Answer: If your clematis didn't experience a late frost, I can only guess that the older foliage is being dropped to make room for new leaves. (Wish I could be more helpful, but without seeing the plant, it's difficult to make a diagnosis!) Since you're sure it's planted in the right spot and the soil drains well, that only leaves some environmental problem such as frosty weather, or it's a natural leaf drop. For a positive diagnosis, why not take a sample of the problem to your local Cooperative Extension office or the WSU plant clinic in Puyallup? Helpful experts there can help you solve your problem. Phone 253-798-7180 (Tacoma) or 253-445-4500 (Puyallup). Best of luck with your clematis!
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