How to keep clematis healthy?

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This is the third year and my clematis is finally producing beautiful flowers. The base however, does not look good. Small, spindly and now yellowish. I only water at the base as I was told. Am I doing something wrong? It hardly seems like it will be able to support the plant!

q how to keep clematis healthy

Top of plant, flowering nicely.


q how to keep clematis healthy

Bottom of clematis plant. I have small rocks around the base, as I was told to do.


  5 answers
  • Jaynie Jaynie on Jun 25, 2019

    The bottom and roots of the clematis need to be shaded, otherwise your clematis will continue to look weak or die. Plant some marigolds, snapdragons, greenery or whatever you like about 4-5 inches in front of the clematis. The shade from these plants will protect the bottom of the clematis and the roots from too much sun and weather. After you have planted the plants to protect your clematis, it should start growing like crazy.


    Good luck.

    • Barb Verbos Barb Verbos on Jun 25, 2019

      Thank you. That makes sense. The rocks were put there after I read something similar about shading the roots, but plants will be better. Wish me luck!

  • Lindasgarden4 Lindasgarden4 on Jun 26, 2019

    I use day lilies for shade. Your plant looks like it is large enough to get the sun light above the lily and continue to grow and you don't have to replant every year. Plant lilies and your done. Be careful to allow growing room keeping the lily back away from the clematis.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jun 26, 2019

    You can also add some "yard art" around the base to provide additional shade while not robbing the clematis of nutrients.

  • Diane Holley Diane Holley on Jun 26, 2019

    I also put mulch around mine & cut them back every year. In the fall/winter, I cover them with leaves, when I see growth, clear the leaves, feed with Miracle Grow & add fresh mulch.

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