What do clematis look like when the weather gets cooler?

violetta1976(8 Portland OR)October 6, 2007

Do they brown out and go leafless like trees? Or do they stay green all winter?

My Asao definitely had wilt, but now two of the Pallette are starting to look the same way - brown, limp leaves. Granted we've gotten a ton of rain lately and unseasonably cold temperatures, but the other Asao and my Madame Julia Correvon both still look fine. Is wilt contageous? Or is this just what they do in the winter, and the others will likely do the same soon?

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, they go brown and leafless like trees but it is WAY too soon for that here.

Mine are all lush and green and some are blooming. Unless they have mildew or wilt. ;)

Your Pallettes may have mildew or wilt.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:30PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Agree with BorS. Unless you are in severe drought conditions like most of the SE is, you should still have green leaves. Browning out due to cooler temps is usually just reserved to after the first killing frosts. Cooler weather, along with sufficient moisture, will normally cause clematis to put out new foliage since those conditions mimic what normally occurs in the spring.

One thing however that I have never seen written about is whether clematis respond to decreasing day length like deciduous plants and trees by having their leaves slow down and stop photosynthesis, causing their leaves to turn brown and fall off. Would be interested if anyone has ever seen anything like that written about.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:04PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Oh heck. It seems that 4 of the 5 clematis I got at Cornell Farms are giving me problems, while the one I got at Portland Nursery is still blooming like mad.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 2:52PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have purchased over fifty clems locally from at least fifteen different nurseries and had wilt or mildew or dieback from every nursery.

It is the nature of Clematis. Not a problem with the grower or retailer.

These problems while disappointing, are rarely fatal.

I have found that hard pruning when I plant greatly reduces them. Even if I have to cut off flowers and long vines, they tend to die back anyway.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:10PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

I can say that dieback and wilt are not typical for most of the clematis I have purchased over the years, but then I tend to gravitate towards the type IIIs. Mildew has been an issue on specific types of clematis (the texensis hybrids like Etoile Rose, Princess Diana, and Gravetye Beauty, and specific other cultivars like Roguchi, Pagoda, addisonii, and one time even Viola).

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:36AM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Hmm. The Pallettes are type IIIs, and I pruned them hard when I first planted them. I guess this is just something that happens sometimes, eh?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:10PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Live and learn Violetta. We all learn best by the experiences in our own gardens even though sometimes it is hard to accept the lessons that we are trying to be taught. I keep telling myself that with the drought we are having. The ones that survive are the tough ones and the ones that I should keep. The weak will be removed by Mother Nature!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 1:35AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Our individual climates do make such a huge difference.

I had mildew on every type III and also wilt or wilt like symptoms on type II's that were near them, even ones that have never ever done it before. Not sure if mildew exhibits differently on type II's and looks like wilt or what.

I am not particularly thrilled with all the type III's that I bought last year and bought mostly II's again this year. For me, they do bloom longer.

I do look at Clematis as a long term project. Not worried about mass blooms right away. I have been pruning all of them hard on a consistent basis and am pleased with the results. I do hope that I do not have to hard prune every Clematis every year in the future. It is extra work I don't need.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 1:30PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Violetta, you are not alone. Many of my clematis did well all season and then went brown all of a sudden probably starting in August or September. Some are starting to sprout weakly again from the crown.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 1:35AM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

Thanks Loretta.

Two of my six clematis are still looking okay (my Mme Julia Correvon looks amazing!), but I had to hard prune the rest because of wilt. Oh well, there's always next year. :0)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 4:50PM
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