Clematis wilt and other clematis disease information. Leaf wilt, being the most common of the clematis diseases, is the one you are most likely to encounter when gardening with clematis flowers.
This is a fungal disease which usually rears its ugly head between spring and mid summer. It can strike suddenly.
Your beautiful clematis flowers can wilt and turn brown in less than a week. Sometimes the entire plant is infected. Sometimes clematis leaf wilt only affects a single stem.
The causes of clematis wilt are not fully understood.
One plant can be infected while other clematis vines planted right beside it remain healthy. The scientists who study such things are baffled by the mysterious behavior of this clematis disease.
The good news about leaf wilt is that it seldom kills the plant.
If your clematis vine looks dead, its top is dying, or it is wilting and developing black spots, it's probably infected.
Here's what to do:
Remove the affected plant parts. Do not compost them. Bag them and put them out with your trash.
How to Prevent Clematis Wilt
Keep the old adage about a clematis vine wanting to have its head in the sun and its feet in the shade when planting clematis roots.
Remember to plant it deeply, burying the first 2 nodes above the soil level in the container leaves and all.
The soil for clematis should be amended with plenty of organic compost. Do not amend clay soil with peat or it may become too moisture retentive and drown the plant's roots.
When watering clematis vines, soak the soil and keep it moist but do not water log it.
Finally, spray the vines with a systemic fungicide once a month.
Wilt Resistant Clematis Varieties
Clematis fungus wilt seldom affects Clematis species.
Also, the clematis hybrids resulting from the vitacella hybrid clematis crosses such as Clematis Etoile Violette, Ernest Markham Clematis and Madame Julia Correvon Clematis show marked resistance to clematis blight.
Mildew: This is another clematis fungus which is only problematic early in the season. Proper plant spacing and good air circulation will prevent it altogether.
Yellow Spots on Clematis Leaves: This is probably not caused by a disease but by a nutrient deficiency. The plant most likely needs magnesium. Sprinkle Epsom Salts around the root zone and water it in. New leaves that form should come in dark green.
However, once a clematis leaf is marred that leaf will not return to its former state. You have to pick it off or wait for it to fall and be replaced by fresh new leaves.