I bought a Clematis triternata rubromarginata. It was unusual and scented.

It put on some growth and I was pleased. However, new shoots always seemed to grow away and then 'fall' back. I examined the roots, [which I should have done before purchase], and found the roots circling due to being pot-bound.

After repotting into a slightly bigger pot, I got some re-growth but then the slugs and snails attacked it. I then placed a layer of sharp sand over the surface of the pot to stop this and it seemed to be effective.

I got some more regrowth, just a few inches but then the new shoot developed a dark/black patch halfway up and the shoot crumpled. Not sure if a slug would have gone up the stem to attack it rather than just eat the base of the shoot. I appreciate this Clematis has faced a few challenges since purchase but unsure if this variety is going to ever thrive and should be regarded as too difficult or; whether it is just a poor specimen of this variety.

Location - sheltered position in Northern Scotland. Sorry no picture but there is so little of it make it worthwhile.

  • 1
    When did you buy the plant - this year, last year? and when you say a 'slightly bigger pot', do you mean one that was slightly bigger than the original one it was supplied in?
    – Bamboo
    Jul 13, 2020 at 9:27
  • I bought it this year, before 'lockdown'. I guess around March with a view to planting it April May dependant on the weather. Other issues meant I have not planted it out - partly because I wanted to ensure it was thriving. I have kept it fed. The pot was about a 'thumb' bigger, [all around the circumference], than the original. I understand that a lot of Clematis need to be planted a few inches deeper when permanently planted to prevent Clematis Wilt.
    – user30831
    Jul 13, 2020 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


I would suggest you get it in the ground as soon as you can; now is not an ideal time for planting, so you will need to water it in well and ensure you keep it well watered right up to autumn, particularly during warm, dry spells. The clematis you have can get up to 4 metres in height and is a vigorous plant, so it will do better in the ground than in a pot.

It probably isn't suffering clematis wilt, it's more likely cultural/environmental problems; clematis wilt is much more common in the large flowered varieties, but even then, isn't actually that common a problem. More research has been carried out into clematis wilt; latest info on it here https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=125

  • Thanks Bamboo. Read the RHS advice pages so see wilt more likely to affect other types. Regards,
    – user30831
    Jul 13, 2020 at 10:56

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