Clematis problem

Mechanicville, NY

I started a clematis from a bare root. It was a boxed one and had a shoot coming up. I planted it on a north side of a slatted fence. It has its roots shaded and gets some sun coming thru the slats. Yesterday I noticed that the first 8 inches of the shoot had gotten hard and wood like. Is this normal or is it drying up? The rest of the plant seems fine. It is green and seems to be growing nicely. I water it almost every day. I may have missed a day or so. We also are in near drought conditions here in NY. I don't know much about clematis and I'm wondering if my plant is dying.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

clematis have a woody stem - it's probably fine. Mine are all rather stalky looking right now, but as long as the leaves are green and it isn't drooping, it probably looks the way it should.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

I have two clematis' growing and the people that have been living here never cut them back at all. The old woody vines have new shoots growing off of it all over. It looks terrible but I moved in too late to cut it back. I cut part of one of them back and ended up killing some of it. I should have tried to root some of the cuttings. I noticed that inside some of the old brown woody vines is green inside. Not all of it is green inside though. I really wish I had cut it back when I first got here but oh well. I guess I will get it this fall after it goes to seed. Another funny thing is one of them had seeds all over but the other I was unable to find a single seed pod. Is anyone familiar with clematis rehderiana and how it seeds? I believe that is what it is by looking at the foliage.

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