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Clematis Has Turned Brown, Wilted and Dried Up

My Ernest Markham clematis had yellow leaves last year and the finally turned brown and dried up.  I cut it down to the base and it is up again this year but the leaves are bright yellow.  I love this plant.  Can you tell me what to do?  I just fertilized with Miracle Gro.  I will appreciate any advice.

If the stems turned brown or black it is probably stem wilt.  I have been seeing quite a bit of this on clematis over the past decade.  The disease damages the base of the stem preventing water from reaching the leaves.  This results in brown leaves and stems that eventually die back to the ground.  The leaves often start out yellow or seem to brown overnight.  Prune back to ground level and dispose of infected in the fall.  This reduces the overwintering fungi and is often enough to control the problem.  If the wilt continues you may want to use a sulfur fungicide labeled for use on clematis.  Treatment must be done before the symptoms appear to be effective.


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