The Q&A Archives: Clematis

Question: I have several Clematis planted in various areas of the yard and they all seem to look like they are dying. The leaves grow green and then turn brown. I don't know if this is normal. I'd like to get a full vine of leaves and flowers but can't because of this brown leaf problem. Please suggest something to make this stop!!!

Answer: Based on your description, it sounds like your clematis is suffering from the problem called clematis wilt. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. On the other hand, it is not always fatal and many plants do recover. Remove the affected stems, cutting below the wilt. You may need to go as low as just below ground to remove all of the affected portion. Hopefully, it will regrow. To optimize its chances, keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. Use several inches of organic mulch over the root area to help keep the soil evenly moist and cool. Good luck with your clematis!

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