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Re: update on my poor clematis.

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by DaisyM on June 09, 2005 07:12 AM
Hi all, I posted a topic on my clematis a while back, and it seems like I lost all 3 of them. Two of them were 7 years old and well established. They were planted against a high fence and going up an arbour across the sidewalk. In the fall, I tended to them like I've always done. This past winter wasn't any colder than it usually was. The only thing I can think of is that I may have cut them down too soon (April) They were jackmanis. My other theory is and it's just a theory. My neighbour got a dog last year, and put a big doghouse on the other side of the fence, directly behind my clematis, so even though we had a lot of snow this year, there was no snow cover behind the clematis because the doghouse was there. Could this have made a difference? I'm trying to determine if I plant new ones, if the same thing will happen? I still haven't dug the old ones out, but I'm pretty sure they are goners, because there is no life to them whatsoever, and nothing is coming out of the ground and they should have been 4-5 ft by now. I'm upset as they had grown to be so big and flowered so beautiful, now they're gone. Thanks for listening to me vent!
by DaisyM on June 22, 2005 01:06 PM
Hi, I tried to dig out my clematis but couldn't because the roots were too deep. I was also interested to see if there was any sign of life in them. The roots were soft, but there was no hair like roots shooting from them. I'm pretty sure that it's gone, but I left them in the ground to see if by some miracle they would come up. I also phoned the Greenhouse and they told me to try some Tomato Food in the soil to see if that would bring it up. It's 2 weeks now, and still no sign, but I hope this tip helps someone else with an ailing clematis.
by phoenix on June 23, 2005 04:00 AM
[wayey] daisym
do you think that maybe the dog may have "tinkled" on your plant? that would be the only thing i could think of

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"If you want to talk bollocks and discuss the meaning of life,you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.That way you're drunk by the time you start to take yourself seriously"
by DaisyM on June 23, 2005 05:38 AM
Phoenix, thanks for the reply and LoL the dog didn't piddle on it. If he did it would have made more sense, but the dog is on the other side of the fence. The only thing behind where the clematis's are, that didn't use to be there, is a big doghouse. Do you all think I should try again and take my chances by planting new ones in the same spot?
by phoenix on June 23, 2005 05:43 AM
i would try one plant there and also do a few in another area. when your neighbors put the dog house in did they maybe do anything to the ground on thier side of the fence and maybe disturb the roots of the clematis. i just moved last week to a new place and uprooted mine and put it in a container it seems to be doing fine i hope it stays with me

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"If you want to talk bollocks and discuss the meaning of life,you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.That way you're drunk by the time you start to take yourself seriously"
by DaisyM on June 23, 2005 01:44 PM
Phoenix, thanks. I'm wondering if it's already too late to start one this summer. Maybe I should wait until next spring, that way it will have a better start. As far as I know, nothing was done to the ground on the other side of the fence, outside of the doghouse that was put directly behind the clematis. It could be that it was lacking the insulation of the snow cover, or it could be a coincidence that I lost them all at once. I guess I won't know until I try again.
I'm glad that your clematis is doing well, as I heard that they don't like to be moved. Are you planning to put it into the ground soon? Whatever you decide, the best of luck. When they mature they are so beautiful, so I hope it stays with you too. What type of clematis do you have? When I went to the store, I couldn't believe how many differnt ones they had.
by ninniwinky on June 27, 2005 12:30 AM
You know, I am by no means a gardener, but, my mom planted a clematis vine on this old stump 25 years ago, well we moved away about 18 years ago, and I moved back 5 years ago (Long Story, I know). Anyway, the first year here there were no signs of it, the second year my boyfriend was weedwacking and completely demolished anything near that old tree stump!!! I mean down to DIRT!!now, 3 years later since the weedwacking incident, we have the BIGGEST most beautiful Purple clematis vine growing! has to have about 40 or 50 Flowers on it!!
Maybe you could cut it right down and hope for better next year. But PLEASE remember I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo farrrrr away from being a gardner!!!!

Good Luck!!!

by DaisyM on June 27, 2005 03:26 AM
Wow, a miracle clematis comeback. Mine were cut down to about 4-6" as every year. I still haven't pulled them, but could try to cut them down even further. Thanks for the inspiring story.
by weezie13 on June 27, 2005 05:19 AM
Would the dog have tinkled AROUND his dog house?

I don't grow them either,
well, I had one, hadn't planted it, left it in the pot, and had set it down on top of my raised bed to plant and got sidetracked...
the root went to the dirt below, and without knowing it, picked up the pot later to plant it and snapped the tap root.... [shocked] [lala] but being the eternal optimist... I planted it anyways, and it GREW!!!!, but I didn't have it in the right spot and it came back the following year, but it didn't do well, and half way thru the summer it went belly up..
So, I never got another one..
My mom has one, but is in the shade and it is not doing well either..

Buttttttttt, my theory is....
if you're not 100% sure, leave it and see..
Better to be safe than sorry, is my motto..
You'd feel bad if you pulled it up and it was

But, I would also say, it's probably not too late to find another one and plant that, I'm sure they're still selling them...
It would give it two months+ to establish it's self, but only fertilize it until the first of
August and then absolutely nothing, so it can go nightie~night!!! [sleepy]

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by DaisyM on June 27, 2005 07:03 AM
Weezie, thanks. The dog may have tinkled in the area, but I'm not sure. I don't want to upset the neighbour by asking them if they could move their doghouse, nor do I want them to think I'm holding them responsible for my poor clematis. Whatever it was, it doesn't even matter at this point. The only reason I questioned the doghouse was to get some advice if this could have been a possibility, and find out if I'll be wasting my money planting another in the same spot.
I sure miss the privacy that the clematis gave, so I planted some pole beans along side of it, so they are starting to trail up the lattice.
P.S. I like your motto and will leave it in a little while longer to see if it is indeed trying to come up.
We are supposed to get a nice hot July. The garden centers around here, still have plenty of plants left, because of our cool and rainy spring. I can only imagine that they took a huge loss this year as their plants are overgrowing their containers and are now looking in very poor shape.
These last few years, our Augusts have been a mixture of warm and cool days, so I think it will be better to wait and replace it next spring. I bought a clematis for my mother-in-law this past Mother's Day and I looked at it today and see that even though it's growing, it's so puney in comparrison to a well established one.
Thanks again for the advice, I appreciate it.
by ninniwinky on June 27, 2005 07:35 AM
one other quick thought, Ever since that clematis has been blooming, and we realized that is was still there, we NEVER have cut it back or trimmed it, It just grows and sleeps as it pleases.

Good Luck!!

by DaisyM on June 27, 2005 08:17 AM
Ninni, thanks so much. The directions on my Jackamani, said to cut it down every spring and I've been doing this faithfully. I don't think it matters. My sister owns two well established Jackmanis, and she does nothing, no trimming or cutting and hers are every bit as beautiful as mine were. Since, I cut mine down in the end of April this year, maybe it was too soon, because we did have some unexpected cool days after it. I may as well quit blaming myself and concentrate on my beans alongside, trailing up, hopefully without being eaten by caterpillars. Hopefully one day, I'll see some life coming from the clematis.
Ninni, I'm praying that mine will have a miracle comeback, just like yours did. LOL, my husband is terrible with weedwacking. He doesn't watch, he wacks absolutely everything in his path. Hee hee, maybe I should tell him to go and weedwack my clematis or what's left of it.
by ninniwinky on June 27, 2005 08:33 AM
I forgot to add that after he weedwacked that vine to the ground, he Doused it with Weed Killer, he thought it was Poison Ivy!!!! and it STILL came back!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

by atreus on July 13, 2005 07:58 AM
clematis are funny buggers. Thay can seem to die back very suddenly for no apparent reason.

However, in this case (as has happened to me) I would rather think that maybe your neighbour has been chucking excessive amount of weedkiller about.

I do hope not, though [Smile]

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by DaisyM on July 13, 2005 12:16 PM
Atreus, thanks for the reply. I know that my neighbour does use weedkiller because last year I walked right into it when I opened my back door. He was spraying the weeds against the fence which I did not appreciate, as I already had almost ripe tomato's on the vines against the fence. He may have sprayed behind my clematis (probably did) but since it was last August, would it have a bearing on the clematis not coming up this year?
by RugbyHukr on July 13, 2005 12:23 PM
Most weed killers kill down to the roots.

And, as far as "dowsing wood that was weed wacked down to the ground with weed killer". Most weed killer is absorbed through foliage. So, that is not neccessarily a tribute to clematis "toughness".

Good Luck !!!

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!
by atreus on July 15, 2005 06:44 AM
Couldn't say.....

Unlikely, unless he is at it again. You could ask him and let him know that you have plants there, but knowing some of my neighbours that might just fuel his ferver [Smile]

Clematis (I am told) have very shallow roots, and if elements (like drought, unusually hot sun, wind, frost) get to them it can cause sudden and catastrophic 'Clematis Wilt'. I grow about seven species of clematis, and although I am fairly knew to them they are tricky to handle. But well worth it when they establish.

Take a look at the link below and you'll see what I mean.

Also remember that Clemmies like good sun on their leaves, but cool roots, if you have them on a south facing wall with the soil exposed to sunlight get some white stone chippings and put a good thick layer down around the base of the plant. That should sort you out. [Smile]

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by DaisyM on July 21, 2005 11:05 AM
Hi, I just had to stop by and share this with you all. The other day I looked at my poor clematis which I thought was a dead goner and Lo and behold, I have one stem that came out about 4-5" away from the main plant stub, and is branching out at 10" long. Just goes to show you that it pays to wait. I almost dug this one out. The other one is still not showing signs of life, but who knows, as I see with my own eyes, miracles do happen.

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