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Why can I not grow clematis?

United Kingdom Gb

They always wither and die on me. I have two now, one planted in the garden and growing (incredibly slowly) up the fence and another in a tub. Both look sick and spindly and are just not flourishing. I have covered the base / roots with tiles but don't know what else to do with them. And I have no idea what type of soil it is. I normally mix old soil and stones at the bottom of the pot, then good soil mixed with perlite and a little horse manure in the middle. My garden soil has had so many bags of compost on it, it must be really good soil by now!!.



Hi Dreadlocklover and welcome to GoY what sort of soil are you growing the clematis in?

31 Jul, 2009


Welcome Dreadlocklover! Clematis are great - once you abide by some easy rules! Above all - keep their "feet " in the shade and their "heads" in the sun!!
Plant them DEEP - so that if you do get the dreaded Clematis Wilt - they will have a good chance of sprouting again. Give them a nice big hole with plenty of moisture retaining compost...they love their grub! Your tiles are a great idea - but don't forget to put some slug pellets under them! Keep them well watered until established and tie 'em up as they scramble ! Not so happy about the idea of them in tubs - it can be done but the care has to be constant - unless it is a mighty big tub! I would plant it out - if you have the space somewhere.

31 Jul, 2009


Hi there. It might help to add a few lumps of chalk to the planting hole if you have access to chalk. I heard this from an old gardener on the radio who pointed out that the wild clematis (traveller's joy or Old man's beard) grows best on chalk hills. This is certainly true round this neck of the woods! I suppose a dressing of lime would have te same effect?

1 Aug, 2009


Hi there - what an interesting idea and of course lumps of clay would hold a lot of moisture (more than ordinary soil) - which is exactly what clematis love - so a couple of lumps in each hole could certainly be beneficial....along with plenty of rich compost....sounds like clematis heaven!!

2 Aug, 2009

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