New Growth Of Evergreen Clematis

Question From: R. Walker - Olympia, Washington, United States
Q: I have an evergreen clematis that I have had for several years. This year it bloomed beautifully, but since then the new growth turns brown and appears to die.

A: It may have developed Clematis Wilt. You should remove every infected branch. Cut them back to ground level. Clean up and dispose of all fallen leaves. After every cut wipe your pruners with alcohol. If the new growth is infected remove and do a soil drench with benomyl. Below is a portion of an article I wrote for The Detroit News regarding building up the resistance of your Clematis. Use it at sundown. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.

Researchers at the University of Florida and the USDA have confirmed that salicylic acid, the active ingredient in common aspirin, activates and boosts the natural SAR (Systemic Acquired Resistance) in plants against bacterial, fungal and viral diseases. The original formula calls for dissolving 1 (325 mg) uncoated aspirin in 2 gallons of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of a mild dish soap that acts a surfactant. The surfactant lowers the surface tension of the aspirin and water solution so it spreads evenly on the leaves of the plants and sticks to them rather than beading up. An anti-transpirant, such as Wilt-Pruf, is another option. Spraying the plants every three weeks will improve their resistance to disease and insects and also will increase their yields. Be sure to hit the undersides of the leaves, too. From The Detroit News: bdcW