Clematis Vine Leaves Turn Brown And Brittle After Bloom

Question From: F. Quinn - Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, United States
Q: every year in early Spring my Clematis vine grows many large beautiful flowers...all at once. When they die back the leaves turn brown and brittle. My neighbors have different varieties and they bloom a bit later, last longer and don't have the die back of leaves. Does this sound familiar? Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

A: Your clematis has a virus. Remove the infected stems at the base of the plant. You can also treat with the fungicide Benomyl used as a soil drench. When planting setting the crown of the plant 3 to 4 inches deeper than the soil level is said to help prevent clematis wilt. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.