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#54918 May 30th, 2007 at 07:44 PM
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My clematis is 3 years old and has never really grown any bigger then this picture. My problem is the leaves have a yellowish color to them. I did dig around it this year and added new soil and bone meal. So far no results. Help!

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they like their roots kept cool and they also don't like it when the roots are disturbed. i always mulch really well around the roots and/or put a large rock over the sunny side of the roots.

if it's been very dry lately, that could answer for the yellowish leaves.

do you know what variety it is? or at least what the flower looks like? post a pic of the flower if you can. kind of looks like nelly moser. if it is, they like a bit of shade - especially for the roots.

have you done any pruning back to it? if so, when?

also, what zone are you in? it might be that it's borderline hardy in your area. also, what kind of soil do you have?

generally, keep it well watered and protect the roots. if you know what variety it is, please post...different ones have different needs for sun/water/pruning.


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Thanks for you fast reply, I'll try and answer all your questions.

I can put rocks on the sunny side of the roots, but I had this before I dug it up this spring to add bone meal and new soil, so that can't be the problem.

We have mostly clay soil in our area, that's why I added premixed soil that I use in the greenhouse for my seedlings. To this I added bone meal.

We have had lots of moisture this last month.

I pruned this clematis back this spring, just before everything started to turn green. I think this clematis is purple it's name I can't remember and so far I've not taken any pictures of it.

I'm in zone 3b.


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Hello;

The roots having to be kept cool is correct,I just wonder if the rocks in the picture could heat up enough from the sun to
raise the soil temp to a danger level. I have four clematis and around each one i have a hosta or two planted to protect the roots from the sun by giving it shade.I do use sun tolerent hosta for this,but i would have to think any plant
that will take the sun and provide shade will work also.

Good Luck
Don


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Rosepetal, take away the stones and apply mulch. The stones aren't leaving the roots stay cool.

I'm in zone 4 and have trouble with Clematis as well. They never grow any higher than 5 or 6 feet. The winter and cold causes too much die back.

The toughest and hardiest I've found so far is "Ramona".


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most of the clematis aren't hardy in your zone. which doesn't mean they won't grow and thrive - microclimates, such as the one by the side of your house may be sufficient. if it's not one that's hardy in your zone, you will see less vine length as well as smaller flower size as well as less flowers total.

marie louise jensen and polish spirit are two purple varieties that are hardy in zone 3. does either name ring a bell?

regardless of which variety (the info would be helpful if we can identify the exact cultivar), the stone mulch (which i didn't make note of earlier, sorry! ) may be part of the problem - twofold, heat issues as well as moisture.

yes, remove the multiple stones and replace with mulch. by large rock i mean something that is BIG. the rock i've got is about 4 1/2 inches long by a couple deep and it's about 3 1/2 inches thick. and i've got mulch underneath it so that the water can get in there and feed all of the roots - not just the portion that's not covered by the rock. i've also got some plants nearby that grow up enough to add additional shading.

something that's large will absorb some sun-heat - if it's thick enough the heat won't transfer to the soil/roots. a bunch of smaller rocks can heat up and transfer the heat to the soil/roots. and if you don't have anything between those rocks and the soil, you could be exacerbating things. also, the rocks may be keeping the water from getting down to the roots - so this little guy may just be thirsty!

the pruning back before greening - should be okay. without knowing which variety, i can't say for sure. don't be surprised if you don't get flowers this year, tho. (some varieties bloom on last years growth).

how much sun and how much shade does it get and which direction is it facing?

since you did some fiddling around the roots - nothing wrong with adding in what you did, btw!, i'd just give it some extra tlc for the next month or so. keep it watered and it should bounce back after pouting a bit.

you definitely need to mulch the root area very well for winter in your zone. for winter, i put down a good, thick layer of crushed leaves on top of the regular mulch that's always there.


(@ swampfox!! which variety of hosta?? i've never done hosta because i thought they needed shade and i don't have any!!)


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Hello Joclyn;

I'll have to check my records, but I can't right now because
I'am at work,but I'll check tomorrow morning and get back
with you. By the way I agree with everything you said about
Rosepetals' problem, now that you brought it to my attention
I didn't see she is in zone 3 "burrrrrrrr"


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I live in zone 4 & have clay soil. I don't trim my
clematis plants. Some of them come back on the old growth shoots. I make sure there is another plant in front of the clematis like a sedum to protect the roots from the sun. I have one purple clematis that faces the south directly & the sedum is planted infront of it & it has helped. The other two clematis are planted facing the East & one has wild columbine growing in front shading the roots & the other has cone flower shading it. The yellow leaves could be the wet weather & those rocks could maybe be heating up with the sun hitting them & affecting your plant?

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Thanks everyone, I just planted a small shrub in front of my clematis and will add mulch later.

Are grass clippings alright or should I buy some bark or wood chips that you can buy at the greenhouses?

Bonny I think you may be right in that I shouldn't have trimmed my clematis. This is something I just learned and next year I'll leave it alone. My hydrangea is the same way, should have left it alone.

This is why I love it here on this forum, where else could I have learned all this. Thanks again everyone.


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I just reread your posts again. Joclyn I'm not sure about the variety will see if --- if it blooms. My clematis is facing east so it is getting a lot of sun and did get a lot of water from our recent rains. I'll just do the mulch yet.

I've been so busy lately that I hardly get time to even read your answers here. Thanks again for your help.


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well, if it blooms, please get a pic so we can identify it :wink:

grass clippings will be fine for mulch!


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Ok will do!


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