Climbing hydrangea Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
climbing hydrangea


H. anomala subsp. petiolaris is a large self-clinging, deciduous climber with broadly oval leaves turning yellow in autumn. Flower-heads to 20cm in width, with small fertile flowers surrounded by showy white sterile ones

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Climbing Hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala, Japanese Hydrangea Vine.

    • Common names

      Hydrangea petiolaris, Schizophragma hydrangeoides, Hydrangea scandens.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      30-40 feet (9-12 meters)

    • Spread

      5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Climbing hydrangea adds visual interest to garden walls, fences, and facades with its attractive green foliage and white flowers.
    • Seasonal Interest: It features white lace-cap flowers in late spring and summer that can enhance the beauty of a garden.
    • Shade Tolerant: It thrives well in shaded areas where other plants may struggle to grow, making it ideal for shaded gardens.
    • Wall and Fence Cover: It can be used to cover unsightly walls or fences, providing a natural and aesthetic green covering.
    • Winter Interest: Even in winter, the peeling bark and sturdy, vine-like structure offer visual interest when most plants are dormant.
    • Easy Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it a convenient option for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Erosion Control: The robust root system can help stabilize soil on slopes and prevent erosion.
    • Wildlife Support: Flowers provide nectar for pollinators, while the dense foliage offers shelter for birds.
    • Vertical Gardening: Ideal for vertical gardening, which maximizes space in small areas.
    • Longevity: It is a long-lived plant that can provide many years of enjoyment with proper care.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Climbing Hydrangea can be used for covering up unsightly features such as old stumps or unattractive fences, blending them naturally into the garden aesthetic.
    • The sturdy, woody vines of Climbing Hydrangea can be trained over arbors and pergolas to create living, shaded areas in the garden.
    • Its ability to adhere to surfaces makes Climbing Hydrangea a useful plant for covering stone walls, giving them a quaint, cottage-like appearance.
    • The dried seed heads of Climbing Hydrangea can be used in floral arrangements to add texture and a unique visual element.
    • Climbing Hydrangea leaves can be used for leaf casting; an art form where cement is used to create a detailed sculpture of the leaf.
    • In larger gardens, the sprawling nature of Climbing Hydrangea can be employed to create natural 'rooms' or divisions within the landscape.
    • Bird enthusiasts may cultivate Climbing Hydrangea to attract birds, as its thick foliage provides excellent nesting sites.
    • The plant can be used in a sensory garden for its textured bark and foliage, as well as its fragrant flowers which bloom in late spring and early summer.
    • Climbing Hydrangea, because of its vast root network, can be useful in preventing soil erosion on slopes or in areas with loose soil.
    • Its fall foliage, which turns a yellow color, can be a source of seasonal interest in a garden that primarily features evergreens.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Climbing Hydrangea is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Climbing Hydrangea is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Heartfelt Emotions: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, commonly known as Climbing Hydrangea, often symbolizes deep, heartfelt emotions because of its lush and abundant flower clusters.
    • Gratitude: The Climbing Hydrangea is also associated with gratitude, making it a popular gift to express thanks.
    • Understanding: This plant can represent understanding, due to its ability to climb and adapt to its supporting structure, much like how understanding can help people adapt to different situations.
    • Perseverance: With its vigorous growth habit and its ability to grow in challenging conditions, Climbing Hydrangea symbolizes perseverance and determination.
    • Abundance: The lushness of the Climbing Hydrangea, with its full blooms, can be seen as a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

Every 3-5 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) should be watered deeply, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, water the plant about once a week, providing approximately one to two gallons of water each time, depending on the weather conditions; more water may be necessary during hot, dry spells. In the winter, reduce watering but do not allow the soil to completely dry out. It's important to avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of leaf diseases; instead, water at the base of the plant. Ensure that climbing hydrangeas planted in containers have adequate drainage to prevent root rot.

  • sunLight

    Climbing hydrangeas prefer bright, indirect light or partial shade. They thrive when planted on a north or east-facing wall where they receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, especially in hotter climates, while too little light can reduce flowering. Ideally, the plant should be in a spot where it is protected from intense midday sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Climbing hydrangeas are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, from approximately -30 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow best in an environment where the temperature is consistently between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is essential to protect the plant from extreme cold and heat, as temperatures below -30 degrees Fahrenheit can damage the plant, and temperatures constantly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit can stress it.

  • scissorsPruning

    Climbing hydrangeas should be pruned after flowering, typically in late summer or early fall, to maintain shape and size. Pruning also encourages the development of the next season's flowers. Remove dead or crossing branches and cut back the plant to control its growth as desired. Since flowers form on old wood, avoid excessive pruning, which could reduce the number of blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Climbing Hydrangea prefers well-draining, moist soil with high organic matter content. A mixture of loam, peat, and well-rotted compost is ideal. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging between 5.5 and 7.5 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Climbing Hydrangea, being a vigorous climber and large plant, is typically planted directly in the garden rather than in containers that would require repotting. Repotting is not commonly applicable for this species when it's planted in its ideal outdoor condition.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Climbing Hydrangea thrives in average to high humidity conditions. It's best to maintain humidity at a moderate level, around 50% to 60%, for the healthiest growth, although it can tolerate a range of humidity levels as long as the soil moisture is adequate.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and room to climb.

    • Outdoor

      Part shade to full sun, moist soil, room for vines.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, commonly known as the climbing hydrangea, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination develops a root system and shoots that emerge from the soil. It then enters its vegetative stage, establishing a woody climbing vine with broad green leaves and an extensive root system. As the plant matures, usually within 3 to 5 years, it progresses to the flowering stage, producing clusters of white, fragrant flowers in late spring and early summer. Following pollination, the flowers will develop into small dry capsules containing numerous seeds. The seeds are dispersed by wind or occasionally by animals, leading to the establishment of new plants if environmental conditions are favorable. Throughout its life, the climbing hydrangea continues to grow and can live for many years, going through repeated cycles of growth, flowering, and seed production.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The climbing hydrangea, known scientifically as Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, is typically propagated through softwood cuttings. The best time for taking these cuttings is in late spring to early summer when the plant's new growth is still tender. One popular method begins with selecting a healthy shoot and cutting a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 cm) length, making sure there are at least two leaf nodes present. The lower leaves are then removed, and the cut end may be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The cutting is placed in a pot filled with a mix of peat and perlite, with the leaf node buried in the soil. This pot is then kept in a warm, humid environment with indirect light until the cutting takes root, which usually occurs within a few weeks. Regular misting and ensuring the soil stays moist but not waterlogged are key to successful propagation.