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Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing hydrangea are healthy, strong, fast-growing, and are appreciated for their large, fragrant clusters of white-edged flowers and the bright yellow autumn colour of their leaves. They are often used to green facades and are particularly suitable for shady north walls, in streets with little sunlight, to hide downpipes, etc... They are easy to care for, as long as they are given plenty of water!

>>> Price A / Price B

(Climbing Hortensia, lat.: Hydrangea (anomala) petiolaris)

Climbing hydrangea in bloom
Climbing hydrangea in bloom

Requirements / Price

Location in partial or full shade with an acidic to neutral rich humic soil-- moist and even wet; needs regular and initially deep watering. A compacted or calcareous (chalky) soil is poorly tolerated. Distance between plants: 1.5 to 4 m. 

Characteristics and Pruning

Climbing hydrangea are native to Japan and were introduced to Europe around 1830. A self-climber with adhesive roots, it grows a little lower in height than ivy- up to 6 metres or more. With a trellis it can be formed as a woody shrub with a more orderly and less sparse appearance. The foliage lasts from April/May until the end of October. In June/July there are large flower umbels (heads) and ray florets like bright white stars. The foliage is pale yellow to golden yellow in autumn, with inconspicuous capsule fruits, decorative reddish brown shoots in winter. Pruning in spring promotes branching of the shoots.

Climbing Aids on Facades

Even though they have adhesive roots, climbing hydrangeas benefit from a trellis to support its frame and to ensure they won't fall from the facade. Choose a heavy trellis from the options in the table, depending on the desired height for the plant.

Suitable Wire Rope Trellis?

Click on the picture to see a list of compatible trellis designs for the climbing hortensia.

Hyndrangea petiolaris on a wall
2 hydrangeas on an office building
Keep the watering can close to the hydrangea! In other words, they need a lot of water
Beautiful climbing hydrangea in autumn, Naumburg / Saxony

Facade greening with climbing hydrangea

Have a look at the various ways climbing hydrangeas can green a facade...

Very young climbing hydrangea anomala
Young hydrangea with new shoots
Hydrangea (anomala) petiolares at a house entrance
Two climbing hydrangeas
Wall greening with a climbing hydrangea
Street greening with climbing hydrangea
Climbing hydrangea along a shopping street, 2006, Sangerhausen / Saxony
Same plant as shown in the previous picture-- 2 years later (2008)
Hydrangea hiding a drainpipe, Bautzen / Saxony
Hydrangea covering a drainpipe
Greenery with large climbing hydrangea, Naumburg / Saxony-Anhalt
Big hydrangea petiolares
Hydrangea on a wooden trellis, early autumn-colouring
Two climbing hydrangeas on a wooden espalier (for better formation)
These climbing hydrangeas are pressed against each other by two vertical wire ropes and held neatly in shape with a summer pruning
Sturdy hydrangea petiolares
Greening a hotel with climbing hydrangea
Two small climbing hydrangeas
Perennial climbing hydrangea
Bushy, unpruned, small climbing hydrangea
Climbing hydrangea
Building greenery with hydrangea in a public street space
Small facade greening with hydrangea
Greening the base of a building with hydrangea, Manor-Sierhagen / Schleswig-Holstein
Climbing hydrangea in a narrow, shaded alley, Groitzsch / Saxony
Greening a double garage with hydrangea, wire rope system 4020
Hydrangea on a house
Climbing hydrangea in late autumn

Botanical Elements and Climbing Aids

Leaves, flowers, autumnal colours, appearance in the winter months, pruning, young shoots in spring, and trellises.

Without pruning and guidance on a trellis, hydrangea grows shrub-like
Adhesive/aerial rootlets of the hydrangea
Flower umbel with vivid white blossoms
Potted hydrangea with yellow autumn foliage
Small climbing hydrangea with beautiful golden yellow autumn foliage
Two unpruned hydrangea in winter
Occasional pruning is necessary to promote the branching of the long shoots
Horizontal wire rope for several climbing hydrangeas, here with 4 mm thickness and cross mounts, 'heavy' construction style
Vertically oriented wire rope system for climbing hydrangea (vertical growth)
Budding in spring
Young leaves in spring
This climbing hydrangea has fallen off the wall...
...later the same plant got a "fall protection" (wire rope trellis system)