Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 11 Professionals
Common Name: climbing hydrangea
Type: Vine
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Native Range: Japan, Sakhalin, Korea, Taiwan
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut, Good Dried
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Heavy Shade


Best grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Tolerates full sun in the northern part of its range, but needs constant moisture. Somewhat intolerant of the hot and humid conditions of the deep South, and may not thrive in USDA Zone 8. Slow to establish, but quite vigorous thereafter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Climbing hydrangea is a vigorous, sprawling, deciduous vine that clings and climbs by aerial rootlets, typically growing 30-50'. If grown as a ground cover, it can eventually spread to cover an area of up to 200 square feet. Features flattened clusters (corymbs 6-10" wide) of fragrant, white flowers in a lacecap configuration (small fertile flowers in the center with a marginal ring of showy sterile flowers). Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and the overall effect can be stunning. Heart-shaped, serrate, lustrous, dark green leaves (2-4" long) persist on the vine into late autumn, with little fall color. Exfoliating, reddish brown bark of mature plants is attractive in winter. Once established, this vine can develop a somewhat bushy habit, with lateral branches growing out several feet from the support structure, thus giving the foliage a somewhat tiered effect (particularly when in flower).


No serious insect or disease problems. Needs a strong support structure if grown vertically.

Garden Uses

An extremely versatile vine with year-round interest. Can be particularly effective when grown against building walls (brick, stone or wood) where it can easily attach and cling by "holdfasts" to the surface. Also effective when grown on a wide variety of other structures, including arbors, fences or the trunks of large trees, or sprawled over low stone walls, unsightly tree stumps or rock piles. Also can be grown as a ground cover in shady areas or on steep embankments.