Clematis Vine Stems Turning Brown

Question From: N. King - Newfoundland, New Jersey, United States
Q: Parts of my clamatis vine stems are turning brown and look to be dying off......

A: your clematis has a fungal disease called clematis wilt. Clematis wilt is caused by a fungus that produces reddish lesions on the stems; causing foliage above the lesions to suddenly wither. On established plants, the older, woody stems are usually attacked first. If unchecked, the fungus moves up and down the stems, eventually killing the plant. The disease is encouraged by wet weather and thick, tangled top growth that doesn't dry out. As soon as you notice the top growth withering, cut the vine back to 6 inches above the ground (lower if there are lesions below that point). The vine usually sends up new shoots from the base. Burn the prunings or dispose of them in a trash bag. Spray healthy plants with ferbam fungicide once a week as a preventive. For more information search Yardener for *Controlling Fungal Disease * Best and Happy Yardening, Nancy