Evergreen Clematis – Brown Crunchy Branches

Q: We have several evergreen clematis that we planted several years ago. All of a sudden, random branches are all crunchy and brown with no new growth. Any hope for salvaging them? 

A: My experience with evergreen clematis (Clematis armandii) is the same as yours: Sometimes, parts of it die for no apparent reason. The good news is that mine has come back faithfully after each of these harrowing episodes. Clematis gardeners have known of a disease called clematis wilt for decades. One expert has theorized that extensive hybridization with a species of clematis, Clematis lanuginosa, which came from China in 1851, led to disease susceptibility. There is no fungicide registered for control of the disease. If your vine is healthy, it will very likely come back again as mine does.

  • Advertisement