Virtues: We love climbing hydrangea for its ability to act as groundcover or climb up walls and trellises, all while offering a wonderful showcase of rich, dark green foliage that contrasts beautifully against the clusters of white, fragrant flowers in summer.
Common name: Climbing hydrangea
Botanical name: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris
Flowers: In late spring through summer, flattened bundles of sweet-smelling, white flowers bloom on top of the deep green foliage, in a lacecap shape, with very tiny fertile flowers in the center, ringed by larger, showy flowers.
Foliage: Wide, heart-shaped lustrous, dark green leaves fill the vine with illuminating appeal. In winter, the cinnamon-colored bark offers interest.
Habit: These deciduous vines have aerial rootlets allowing the plant to cling and “climb” typically up to 30 to 50 feet. Sometimes the plant develops a bush-like habit when branches begin to arch away, cascading down from its vertical establishment. If grown as groundcover, climbing hydrangea can spread over 200 square feet.
Season: With eye-catching foliage from spring through fall, gorgeous summer blossoms, and intriguing reddish-brown colored bark in winter, climbing hydrangeas look beautiful all year.
Origin: Native to eastern Asia and Japan.
How to grow Hydrangea anomala petiolaris: Climbing hydrangea thrives in rich, well-drained soils with moderate moisture. Can grow productively in various sun exposures, but is most successful in full to part shade. Prune as needed after blooming season. USDA Zones 4-8.
Image: A. Barra
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