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Climbing Hydrangea

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  • Partial Shade to Full Sun (At Least 3 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 50 - 60 Feet
  • Mature Spread 50 - 60 Feet
  • Growing Zones 4 - 8

Reaching vines and large blooms make the Climbing Hydrangea an instant favorite. Tiny white fragrant flowers bloom in clusters in late June and grow 6 to 10 inches across. Heart-shaped foliage with serrated edges is a lovely deep dark green. The Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is an easy-care perennial that is a slow-grower to start but will grow more quickly once acclimated.

Climbing Hydrangeas, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, are native to Asia and often called Japanese hydrangea vine or creeping hydrangea. The vines are natural climbers and can reach 30 to 80 foot tall, however, you can prune these to shorter heights. The vines require heavy support to grow, and they will climb up trees, buildings, arbors, trellises, pergolas, fences and other taller structures. The plants use "holdfasts" also known as suckers on their branches to climb walls, trees, and other structures. The vines will latch onto a support on their own, or they can be trained to grow in specific directions. This plant is a striking specimen, or it can be used to cover a building or pergola. The Climbing Hydrangea is a perennial in USDA zones 4 through 8. 


These plants typically bloom from late spring or early summer until late fall. The flowers are typically white and very fragrant. The flowers are covered in tiny fertile flowers surrounded by larger infertile flowers, very similar to lacecap hydrangea blooms. People also let the flowers dry out on the vines and use them in arrangements and other crafts. The leaves are medium to dark green in the summer, and turn yellow in the fall before falling. That means these plants are deciduous (meaning the plants drop the leaves in the winter). The interesting looking bark adds winter interest for this plant as well!

Climbing Hydrangea Care

Use moist but well-drained soil high in organic matter to support healthy growth. These plants can grow well in full sun to partial shade, but prefer some shade in hotter climates. The plants that get more sun, typically do bloom more. This is one of the few vines that can tolerate large amounts of shade, although it will not bloom as much if it is growing in a shaded area. The best location would be an area with morning sun and afternoon shade. 

Consistently water to keep the soil evenly moist. Apply a layer of mulch to hold in the dampness and prevent weeds. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in late winter or early spring. Apply a second dose of plant food after the flowers begin to bloom. 

Pruning Climbing Hydrangeas

These plants are relatively slow growers the first few years after being planted. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much to do to speed this process up, besides starting with the largest plant possible that you can find for sale. It is not recommended that you prune these plants the first 2-3 years. Dead or damaged growth can be removed in late spring or early summer. 

However, once the plant establishes, it starts to grow quite vigorously and can easily get out of control if you don’t watch closely. It is best to prune after the plant blooms in mid-summer, that way you do not cut off the next year’s flower buds. In the spring, be sure to remove dead or sick branches. You can continue to remove these branches at any time of year.

If the plant is way too overgrown, do not prune back drastically. It is best to do this in gradually over 2 to 3 years, that way you do not damage the plant beyond repair. Head over to our hydrangea pruning guide for more information. 

Climbing Hydrangea Spacing

This vining beauty will grow 50 to 60 feet long. The vines will naturally latch onto a nearby structure, or they can be trained to cover a trellis. Plants can be spaced 5 to 10 feet apart and train the vines not to overlap for a better visual appearance but also to maintain the plant.

Climbing Hydrangea Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 - 8
Plant Type: Bushes
Light Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun (At Least 3 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
Mature Height: 50 - 60 Feet
Mature Spread: 50 - 60 Feet
Spacing: 50 - 60 Feet
Habit: Climbing, Spreading
Flower Color(s): White
Flower Description:
Bloom Period: Late June
Foliage Type: Herbaceous
Foliage Color(s): Green
Foliage Description: Dark Green
Seasonal Interest: Summer Flowering
Watering: Average
Resists: Disease, Pests & Insects
Tolerates: Drought
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies
Container Role:
Uses: Groundcovers, Wildlife Gardens
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest, Award Winner
Common Name: Climbing Hydrangea
Other Name(s):

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

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Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.