. I don't know if you want to wait that long given your limited space but I'm relucted to throw any away, just in case it MIGHT come back.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 7:32PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Okay, I'll give it a while longer. Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:30AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It is certainly too soon to give up on it for this season. At least half of my Clems have no new growth yet.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 2:45AM
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This might not have anything to do with your MJC, but it is something to consider.

I've noticed in the past, when emptying out pots at the end of the season that some of the pots seemed water logged at the bottom. It wasn't until I read the following about water movement in soils that I understood why.

"There is, in every pot, what is called a "perched water table" (PWT). This is water that occupies a layer of soil that is always saturated & will not drain at the bottom of the pot. It can evaporate or be used by the plant, but physical forces will not allow it to drain."

Maybe MJC's roots are into this layer already and can't get enough oxygen.

Here is the link to more information.

Here is a link that might be useful: More info on PWT

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:11PM
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