Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris

Climbing Hydrangea

hye-DRAN-ja a-NOM-a-la pet-ee-o-LAR-is

Japan, China, Korea

Growth Habit

Clinging vine adhering to rough surfaces but extending away from surface adding a three dimensional appearance.


Sun to partial shade; best not on a southern exposure. Prefers moist, well-drained soil.

Landscape Use

One of the better hardy vines available. It has an excellent massive effect on brick or stone walls, arbors, trees and any free structure. It needs ample support because it becomes quite woody. Climbing Hydrangea can grow up to 80 feet tall climbing by root-like hold-fasts. It will grow in more than one plane and gives depth to the structure it is covering. Glossy green leaves densely cover the plant in the summer and fall color is occasionally a bright yellow. Bark on older stems develops cinnamon colored exfoliating bark, similar to that of Acer griseum. This bark gives the plant an interesting winter character. The flowers are borne in June through early July in flat-topped corymbs. The outer flowers are sterile and showy (1 to 1.75 inches across) and the inner flowers are fertile, dull white, and have a sweet fragrance. THe overall effect of the flowers is magnificent. Climbing Hydrangea can be difficult to transplant, but is well worth the extra effort it takes to establish it.


Glossy dark green in summer. Opposite, simple, serrate, broad ovate; 2 to 4 inches; possibly yellow fall color but typically green.


Buds are imbricate, 2 scaled, brown to reddish brown, glabrous.


Older stems rich cinnamon brown. Mature stems exfoliate to reveal lighter brown inner bark.


White flat clusters 6-10 inches in summer; with large petaled sterile flowers typically surrounding a central cluster of minimal fertile flowers.


Dry capsule, not showy.


July cuttings treated with 8000-10000 ppm IBA

Japanese beetle.

'Firefly' Miranda (TM) - New foliage with soft yellow margins and a medium green center. Variegation is subtle and fades with the heat of the summer.

'Skylands Giant' - A local selection from Skylands, NJ, this cultivar is distinctive because of its larger, white, lacecap flower clusters and greater number of larger sterile flowers surrounding the inflorescence. Deep green summer foliage.