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A picture of a Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea

Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris

Köynnöshortensia (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) by Kymi (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Climbing Hydrangea

A photo of Climbing Hydrangea
A photo of Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea Overview

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris - or Climbing Hydrangea, as it's more commonly known - is one of those rare plants that is happy in full shade to full sun. It is a tall-growing, self-clinging, deciduous climber with broadly ovate/heart-shaped, fresh green leaves that are serrated. These turn a buttery yellow in autumn. The lovely, frothy, white flowerheads - often up to 20cm across - comprise small fertile flowers, surrounded by showy white sterile ones. A low maintenance climber, it is ideal for a shady north wall but Hydrangea Petiolaris can also be planted in a sunny part of the garden; and although tolerant of most conditions, it likes a sheltered position and prefers a neutral to acid soil that is well-drained, containing lots of organic matter. Originating from Japan and South Korea, the Climbing Hydrangea is vigorous (once it gets going), versatile, hardy, and a favourite with many gardeners. Perfect for wall-side borders of formal or informal gardens, it can also be trained against trellises, arbours and pergolas by tying in new shoots. Pruning can be carried out after flowering, to remove any dead shoots and cutting back overlong ones. This lovely cultivar has earned a coveted 'RHS Award of Garden Merit' and is on the RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' list highlighting plants that produce large amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging beneficial insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Climbing Hydrangea

Generally free of disease

How to propagate Climbing Hydrangea


In spring or autumn

Special features of Climbing Hydrangea

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Attracts useful insects

Autumn colour

Plants for Full Shade

Plants that will grow in full shade locations.

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Clay Soil Plants - Top 20

Sticky, clay soil that is either wet or rock hard? These plant will happily provide colour, texture and structure.

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