Climbing Hydrangeas – Types of Hydrangeas – Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala, s. petiolaris) is perfect for the garden. It’s low-maintenance, pretty much pest and disease free, and easy to grow.
The Climbing Hydrangea uses aerial rootlets to anchor itself to walls, trellises or trees, and can reach heights of almost 70′. It’s hardy to zones 4 through 7.
As a vine, it takes up little horizontal space, but creates a great vertical statement. Climbing Hydrangea is deciduous, and has dark green, well-defined foliage.
It’s an early-summer bloomer, producing creamy-white, fragrant flowers from late June to early July.
Climbing Hydrangea is truly a plant for all seasons. As the flowers fade and summer dove-tails into fall, Climbing Hydrangea’s leaves turn a burnished yellow.
After they drop, the wonderful peeling cinnamon-brown bark, is exposed. Lingering brown flower heads provide even more winter interest.
Flowering Hydrangea also attracts the 3 “B’s” of the garden world – birds, bees and butterflies.
This plant likes shade best, but will tolerate a sunny location except in the most southern climes.
Plant Climbing Hydrangea in moist, loamy, well-drained soil – it doesn’t like “wet feet”. Mulch with 2″ of shredded hardwood to retain moisture.
It’s initially a slow growing plant, spending energy into establishing its root system instead of upward growth or blooms. Have patience – it will take off after a couple of years.
Use this plant to train up a trellis or on a rock or masonary wall (make sure the mortar is in good condition, as aerial rootlets have been known to pry out crumbling mortar).
It creates a great vertical statement atop a fence, or screening an unsightly view. It can also make an effective ground cover for slope protection.
Suckers can be a problem. If using in a garden bed or border, use an edge strip to keep it confined.
Considered by many to be the best climber in shady temperate zones, and a star 4-season performer, Climbing Hydrangea will delight gardeners for years to come.