General Discussion:

Climbing Hydrangeas

Messages posted to thread:

Suzanne White09-Jan-01 10:57 PM EST   
SueB.10-Jan-01 09:11 PM EST   
Joy12-Jan-01 09:21 PM EST   
Mia Goff17-Jan-01 06:32 PM EST   
Jacqui MacGillivray19-Mar-07 11:27 PM EST   
Mike Gilmore23-Mar-07 04:12 PM EST 9   

Subject: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: Suzanne White
Date: 09-Jan-01 10:57 PM EST

I have tried growing climbing hydrangeas in two different locations in my garden. One is around a tree in semi-shade and the other is up the wall of my house also in semi-shade. I have read that these plants grow well in semi-shade but I have had no success at all. I have also read that they take a few years to get established and that then they take off. This has not been the case. The one around the tree has been there for about 4 years now and has only grown a mere 12 inches. I have planted 3 against the house but they keep getting ripped up. At first I thought my dog was to blame, but she passed away and still they get ripped out. Could it be skunks? If anyone has had success growing these plants I would love to know your secrets. Thank you in advance - Suzanne

Subject: RE: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: SueB.
Date: 10-Jan-01 09:11 PM EST

Mine did take a long time to establish itself but when it takes off it takes off! Mine is planted facing directly west and is now climbing around the north side of the garage as well. It's growing right on the driveway, in fact I just scraped off the gravel an dug a hole and added garden soil and mulch. Perhaps the reason the one growing by the tree isn't establishing well is competition from tree roots. Many trees have dense root patterns and are heavy feeders of nutrients within its area.

Subject: RE: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: Joy
Date: 12-Jan-01 09:21 PM EST

Hydrangea, need moisture, but well drained moderately fertil, humus-rich. and I stress humus-rich soil. Under trees based on the type of tree this plant will not get the nutrients it needs but that can be fixed. By adding compost,and aged manure and ensuring that you water it well you will see some improvement right away, the last writer was correct. These plant take long to established and to bloom but don't give up the fight. They are worth it. I love them of all types.

Subject: RE: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: Mia Goff
Date: 17-Jan-01 06:32 PM EST

Hi Suzanne, the reason you may be having difficulty with your hydrangea vine, is because it is competing with the roots of the tree. You don't say what the tree is, nor the type of hydrangea.

I grow several Hydrangea anomala petiolaris and they have their roots in shade, but the plant is in full sun. They both took about 3 years to 'get going'. I also have a 2 year old Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Rosea). Again, it is in the sun, and grew quite a bit this past year. If you are interested in this faster growing hydrangea vine, it is available from Garden Import in Toronto (see They do mail order across Canada. Good luck, Mia

Subject: RE: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: Jacqui MacGillivray
Date: 19-Mar-07 11:27 PM EST

Can anyone help me with my climbing hydrangea? It is a very vigorous plant with strong healthy growth. It is planted against a north facing fence but in very good light. It has extremely good leaf production...but after 6 years still no flowers. I visited an RHS show in UK last May (2006) and they told me to use tomato food...still didn't work. Any suggestions anybody?

Subject: RE: Climbing Hydrangeas
From: Mike Gilmore
Zone: 9
Date: 23-Mar-07 04:12 PM EST

Hydrangea petiolaris is generally known as the 'climbing hydrangea' and it can be a reluctant starter and, quite frankly I think it is a much inferior plant when compared to another I grow. Though I I hold my hands up regarding its hardiness with respect to Canadian winters!

But look out for Hydrangea seemanii which is evergreen and grows about 2.5x the speed, yet flowers slightly less. It may well lose some foliage and behave like a 'semi-evergreen'. Mine grows at 600ft altitude and is not bothered by 'UK snow'.

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