How Big Do Climbing Hydrangeas Get


Climbing hydrangeas, which can reach heights of 40 to 60 feet, cling to walls, trellises, and even chimneys with ease. To assist the vines ascend my own, I added screw eyes and steel-wire trellising.

Strong vertical growers with prodigious lateral branches, they produce five-inch white or pink lace-cap-like flowers in profusion over four to eight weeks.

Climbing hydrangeas spread to what extent?

Native to China and Japan, the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris) is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. This remarkable hydrangea grows 5 to 6 feet wide and up to 80 feet tall in optimal conditions, climbing up walls by aerial rootlets. The vines are often spaced 2 to 3 feet apart because this variety is tall and slender. In contrast to a flat wall, the short lateral branches that sprout from the main vine give the plant a three-dimensional appearance. The 5-inch-wide blossoms of this vine, which can withstand shade, emerge in early spring and continue through the summer. They stand out against the glossy green leaves.

How quickly do climbing hydrangeas expand?

The Garden Hydrangea, H. macrophylla, and Hydrangea anomala are related to one another. However, anomala is in a league of its own due to its tendency of climbing.

Size and Growth

Dark bark, little branchlets emerging from the sides of the structure, and oval leaves with small toothed edges are the distinguishing features of Hydrangea petiolaris.

The season-long color change of the dark green leaves begins with dark green foliage and progresses to a lighter yellow as fall approaches.

For the first three to five years, climbing hydrangeas grow slowly, but once established, they can accelerate their growth.

It has a vine-like growth pattern and when fully grown, can reach heights of 30 to 50 feet and a breadth of 5 to 6 feet.

Young plants make wonderful patio exhibits in pots. Even after many years, climbing hydrangea plants grown in containers can be easily maintained to reach heights of 8 or 9 feet.

Needs Help To Climb

When supported properly, Hydrangea petiolaris develops aerial rootlets that adhere to the stems, much like ivy does.

To first tie the plant to the supporting framework, it is crucial to train the stems early in life.

Give plants a strong trellis to grow on, or attach them to a wall or another sturdy structure. A wall facing either east or west is a wise choice.

Flower Color and Fragrance

These plants eventually adorn themselves with huge flower heads of delicately fragrant white flower clusters that can reach a height of 8 inches. These flowers often bloom in the early summer.

These white flower clusters are made up of two different kinds of blooms that work together to create the “lacecap effect.”

Large, noticeable, but sterile flowers with flashy white sepals surround the edge of the cluster.

The genuine, relatively unnoticeable, greenish-white fertile flowers are in the center of the cluster.

After fertilization, flowers in the wild produce seed capsules with brown wings.

Light and Temperature

The majority of flowering vines cannot withstand partial shade, but climbing hydrangeas can. They will, however, grow the healthiest when planted in direct sunlight.

Better flowers typically result from more light. Ideal sun exposure is six solid hours in the full sun.

The heat and humidity do not favor this plant. It may risk getting scorched if the daily temperature rises beyond 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant needs a constant temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit for six weeks in order to set buds.

Additionally, climbing hydrangeas are not highly resistant to frost and can suffer damage if exposed to it.

Watering and Feeding

Hydrangeas that climb benefit from regular watering. They prosper in soil that is consistently moist.

Make sure plants receive regular, even irrigation that is sufficient to keep the soil moist.

Need a trellis for climbing hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas that climb do so using aerial roots that cling to surfaces. Instead of climbing up trellises, climbing hydrangea attach themselves best to surfaces with a rough texture, such as brickwork, masonry, and tree bark. They only leave behind a sticky residue, but they don’t actually harm the trees or buildings they climb. The greatest places for them to grow are on walls that face north or east or up big shade trees since they prefer part shade, and more specifically afternoon shade.

As long as the support is sturdy enough to handle the weight of a mature climbing hydrangea, it is possible to train climbing hydrangea to climb up trellises, arbors, or other structures. The aerial roots of climbing hydrangeas can more easily cling to wooden trellises and arbors than vinyl or metal. The majority of trellises won’t be big enough for climbing hydrangea when they get older, but they’re still useful for training young plants. For rocky slopes, climbing hydrangea can also be utilized as a groundcover.

Can you maintain a little climbing hydrangea?

Large, fragrant clusters of white blooms on climbing hydrangeas appear in late spring and summer against a background of heart-shaped, dark green leaves. These enormous vines easily cling to trees, columns, and other supports. Although a climbing hydrangea plant can be pruned to reduced heights, its mature height ranges from 30 to 80 feet (9 to 24 meters). It can be raised as a shrub as well.

Are the roots of climbing hydrangeas invasive?

The aerial rootlets of climbing hydrangeas are robust and can support the heavy vines with ease as the plant grows up to 60 feet tall. A climbing hydrangea is frequently used in landscaping to cover a wall, fence, or large tree since the rootlets can connect to flat or odd-shaped surfaces. Climbing hydrangeas are frequently used to cover masonry-style walls and rock or brick fences because, despite the rootlets’ cement-like secretion, they won’t damage most surfaces if grown where they can’t enter crevices.

  • In terms of residential landscaping, climbing hydrangeas have several advantages, especially when it comes to providing screening and all-year-round interest on a wall, fence, or big tree.
  • Climbing hydrangeas are frequently used to cover masonry-style walls and rock or brick fences because, despite the rootlets’ cement-like secretion, they won’t damage most surfaces if grown where they can’t enter crevices.

Choosing a climbing hydrangea

The lovely white blossoms in early summer are a nice addition on climbing hydrangeas, which are excellent practical climbers for covering shaded walls or fences. They may be permitted to climb up medium-sized to large trees. Hardy and simple to grow is the deciduous Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris. Hydrangea seemannii and Hydrangea serratifolia, two evergreen climbing hydrangeas, provide year-round interest but require a warm, protected environment to flourish successfully. Despite being initially robust plants, they occasionally become a little slow. Although climbing hydrangeas are not picky about their soil, plants may struggle in very moist or chalky circumstances.

Buying a hydrangea

Climbing hydrangeas can be found in the “climbing plants” area of garden centers. They are often sold in pots of 2 to 3 liters. Plants purchased through the mail could be smaller.

When to plant

As soon as you buy your climbing hydrangea, plant it. Spring or autumn are the ideal seasons for planting. Plants grown in containers can be planted all year long as long as the ground is not frozen, flooded, or very dry in the summer.

Soil preparation

Climbing hydrangeas are typically planted in the soil at the base of walls or fences, which is in a rain shadow and so prone to drying out. Dig in an organic soil improver, such as garden compost or a manure-based soil conditioner, to the planting area rather than just the planting hole to aid in establishment. Per square meter, add a bucketful (yard).


Even though they can cling to themselves, climbing hydrangeas typically need assistance getting started, such as wires or a trellis. Till the young shoots develop aerial roots that connect, confine them. Because mature plants are heavy, begin with a strong support.

How to plant

  • Before planting, thoroughly water the pot.
  • Allow around a 45cm (18in) spacing between the plant and the wall when planting against a wall or fence. Otherwise, a spacing of 20–30 cm (8–1 ft) is adequate.
  • Create a planting hole that is three times bigger and as deep as the rootball.
  • To prevent planting too deeply, the surface of the compost in the pot needs to be level with the surrounding soil.
  • firmly in place
  • Reduce soil drying out by mulching with a soil conditioner, but leave a 10-15cm (4-6in) gap around the base.
  • Put water in, at least the amount found in a large watering can.

In the winter, do climbing hydrangeas lose their leaves?

Climbing hydrangeas are a great climbing plant for covering a shaded north or east facing wall or fence, or even the wall of a house, because of their huge, blowsy white blooms and elegant leaves.

The most popular variety of climbing hydrangea is Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, which has heart-shaped, dark green leaves that turn butter yellow in the fall and huge, white lacecap blooms in the early summer. It is hardy and simple to cultivate, but because it is deciduous, it loses its leaves in the winter after turning yellow in the fall. It has received The Royal Horticultural Society’s esteemed Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Two more varieties of climbing hydrangeas are evergreen.

both Hydrangea serratifolia and Hydrangea seemannii. These require a warm, protected area to flourish. The Mexican hydrangea seemannii produces domed flower heads with greenish-white flowers encircled by white bracts. The Chilean and Argentinean hydrangea serratifolia has big, rough leaves and panicles of creamy white blooms.

Although the establishment and flowering of climbing hydrangeas can take several years, they are all robust plants. Give them a lot of space After 10–15 years, Hydrangea petiolaris can grow to a maximum height and spread of 12 m by 8 m; evergreen cultivars grow to a somewhat lesser size of 10 m by 3 m.

What is the duration of a climbing hydrangea’s bloom?

I don’t think you should try planting another vine because I think the climbing hydrangea was a wonderful choice for the growing circumstances in your garden. As long as the soil is well-drained and not very alkaline, climbing hydrangeas can grow in either full sun or partial shade. Too alkaline of a situation will cause the leaves to turn yellow. Once this vine reaches maturity, it can cover a sizable area, so routine pruning will probably be required once your fence is covered.

This vine may easily cling to fences like yours, as well as walls, trees, and other structures. Trellises must be well-built to hold the tall, heavy vines. Tendrils of climbing hydrangeas create a solid bond with practically any kind of surface. Because the vine will not simply detach and will leave bits of the tendrils glued to the surface when removed, it is advisable to avoid growing this vine against walls that require periodic routine care. In gutters, the vines may also spread.

Whether it is acceptable to let climbing hydrangeas climb up brick/stone walls or chimneys is the subject of conflicting advice. I have observed mature climbing hydrangeas flourishing without incident on chimneys and brick walls. But any issues will be concealed by the vines, which will hide the mortar. When a mature vine has covered a brick surface and mortar cracks appear, the vine needs to be taken out in order to perform repairs.

In your garden or other dry, shaded environment, climbing hydrangeas will grow more slowly and require more time to bloom. While the building may be casting a deeper shade, the honey locust tree offers filtered shade that is ideal for a climbing hydrangea. Given that your description suggests that your vines are healthy, it is most likely just a matter of time and some further care until they begin to bear blooms.

Normal climbing hydrangea growth is gradual, but a few years after planting, it picks up. The first flowers may not appear for several years after planting, even in ideal growing conditions. When the weather is dry, it would be a good idea to give your climbing hydrangeas some extra water because the area at the base of a shade tree is typically dry. Reduce pruning as much as possible because it can prevent the vine from blossoming. Fertilize the vines every year in the early spring. Within the next three to four years, it’s likely that you’ll receive some flowers. More sunlight encourages climbing hydrangeas to blossom profusely.

Call the Plant Information Service at the Chicago Botanic Garden at 847-835-0972 if you have any inquiries about plants or gardening.

Where should I plant hydrangeas that climb?

Early in the summer, this robust, woody deciduous vine bears huge, flat, white blooms in addition to lovely, dark green, glossy foliage. Climbing hydrangeas may flower in partial shade, unlike many other vines. It may grow up to 50 feet tall and, like ivy, attaches itself to walls, fences, and buildings via holdfasts or tiny rootlets. At first, climbing hydrangea can be a slow-growing vine, but once it gets going, it will take off and bring years’ worth of beauty. Hydrangeas that climb require a sturdy structure to climb on or up. Its strong growth can liven up a house corner or a north wall. The peeling bark, which is cinnamon-colored and interesting in the winter, is an extra draw.

Although climbing hydrangea is hardy to zone 5, colder areas in our location may require protection. Grow climbing hydrangea plants that you bought in the spring from a neighborhood garden center and plant after all risk of frost has passed. As long as the plant receives adequate watering, you can also plant in the summer. Plant in full sun (warmer locations) to partial shade in a spot with rich, well-drained soil that has been composted. Away from hot, dry areas. The climbing hydrangea will flower more in the sun and less in the shade. Plants should be spaced 5 to 10 feet apart.

Regular waterings and a covering of bark mulch should be used to keep the soil surrounding climbing hydrangeas evenly moist. Apply a layer of compost and a little amount of an organic plant food as fertilizer in the spring.

Similar to Boston ivy, climbing hydrangeas should be planted against masonry, stone, or brick walls, as well as against rot-resistant, unpainted wooden walls. The holdfasts will leave stains next to vinyl or regular wood siding, and rot and mold growth may occur on the siding as well. If growing near a building on a wooden or metal trellis, place the trellis at least three feet away from the building. After flowering, prune climbing hydrangeas to control their development. It does not spread as quickly as ivies do. With the growing, have patience. It typically takes a climbing hydrangea 3 to 5 years to reach the flowering stage. Perennial vines, according to an old proverb, “first sleep, then creep, then leap.” Except for animals, climbing hydrangeas have no severe pests.

Climbing hydrangea should be grown along a wall, structure, or fence where it can remain there permanently. It’s ideal for a neglected east or north wall along a garage or home side. Climbing hydrangea can be grown on arbors, pergolas, and trees. Just be certain the buildings are sturdy enough to carry the weight.

The green-leaved, white-flowered variety is available at most garden centers. ‘Miranda’ is a brand-new variegated leaf cultivar with white flowers and cream and green leaves.