Clematis Is Beautiful, Then Turns Brown
I have a Nelly Moser clematis that is over 10 years old. It is absolutely beautiful for a week or two, then the plant starts to turn brown and the petals get brown spots and fall off. I think it is some kind of wilt or disease. But it comes back every year. I have transplanted it to a different spot but with the same results. What should I do?
Several leaf spots, stem blights and root rots can cause the symptoms you describe. The dreaded stem wilt that most clematis growers fear has markedly different symptoms. Start managing the clematis disease with a thorough cleanup each fall. Remove diseased materials to reduce the source of disease the following season. If this doesn't work you may want to use a fungicide labeled for clematis in the spring. Start treating as new growth emerges and before the symptoms appear. This is important since most fungicides prevent not cure diseases. Consider using on of the more eco-friendly products labeled for controlling leaf spot on clematis. Fortunately I have seen plants decimated several years in a row, recover after good sanitation is followed for several seasons, and continue to grow and flourish for many years.