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Planting Climbing Hydrangea - Everything You Need to Know

planting climbing hydrangea

Climbing hydrangea is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be used in various ways to enhance the beauty of your garden. Whether you want to use it as a ground cover or to climb up walls or trellises, climbing hydrangea can add a touch of elegance to any outdoor space. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about planting climbing hydrangea.

What is Climbing Hydrangea?

Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) is a deciduous vine that climbs by aerial rootlets. It is native to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan and has become popular in North America and Europe due to its beautiful white flowers and attractive foliage. This plant grows well in zones 4-8 and can reach a height of up to 50 feet.

Section 1: Choosing the Right Location

Before planting climbing hydrangea, it is important to choose the right location. This plant prefers partial shade or full shade and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. However, it does best in humus-rich, moist, and well-draining soil. Avoid planting climbing hydrangea in areas with strong winds, as it can damage the delicate branches.

Subheading 1: Soil Preparation

To prepare the soil for planting, remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the planting area. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and mix in some compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and drainage. Water the soil well before planting.

Subheading 2: Planting Techniques

To plant climbing hydrangea, gently remove it from its container and loosen any tangled roots. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down lightly as you go. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Water thoroughly after planting.

Section 2: Watering and Fertilizing

Climbing hydrangea requires regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. Water deeply once a week, or more often if the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

Subheading 1: Fertilization

Fertilize climbing hydrangea once a year in early spring with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Do not fertilize in late summer or fall, as this can stimulate new growth that may be damaged by winter frost.

Section 3: Pruning and Training

Pruning climbing hydrangea is essential to keep it looking healthy and attractive. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased wood, as well as any weak or crossing branches.

Subheading 1: Training Techniques

To train climbing hydrangea to grow up a wall or trellis, tie the stems loosely to the support structure with twine or soft wire. Avoid tying too tightly, as this can damage the delicate stems. As the plant grows, trim back any side shoots that are not needed to maintain the desired shape.

Section 4: Pests and Diseases

Climbing hydrangea is generally disease and pest resistant, but it can be susceptible to certain problems.

Subheading 1: Pests

The most common pests that affect climbing hydrangea are scale insects and aphids. These pests can be controlled by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

Subheading 2: Diseases

Climbing hydrangea can be susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that causes a white, powdery coating on the leaves. To prevent this disease, make sure the plant has good air circulation and avoid overhead watering. If powdery mildew does occur, treat it with a fungicide.

Section 5: Propagation

Climbing hydrangea can be propagated by softwood cuttings, layering, or division.

Subheading 1: Softwood Cuttings

Take softwood cuttings in early summer when the plant is actively growing. Cut a 6-inch stem tip and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place the cutting in a pot filled with moist potting soil. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm, bright location until roots form.

Subheading 2: Layering

Layering involves bending a low-growing branch to the ground and covering it with soil. The stem will produce roots where it touches the soil. After several months, the new plant can be separated from the parent plant and transplanted.

Subheading 3: Division

To divide climbing hydrangea, dig up the plant and separate the root ball into several sections. Replant each section in a new location and water well.

Planting climbing hydrangea is a great way to add beauty and elegance to your garden. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your climbing hydrangea thrives and provides years of enjoyment.


Q1. When is the best time to plant climbing hydrangea?

A1. The best time to plant climbing hydrangea is in early spring or fall when the weather is cool and moist.

Q2. Can climbing hydrangea grow in full sun?

A2. Climbing hydrangea prefers partial shade or full shade but can tolerate some morning sun.

Q3. How do I prune climbing hydrangea?

A3. Prune climbing hydrangea in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased wood, as well as any weak or crossing branches.

Q4. How often should I water climbing hydrangea?

A4. Water climbing hydrangea deeply once a week, or more often if the soil feels dry to the touch.

Q5. Can climbing hydrangea be grown in containers?

A5. Yes, climbing hydrangea can be grown in containers. Use a large pot with good drainage and fill with a well-draining potting mix.

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