360"-600" tall (30-50 feet) x 60-72" wide (5-6 feet). Climbing hydrangea vines are truly interesting plants to incorporate into the garden because nobody expects to see a hydrangea vine. Plants climb by attaching themselves to trees, fences, homes, and other structures via aerial rootlets, reaching heights of 30-50 feet. It is not unusual to see one growing all the way to the top of a pine or shade tree, covering the entire tree trunk. The vines have dark green leaves and are covered with thousands of large white lacecap flowers. Climbing hydrangeas are deciduous, but their shredding, cinnamon colored bark adds texture to the garden during the winter. It can take climbing hydrangeas a few years to establish themselves, during which they may grow as a low shrub. Once happy, the plants take off and start climbing, creating a unique focal point. Plant in full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil. Make sure the vines have something to climb so you get the full effect of the plant.
Hydrangea shrubs are native to the US and Asia and produce showy flowers throughout the summer season. There are many varieties available, each showcasing differing bloom colors, flower shapes, overall heights/spreads, levels of winter hardiness, and abilities to be grown in containers.
What does "Blooms on old/new wood" mean and what does that have to do with winter?
Some hydrangeas produce buds that will turn into flowers on old wood (also called "last year's growth"), while others produce blooms on new wood (aka "this year's growth") and still others will flower on both old and new wood. This detail is especially valuable for cold-climate gardeners who may be apt to lose some of their hydrangea branches to breakage from heavy snow and ice, or who may see developing buds killed off by late spring frosts.
For these gardeners, losing old growth branches and young buds could mean missing out on hydrangea flowers the following summer. Choosing a variety that blooms on new wood (or both types of growth) is extra insurance; it means that regardless of your winter and late-spring weather, you can still count on your shrub to produce flowers come summer.
Likewise, warm-climate gardeners who choose varieties that only bloom on new wood, will have to make it a point to prune their hydrangea shrubs in order to encourage new buds to form. A simple task for sure, but one that needs to be remembered.
What does "Bloom color depends on soil type" mean?
The color of most hydrangea blooms are directly tied to the mineral make up of your soil and its overall pH. To really see bold colors, you'll have the best results when planting in containers, which will allow you to create your preferred soil conditions at planting time. Although soil pH can be changed directly in the garden bed, it often takes more than one season to see results. The color of native Smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) cannot be changed.
Acid soils (with a pH below 7) produce purple-to-blue blooms, with the brightest blue blooms resulting from the most-acidic soils. To coax your hydrangeas into producing blue blooms, you can amend your soil with sulfur, or mulch your plants with a pine and/or cedar needle mulch.
Alkaline soils (with a pH above 7) produce pink blooms. The more alakaline (or sweet) your soil is, the deeper pink your blooms will be. This can be achieved by adding lime around your planting area. It is, however, more difficult to turn hydrangea blooms pink because as a general rule, most plants struggle to be healthy in soils with a pH above 7.
Many hydrangeas today are available in a range of heights and bloom cycles, regardless of their overall type. For example, you can find Mopheads that bloom on new growth and Panicles that are container-friendly.
Mopheads: (Hydrangea macrophylla) The most well-known (yet least cold hardy) hydrangea, Mopheads are known for their oversized blooms that come in two flower types - Lacecaps and Pom-poms. Also known as "Bigleaf" hydrangeas, the foliage on Mopheads is quite enormous and delivers a lot of greenery to the garden.
Panicle: (Hydrangea paniculata) Huge, cone-shaped blooms and excellent cold hardiness are the hallmarks of the Panicle hydrangea. Their arching branches and plentiful blooms also tolerate more sun than other varieties.
Smooth/ Snowball: (Hydrangea arborescens) Also known as "Wild" Hydrangeas, these shrubs are native to the eastern US - and while their color cannot be altered by changing soil pH, their blooms tend to turn a pale green as fall approaches.
Mountain: (Hydrangea serrata) More compact than Mopheads and presenting dainty lacecap blooms and smaller leaves, these hydrangeas are native to the mountains of Korea and Japan where they're known as 'Tea of Heaven'. They're known for a slightly weeping shape and a long season of blooms.
Oakleafs: (Hydrangea quercifolia) Native to the eastern/southeastern US, Oakleafs have deeply-lobed foliage that changes color dramatically in autumn. Very cold hardy with showy, elongated blooms.
How to Choose the Right Hydrangeas
|Item Package Size|
Plant - 3" Pot
Climbing Hydrangea Vine
Hydrangea anomala petiolaris
4, 5, 6, 7
Half Sun / Half Shade, Full Shade
360"-600" tall (30-50 feet)
|Estimated Mature Spread|
60-72" wide (5-6 feet)
Early to late summer
Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.
Glossy green, heart-shaped leaves.
Loamy Soil, Acidic Soil
Average, Well Draining
Good For Cut Flowers, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks), Good For Hedge / Screen
Northeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest
Spring / Summer
|Poisonous or Toxic to Animals|
Toxic to humans, dogs, cats and horses.
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada|