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Clematis nightmare - gardenymph - 05-22-2008

For the 1st time in 10 years, I am having trouble with my clematis. The one in question is a Multi-blue. It is covered in flower buds but the buds are being eaten from the inside out. Sad I can't find the critter responsible for the crime. Any thoughts?

Northeastern Massachusetts

Re: Clematis nightmare - IntrepidMeredith - 05-22-2008

Clematis is rarely affected by insects. The only references I've found are occasional bouts with aphids and one mention of earwigs eating the flowers at night.

Much more common (relatively speaking) is the disease called clematis wilt. The symptoms are shoots wilting (normally in early summer), sometimes affecting the entire plant. Eventually the diseased shoots turn brown and hang loosely from the main stems.

The cure is to cut out all affected shoots. If the entire plant is affected, cut it down to ground level, feed the clematis with liquid fertiliser and hope!

If this doesn't help, then try a thorough internet search, or cut off an affected piece, put it in a securely sealed ziplock bag, and take it in to your local nursery or county extention office. Just make sure that the bag remains sealed while you're showing it around!