Growing Clematis In Containers Stems Have Turned Brown And Woody

Question From: R. Winthers - TEXAS
Q: Hi Nancy, I was given a clematis plant a few weeks ago as a gift. When I first got the plant it was full of flowers and awaiting blooms. After all the flowers bloomed and have fallen off I transplanted it into a bigger pot and I've noticed that all of the stems have turned brown and have a wood-like texture. I've been reading a lot about Clematis Wilt, and I'm wondering if that's what it is. One source said that once the stems turn woody it is less likely that the plant will be susceptible to this disease. All the leaves are still very green, except one small section that died off. Just wondering what the best course of action would be here. Thanks! Rachel Winthers


Rachel, The stems of clematis turn woody as they mature. Cut away the the dead part that has browned. If the plant had wilt all the leaves would die, so I think your fine. Keep it watered so the soil stays moist, not sodden. Not all clematis are good for containers, dwarf or slow growing varieties are best. Look for varieties including "Bees Jubilee," "Carnaby," "Dawn," "Fireworks," "Lady Northcliffe," and "Royalty." Choose a large pot 16 to18 inches and plant the root ball 2-inches below the soil line. Fertilize monthly with a 10-20-10 fertilizer. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.