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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,085
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

I've had 5 Clematis plants at the end of our shared driveway in our town home. We planted them against a low fence, and my neighbor planted some as well. Until two years ago, they were huge every summer, and loaded with blooms - sunshine in the a.m. and shade in the afternoon. Two winters ago, we had an ice storm and the company hired by our management group spread about a 1" to 2" layer of salt pellets on the driveway and unfortunately they were also spread on the area where the clematis were planted. Since then, the clematis have been spindly and rarely flower. It looks like the salt melted into the soil and has severlely destroyed the clematis roots. They look so pitiful. I think my only option is to wait a few more years for the salt to totally leach out of the soil and then replant new clematis. Do any of you gardeners have any other suggestions? Or have any of you had plant damage from excess salt spreading in the winter? I reported the damage to the management company...not much they can do about it after the fact.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,848
Registered: ‎12-24-2010

Salt:  it did kill a burning bush next to the driveway - so planted a rose bush in its place and doing fine.  However, clematis is a tough plant to kill and roots go down to China.  Had a big beautiful white one on a 10 ft fence in the rear and eventually the vine got so thick it popped all the nails out and fence looked like a bomb hit it.  Decided to dig "C" up and get rid of it - which wasn't easy.  Repeat:  roots to china and plant suckers grew in neighbor's yard too & he wasn't happy..  I have to believe in time your "C" will come back - perhaps cut it down.........and wait.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,085
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

@fthunt, thanks....I just knew it had to be the salt. Although I didn't realize the roots on the clematis went that deep. That might be an idea to try something else instead of the clematis and see what it does. The salt layer was so thick and had I realized it at the time, I would have tried to get some of it off the planting area. Thanks again for your comments.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 70,557
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

This plant sounds like trumpet vine.  It too has long, deep roots, puts out suckers and is almost impossible to get rid of.  It ought to be illegal to sell these invasive plants without a warning.

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,085
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

@Kachina624, that's true....my clematis, even when they were big and beautiful, always stayed confined in their own planting area.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,685
Registered: ‎07-21-2011

@jannabelle1  They need food like Miracle Gro once a week at least.  If they don't pick up, I would pull out and replant new ones.  What a shame.  I hope the Miracle Gro helps.

kindness is strength
Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,730
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: My Sad Clematis

[ Edited ]

Check also for clematis wilt which is a fungal disease. This can cause clematis to look spindly too. If you plan on replanting the area. Look for varieties resistant to clematis wilt such as the mountain clematis — Clematis viticella varieties. 

 

Some varieties are listed here on this website: https://www.gardenia.net/plant-variety/clematis-viticella-group

 

A list is at the bottom of this page: 

http://www.clematis.com.pl/en/vines-in-garden/articles/404-clematis-viticella-group

 

I have ‘Betty Corning’ & it is well behaved on a 6’ metal tripod in the center of my rose garden. In my garden, it dies to the ground & re-emerges in the spring. Most of the varieties listed are available through mail order.

 

When Sandy hit homes along our South Shores of LI many homeowners had to adapt a wait and see with their landscape. The salt concentration due to flooding was not as bad as expected. A salt meter was put into the soils in various areas for research and the soil wasn’t totally destroyed. Many of the soils along our South Shore are sandy so water percolates through faster than our clay soils on the North Shore. Salt didn’t remain long in these sandy soils. 

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,085
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

Thanks for all the comments. I didn't think of a possible fungal disease....I will definitely look for hardier varieties when we replace them and also use Miracle Gro more often.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,469
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

We had an idiot neighbor decide that since she didn't have any insecticide to kill the tent caterpillars in a tree that hung over into our yard, she would use weed killer and killed all my plants on that side of the garden.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,730
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@jannabelle1I give my clematis a once a year feeding of Espoma Plant Tone in the spring as it is emerging. Since it is surrounded by roses, it probbly gets some of the Espoma Rose Tone which I apply monthly around the roses during the growing season (April thru August).

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼