How to plant and care for climbing hydrangea

How to plant and care for climbing hydrangea

Hydrangea is the undisputed queen of the southern garden. Whether you plant a bigleaf hydrangea, a clustered hydrangea, a smooth hydrangea, or an oakleaf variety, a well-cared for hydrangea will give you lots and lots of gorgeous blooms all summer long. Looking across a yard at a bank of hydrangea bushes in full bloom is certainly a sight to behold, but consider looking up at the climbing hydrangea, a flowering vine that produces clusters of white, lace-capped flowers. Using the suckers on the branches, the climbing hydrangea will scale walls and other structures, sometimes reaching 50 feet or more in length at maturity.

Plant traits

  • Common Name: Climbing hydrangea
  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea anomaly
  • Family: Cuban
  • Plant type: perennial, vine
  • Mature Size: 60 feet tall and 6 feet wide
  • Sun exposure: partial, shade
  • Soil type: loamy, sandy, loamy, moist but well-drained
  • Soil pH: acidic, neutral, alkaline
  • Flowering time: spring, summer
  • Flower colour: white
  • Hardiness Zones: 4-8 (USDA)
  • Native region: Asia
  • Toxicity: Moderately toxic to people, toxic to pets

Hydrangea care

Climbing hydrangea vines can climb tree trunks, sturdy trellises, trellises and fences. Vines get large and heavy over time, so make sure the host structure can handle the weight of the vines and that the structure isn’t something (such as the siding of a clapboard house) that might rot or need replacing or repainting. Plants can also be pruned to maintain a shrub-like shape. Climbing hydrangea can also be used as a ground cover, rooting where the suckers contact the ground and filling in the area. Here’s another reason you’ll love climbing hydrangeas: They’re salt-tolerant plants that are very popular in coastal communities. Vines usually don’t bloom until they are three to five years old, so be patient.

a light

Climbing hydrangea is one of the few shade-tolerant flowering vines. In hot climates, choose a location where the plant receives dappled sunlight or partial shade. In cool areas of the South, the vine may do well with plenty of morning sun if watered adequately. Climbing hydrangeas that get more sun tend to flower better.


Climbing hydrangea needs rich, moist, well-drained soil. If your soil needs improvement, mix in a generous amount of compost before planting. Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch to help retain water in the ground around the root zone and reduce weeds.


As with other hydrangeas, this species likes constantly moist soil. Place it where it is watered about an inch per week, or even in hot weather. An interesting side note about the word hydrangea: Greek root hydra Refers to water, and angeon It comes from the Greek for “ship.”

Temperature and humidity

This plant is hardy in USDA plant zones 4 through 8 and does well in moderate climates but may wilt in hot, humid conditions. It can be damaged by sunburn and prefers daytime temperatures around 70 degrees F and nighttime temperatures around 60 degrees.


Fertilize this plant in the spring before the leaves begin to bud. Granular fertilizers with a high phosphorus content will create beautiful flowers. Fertilize again after the flowers bloom in the summer.


As noted above, newly planted climbing hydrangeas are slow to grow and slow to flower. However, once plants are established, climbing hydrangeas tend to be vigorous growers. You can prune it to keep it under control, but wait until summer after the flowers have finished blooming.

Propagated climbing hydrangea

Climbing hydrangea can be propagated by cuttings. Do this in the spring, when the plant puts out tender new growth, by following these steps:

  1. Fill the seed tray with light soil or seed starting soil and moisten the soil.
  2. Sterilize sharp pruning shears with alcohol.
  3. Select a green stem and cut 3- to 5-inch sections, taking care to trace the tip that points upward.
  4. Remove all but the top pair of leaves from each cutting.
  5. Dip each cutting in rooting powder and stick the bottom of the stem an inch or two into the soil of the seed tray.
  6. Cover the tray with a clear plastic dome or piece of plastic and place it in a warm place under indirect light.
  7. Mist regularly with a spray bottle to prevent the soil from drying out. The cuttings should root in about a month, at which point you can move them into individual pots and gradually expose them outside.

Hydrangeas can also be propagated by layering in spring, as long as you have a young, healthy branch close to the ground:

  1. Gently pull the green stem into the ground. Take a sharp, clean knife and slit the bark at the bottom of the stem where it meets the soil.
  2. Remove any leaves in the area where the stem comes into contact with the soil.
  3. Use a twisted wire or natural pin to secure the spot you have firmly attached to the soil.
  4. Place a brick or stone on top of the stump. Monitor the soil moisture and water when it dries.
  5. Once the stem has taken root, you can cut it from the mother plant just behind the roots. Leave the cut stem undisturbed for a week before digging it up and planting it.

How to grow climbing hydrangea from seed

To grow climbing hydrangea from seed, use mature seed pods collected in the fall. Fill a pot with moist soil and place the seeds on top of the soil. Cover the pot with a clear plastic dome or plastic wrap to help retain moisture and place it in a warm room with indirect light. The seeds should germinate in about two weeks. Remove the plastic and water regularly to keep the soil moist. You can plant in the spring as soon as temperatures begin to rise.


Before freezing temperatures arrive, water moisture-loving hydrangeas well. Add a thick layer of mulch to retain heat and moisture.

How to make climbing hydrangea bloom

Climbing hydrangeas can take a few seasons or even a few years for climbing hydrangeas to become established and begin blooming in late spring or summer. Be careful not to prune the vine in fall, winter or spring, as you may remove the flower buds. Your hydrangea will not form buds unless there are six weeks of temperatures below 65 degrees. A sudden frost may damage flower buds that are about to open. If your hydrangea is about to bloom, cover it with a blanket or cloth until the cold snap passes.

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