Return to the Clematis Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
My Clematis is wilting

Posted by redteddy 7a (My Page) on
Fri, May 11, 12 at 15:30

Hello everyone,

I have a clematis candidas in its second year. Anyway three days before it was green and lush with beautiful buds ready to burst open, then we had two days of downpour, I mean a lot of rain. Well today the darn plant has wilted. Its leaves look sickly, the buds are still upright but it literally looks as if it wants to fall right off of its vines!

I had read that clematis can take a lot of water, but this doesn't seem true of this one. I cannot think of any reason why it would suddenly wilt save the heavy rain. Should I just let it dry out? Apply fertilizer? How can I help it recover?

Thank you


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Large flowered hybrids - like Candida - can wilt very easily. And it has nothing really to do with water or the lack of it. These types of clematis are very prone to a problem known as "clematis wilt". There is some debate as to whether or not it is a fungal disease or just the tendency of young plants to outgrow the ability of their root system to support them. A lot of clematis growers favor the latter theory :-)

Regardless, it is seldom ever a fatal problem and the plants will typically outgrow it. Just cut back below any signs of the wilted growth and tend as usual. You will very likely get some decent regrowth this season and you should get flowers next. Although do not dispair if it takes longer - sometimes wilted clems can take a couple of seasons to spring back to healthy life.

Planting the vine deeply and cutting back hard for the first few seasons are ways to avoid contracting wilt. These conditions and the fact that only LFH-type clematis contract it and that the vines outgrow it in time all support the notion that this is not a true fungal disease at all but just a problem with excessively rapid growth on newly planted or young vines.


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Thanks Gardengal48. Should I cut back the vines too? Or just the green stems? Arghh! I really hate to do this! LoL. I mean all those buds just going to waste!

Ok. So all I need to know is if I need to rid it of the vines as well as the new growth.


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Cut back the vines


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Ok, thanks. I'm going out to do that right now. It looks as if I will have to cut it back to the ground. When it begins to re-grow should I use fertilizer or wait til it gets larger? I use the foliar micro-nutrient spray "spray & grow".


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Wait until you see significant new growth before you start fertilizing. And that could very well be not until next spring!

I am not a big fan of foliar fertilizers - plants absorb nutrients predominately through their root systems so a fertilizer applied to the soil at the root zone is vastly more efficient. You could use the water soluble fertilizer of your choice but the recommendation of many growers is to use a rose or tomato fertilizer. I personally like a good compost with some additional alfalfa meal.


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

I also use compost and alfalfa pellets. I might toss some Rose Tone around if I have some...


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Thanks I have Rose Tone but I didn't know it was good fertilizer for Clematis and I will wait until it has substantial growth. This clematis is pruning group 2. Could it have possibly wilting because I hadn't pruned it back 10 inches in the spring?

How often does this wilting business occur? Is there anything I can do to prevent clematis wilt?


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

  • Posted by bob414 USDA 9, Sunset 15 (My Page) on
    Sun, May 13, 12 at 15:45

If it's caused by too much top growth for the root system to support as many growers believe you could keep the top growth pruned back more until the root system develops.


 o
RE: My Clematis is wilting

Is there anything I can do to prevent clematis wilt?

There are no guarantees unfortunately, but the two primary things to do to avoid wilt (which I mentioned previously) is to plant deeply and prune back hard the first couple-3 growing seasons. Or you can focus on the smaller flowered species clematis, any pruning group 1's or most of the type 3 pruning group - the very early flowering or the later flowering types. These tend to be very resistant to any clematis wilt.

Wilting can occur seasonally with any of the LFH's but they do tend to outgrow it after their 4th or 5th year in the ground.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Clematis Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here