What is clematis wilt and how to treat it


Plants get sick because of fungus, various clematis diseases and pests. Clematis wilt (sometimes it can be called clematis leaf and stem spot) is a devastating fungal disease. It makes clematis vines shrivel and may cause death of the plant. Large-flowered hybrid cultivars are prone to clematis wilt whereas the species with smaller flowers such as clematis alpine or clematis viticella for instance seem to be much more resistant.

At the very beginning you may notice black spots on the foliage and stems, observe reddish lesions along the stem. But very often the problem goes undetected until the whole vine turns brown. Luckily, the disease doesn’t affect the root system, so there is a cure for it. If you suspect a fungal infection, you are expected to cut out all the wilted stems back to the uncontaminated tissue. So as not to poison the ground the affected material must be destroyed immediately.

Prevention of this rapidly spreading disease presupposes growing the species in a neutral to slightly alkaline soil in the area protected from strong winds. The roots have to be shaded or kept under a layer of mulch. The upper part of the plant requires full sun.

When being planted, the vine should be buried in such a way that at least two buds along the stem will be underground. Thus a strong root system will develop which will nourish the plant.
The soil must be evenly moist. This will help to prevent stress.
You can also spray the preventative fungicide such as sulfur, for example.