Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris

climbing hydrangea

  • © Christine Allen

Outstanding Qualities

Climbing hydrangea is an elegant and graceful clinging vine with year-round interest. In early spring new buds unfurl into bright green leaves that maintain a fresh appearance throughout the summer. Delicate, lacy white blooms appear in early summer to brighten the garden. Although this vine can be slow to reach blooming age, it is well worth the wait. In autumn it becomes a beacon of bright, butter yellow foliage, which eventually drops to expose the interesting, peeling bark of the older stems. Side branches reach out from the main trunks, creating a layered, three-dimensional effect. Climbing hydrangea becomes a large, heavy vine with age: Be sure to provide it with a strong and long-lasting support. It is striking when grown up tall evergreen trees, where it can brighten a woodland setting. One of the few vines that blooms well in shade, it also can be used on a north-facing wall or fence.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: vine

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 60 ft. 0 in. (18.29 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to dappled shade

Water Requirements: regular

Seasonal Interest: autumn color

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, red, orange

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
Climbing hydrangea will grow well in full sun to dappled shade with well-drained to sandy soil. Provide regular watering for the best growth and flowering. It will eventually become a large plant, give enough space to fully develop over the years. The vine is often slow to settle in and it can take two to three years before it begins to grow vigorously. It is also slow to start blooming- five to seven years may pass before it produces its first bloom. Those who are patient will be rewarded with one of our most beautiful vines.