Anyone with CLIMBING HYDRANGEA experience?

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

I saw this plant for the first time this year, at a neighbor's home, climbing up the side of her brick home. Even w/o blooms, it was impressive.

Anyway, I found them on clearance this week and bought it. Now that I've thought about it, I should have bought a couple of them. Anyway, I am trying to decide where to plant it. I do not have a brick home, but I have a pergola or I can plant it close to a tree that it can climb on.

Please tell me your experience with your climbing hydrangea, likes and dislikes and where you have it.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I have one also and don't know what to do with it. I have wanted one for a long time. Now that I have it I don't have any place to plant it. I will be interested in your responses.

Jeanette

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/991952/

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

hmmm. ground cover. that is an interesting idea, but I need those spaces for my regular hydrangea bushes and other shady plants.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

The link that pirl posted talked about using it as a ground cover. I am thinking I might like to do that in my perennial bed like you are talking about your other hydrangeas Lilli. Would it just grow amongst them? I don't know. Or would it try to climb them?

Jeanette

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

Not an expert here, only talking about my personal experience. The climbing hydrangeas have those little "feet" like ivy does. They seem to love brick and other non smoooth surfaces that they can attach to. Mine is growing on a regular old stockade fence. Very smooth surface, so I have to help it go up the fence. I am going to send a baby up a pine in the yard, but be forewarned, they can eventually kill a tree. On the otherhand they are slow growing so the death of the tree may be moot considering our own timeline :)......let the grandchildren worry about it.

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Yes, I've seen their "little feet" as my friend has it growing up her brick house, on the side of the garage where she doesn't have windows. I was eyeing a pine tree today and it looks pretty tall and I'm thinking how pretty it would be to have one climbing up that pine tree. I tried to dig a hole there but the dirt is not good. I'm going to work on that hole after I wet it down some and then modify the dirt.

I don't know - pergola? pine tree?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I think you ladies should read the other thread that pirl gives the link to before you decide.

It was quite interesting too.

Jeanette

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

I did.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I was thinking about your idea on having it climb a tree. Seems the trees that I have are pretty old and are using up all the soil around them. I think I would have to cut thru roots etc. and then the plant probably wouldn't get enough nutrients and water to grow.

Jeanette

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

yes, all mine are old too but I plant stuff around my trees all the time and I never have any problem with them. When I moved in my house, my front bed had those tall boxwood bushes. Hate them. They were covering up the windows to the front of my house. I have floor to ceiling windows and couldn't see out of them. So I had my husband cut them down to the ground. Of course they came back and we finally digged them out, When I dig in my front bed, there are still roots under there, but I dig those roots out of the hole that I'm planting and modify the bed with some better soil. Now I have some beautiful hydrangeas, ferns, wood poppies, roof iris, bleeding hearts and hostas. They are all growing fine there.

Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

I have mine growing up an old tree. In this pic it's 5 years old. I tried to grow one up a privacy fence and it couldn't climb it because they need a rough surface to cling to and the privacy fence had smooth boards. It grew about 4' high resting against the fence then sprawled 8' to 10' feet out. Because it was taking up a lot of a perennial garden and threatening to devour the rest of it I took it out. But it was so beautiful I started over with a new one planted on the oak. There, it happily climbs.

Thumbnail by snapple45
Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

How small was that when started Snapple?

I picked up a climber from Wilkerson Mill Gardens (WMG) the other day but it is over five foot. I hope it climbs to at least ten feet within a few years. They claim to be able to reach 40 feet but that will slow the flower growth..so the lady at WMG tells me.



Incidentally this one is a Moonlight Climbing Hydrangea

This message was edited May 4, 2010 8:30 AM

Thumbnail by kdfisher
Holland, OH(Zone 5b)

It was a 1 gal when planted. They don't make any significant upward growth until they have been in the ground for 3 years, regardless of the vine length/height when transplanted. 'Moonlight' is a nice pick. You'll love it. If you have a lawn company that does fertilzation you might consider having them try to avoid getting any high nitrogen fertilzer around the H. petiolatris roots. It doesn't hurt them but they really don't need that much nitrogen, especially a fall lawn feeding. It also discourages flowering over vegetative growth.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Oh I have a climbing one also. Love all my hydrangeas but this one... Never have gotten one flower! It finally is starting to spread after four or five years? Very pretty leaves on it. I think I will just leave mine as a ground cover. No brick or fence by it. There is a trellis but it is smooth. Guess I made a mistake buying this one! Ronna

Ellijay, GA(Zone 7a)

Geez, I'll be real old and gray to enjoy this one:(

It did come with some healthy buds. Thanks for the input and the fertilizing warnings.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Mine is at least four years old and not a sign of a bud. I doubt it's grown a foot since I bought it.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I have them on 3 trees in my frontyard. They are about 20 feet up on the trees in 3 years.

Jersey Shore, NJ(Zone 7a)

I had two blooms last year. Looks lke about a half dozen this year. I've had it for three or four years.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

wow! Really slow to enjoy the benefits huh? Ronna

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Slower than a turtle.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Looks like the difference is the North vs South. LOL, i.e. GA. NY, MI ,NJ

Clarksville, MD

This is a Japanese climbing hydrangea. I planted it in that spot growing up a dead dogwood tree that was there. After 3 years the dogwood fell down. I carefully removed it, replaced it with the trellis and a few years later added the brickpath. This hydrangea is now about 14 years old. It took 3 years before I got my first bloom. I love it so much, I have cut away two rooted offshoots and started them up trees in my garden last year.

Thumbnail by rileyobo
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That's serious inspiration for us who grow them and a gorgeous specimen as well.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Very beautiful. Is that one plant trained to also go down the other side?? That is some trick. Really a gorgeous plant.

Jeanette

Clarksville, MD

Yes, it is just one plant. I keep the inside of the trellis trimmed out.
And I weave the loose vines thru the top as needed.
And in the spring I throw some osmocote around the base of it.
That is it. It is also at the bottom of a small hill the house sits on,
so the downspout water from half the house goes down that hill.
I only water there in August if we are having a drought.
Last year on the left side, I planted a clematis for more color.
It is so small you can not see it.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Which clematis?

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Very beautiful! Yes, you are an inspiration us all. Have tried everything with mine and am not happy with it.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Very beautiful! Yes, you are an inspiration us all. Have tried everything with mine and am not happy with it.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Is it just sitting there and not growing much?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I was given a piece off of a lady's plant a couple of months ago and it was too cold and the ground frozen hard to plant it so I put it in a pot and it really looks good. Am anxious to get it planted out. I think I am going to use it as a ground cover n my perennial bed.

What do you think? Any ayes or nays?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Aye!

I like the ground cover aspect very much. It's my favorite part of our plant.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Thanks Pirl. It actually looks like a very vigorously growing plant. The branches about 18 inches long on the plant and roots all along it. I can hardly wait.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

If it's not still windy here tomorrow I'll take a photo of the ground portion of the climbing hydrangea. It's very pretty and now I just might try rooting some cuttings. Hard to think of stunting the growth on a plant just about 3' tall. I'd have to live until I'm 90 to see a flower.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I bought one last year that had a lot of blossoms on it. It was about 3 feet long. Of course I killed it over the winter. I wanted it grow up the Cedar tree and of course the Cedar tree sucked up all the water anywhere near it so I just couldn't keep enough water for it. I even used the polymer crystals in the hole.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Why do we have to learn the hard way so often?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

You're right. I should have know what would happen.

I think there are many different kinds of this plant. Guess I will google it and then check PF.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Mine is the variegated one, 'Miranda'. The leaves are very lovely and if I make it to 90 I'll take photos of the flowers.

Plainwell, MI(Zone 5b)

Yes pirl mine is sitting there and not growing very much at all. But very surprided this spring it actually grew over the winter. Been there about 4 years I believe???!!! Ground cover is what I am thinking for ours also. The leaves are very pretty.... Neveron blossom on ours. I had two but it went arye Gave it to someone else and they traded it to someone else. Wonder how it is doing now? lol. Ronna

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

For some of us viewing the plant as a lovely ground cover may be the answer and not expecting a 4, 5, or 6 year old plant to look like those speciment plants we might like.

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