Climbing Hydrangea Plant – Tips On How To Grow a Climbing Hydrangea

The climbing hydrangeas are not only beautiful plants but they have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. They are known to cure various ailments such as headaches, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, asthma attacks and many others. There are different types of climbers that grow all over the world. Some of them are:

Chinese climbers (Hemicyclepsis)

Japanese climbers (Peltanthera japonica)

American climbers (Sambucus nigra)

The Chinese climbers are the most popular ones. They can reach up to 1 meter tall and they’re quite easy to grow. They require little care and provide good results. You need to give them plenty of sunlight, water and fertilizer once in a while. If you want to grow them in your home, then it’s best if you use a fluorescent light.

These climbers are very hardy and will survive cold winters.

The Japanese climbers are similar to the Chinese climbers except that they’re smaller than the Chinese variety. They can reach up to 0.5 meters tall and they’re also easy to grow. They require less care than their cousins and produce flowers every year so don’t worry too much about this one!

The American climbers (or Sambucus) are very famous. In fact, the name “elder” is used to refer to all climbing varieties of this plant. They’re also good at resisting cold weather and in winter they provide a nice red color to your garden. The flowers they produce are white but very decorative.

Now that you know the basics about climbing varieties, let’s focus on how to grow a climbing hydrangea!

Climbing hydrangea questions

Before starting with the tips, you need to know some basic questions.

Where do I grow my climbing hydrangeas?

Any place that gets a lot of sunlight and at least 40 degrees Celsius degrees temperature during summer is suitable. During the winter the temperature can drop to -10 degrees Celsius (or even less) which is why you need to grow them in pots and bring them in from the cold weather. If you live in a milder climate then you might be able to grow them outside.

Can I grow them anywhere?

You can, but they will look better if you follow some tips. As I said before, climbing varieties need a lot of light. If you place them in a shadowed area then the leaves will turn yellow and will be very weak. It’s best if you provide at least 6 hours of sunlight every day for your plants to grow properly.

You also need to provide enough nutrients for your plants. Well-rotted manure will do the job but you can use a fertilizer as well (once every two weeks is OK). It’s best if you plant your climbers on a slope where they can get natural nutrients from the rain. Don’t worry too much about watering them as long as you live in a hot and humid climate. In colder areas you will need to water them more often.

How high will they grow?

Climbing varieties can reach up to 15 meters if you allow them to do so. Remember that climbing varieties grow very fast and so do their roots. If you don’t restrict their growth then they will soon start growing out of the pot or even breaking it. By training them to climb on a trellis, arbor or any other vertical support, you give your plants boundaries which helps them grow healthy and strong.

How do I train them up a trellis?

You need to start young when training your plants. Choose a strong and tall trellis (which should be as wide as the pot your plant is in). The best way to train them is to place the trellis upside down and push your plant’s container right against it. After a few weeks your plant will grow towards the light and wrap itself around the trellis. That’s the signal for you to slowly remove the trellis and let your plant grow up it.

If you don’t have a tall enough trellis then you can place two poles upright and tie the plants to them with some string. It’s best to do this at an angle so that the plants can grow towards the sun. After a few weeks, slowly remove the strings that are holding them and let them grow on their own.

Climbing Hydrangea Plant – Tips On How To Grow a Climbing Hydrangea at

If you have no place to put the strings or poles, you can also bend and train the branches to grow in the direction you want. It will take longer for the plant to grow this way but it’s better than having no support at all. With time your plant will produce flowers which can be very big and beautiful (depending on the type).

Which types should I grow?

There are so many different kinds of climbers out there so you are spoilt for choice. Some of the most popular ones are ‘Miss Huff’ (for pink flowers) and ‘Miss Ruby’ (for red flowers). There are also white-flowering varieties such as ‘Arpeggio’. I recommend that you look at different types before you make your final choice.

I hope this article will help you when growing your own climbers. If you want to grow them outside then try to get them to grow on an arbor or a fence whilst keeping them well away from your vegetables and other plants. You don’t want climbing varieties mixing with your other flowers as the vine growth can be very invasive. They will also block out sunlight from the other plants!

Happy growing!


If you want your flowers to look even prettier, then place some trailing varieties in front of them. This will distract the eye and draw focus towards the climbers instead. You can also put a few in a hanging basket and place it somewhere in your garden for an instant feature. Happy gardening!

Article Published On: 2015-02-04

Sources & references used in this article:

Resistance of woody ornamental plants to deer damage by MJ Fargione, PD Curtis, ME Richmond – 1991 –

Selecting landscape plants: Groundcovers by AX Niemiera – 2012 –

Hydrangea: A Southern Tradition by M Browne –



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