Ask a Question forum: New clematis dying?

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Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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JungleGodess
Jan 16, 2018 7:37 PM CST
I've tried to grow a few different clematis plants, this time I opened them all up at the store and picked out some that I knew were alive. Planted them in large pots and watered. They are shaded most of the day but still get the morning sun. It's only in the 70s here right now. I know they are difficult to grow here in AZ, but I wanted to give it a shot, I know few have managed it. But sold in my local tractor supply and Home Depot and hardy in zone 9. So it says... but shortly after I plant them, they seem to just wilt away and die. I have grown gardens all my
life and plenty of potted plants plus a houseful of house plants. I've never had this kind of difficulty getting something started. What am I doing wrong?
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Jan 16, 2018 8:01 PM CST
I have a large number of Clematis, kinda lost count right now, but by chance did you fertilize them? I have found in my much cooler zone, that my Clematis do not like fertilizer, and in a pot, the effect could be even more intensive. If they just up and died very quickly, then I respectfully submit it could be overwatering or fertilizing or both. Clematis grow huge root systems, and the few times I have lost a Clematis, I am certain it was because I watered heavily just a day or so before, and the result was the equivalent of Clematis "Wilt". Ironically, I have one potted under lights in the basement right now, and the drier it is the happier (short of drying it out altogether) it appears to be. I always buy 5 or 6 each Spring, and this one sat in the shade all summer, never got around to planting it. Doing very well in the basement. Also, they do need some sun. Is there a chance you can move the pot around to other sides, to give it a little more sun. They usually don't die from lack of sun, but certainly do not grow much either. Cheers. PS. Please accept this post as general knowledge on Clematis, having absolutely not a hint of growing same in your zone. PSS. If it was Clematis "Wilt", the plant will come back the following year.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 16, 2018 9:13 PM CST
Welcome! Junglegoddess

There's no reason why a Clematis wouldn't do well in your area. I grew them in some pretty hot weather in California and they never had a problem. But I do think there are a couple things you need to do to be successful.

Don't buy them in a box at Home Depot. Wait until they come out in pots a little later in the season. What I have noticed about those boxed Clematis is that they are puny and not all that healthy.

You don't say how big your pots are but Clematis have a large root system. Your pots need to be about 25 gallons. Cover the surface of the pot with rocks or something to keep the soil cool.

Be careful of the roots - try not to cause too much damage. Plant them slightly deeper (up to 2 inches) than they are in the pot.

Keep the soil evenly moist. Most plants do best with consistant water. If you can add a drip system, it would help a lot.

Never fertilize a newly planted plant. The soil in the pot is good for the first - you can fertilize the second year but use it at 1/4 the recommended strength.

If they don't bloom, they need more sun. I would avoid afternoon sun though as you will end up with crispy leaves - that won't harm the plant but they are prettier with green leaves. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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JungleGodess
Jan 16, 2018 9:35 PM CST
Thanks for the welcome and the reply! I am super happy to be part of a community. Even my florist tells me that I have too many plants by now. Hilarious! So it will be great to have people that share my love. ❤️

Ok. So, I did not fertilize, but I probably did overwater. I wondered about shock? It really only has been a few days this round. Maybe they'll perk up if I space out my watering some. They were very tiny plants, but seemed to have decent amount of roots. This is only the 2nd year I've seen them in store, and I don't guess I've ever seen them in pots. Maybe if I hit the stores in the north part of the state, I can find potted ones.

So anyway, I believe it is a 20" pot. I bought them specifically for the clematis, since I am in a rental. Ever since I visited my boyfriends family in Iowa, I've been obsessed with them. His grandmother had an absolutely gorgeous purple clematis. I've never seen them before that. 😮

One of them seems to have a substantial stem growing, but the top with the leaves was damaged. Still having hope. I'll try to move them to the sun for now and let it dry out a bit.

What about b12 for shock? Is it too late? Or even worth the try?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 16, 2018 11:42 PM CST
Sounds like you have a good start. A 25 gallon pot would be 18x18x18 inches. B12 is for shock in people, not plants. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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JungleGodess
Jan 20, 2018 8:49 AM CST
I meant B1, 😁 but I guess it can work the same for plants when you're transplanting them.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Jan 20, 2018 11:10 AM CST
Vitamin B1 is also for people and won't do a thing for your plants. Read this:

https://cals.arizona.edu/yavap...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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JungleGodess
Jan 20, 2018 4:16 PM CST
Good to know! Thanks!
Name: Shirley Basham
Buckeye, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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JungleGodess
Feb 2, 2018 9:29 PM CST
Hi! I just wanted to say thank you so much for the advice and replies! Turns out I was actually watering too much. 😵 They are tiny but mighty. We are off to a strong start. Sorry for the terrible pics, but I wanted to share. I'm excited for my very first clematis plants. 🤗


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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Feb 2, 2018 9:49 PM CST
Yeah!! Hurray! Hurray!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

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