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Climbing hydrangea

  • Climbing Plants
Hydrangea petiolaris
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Robert Mineau)
Hydrangea petiolaris
  • Hydrangea petiolaris
  • Hydrangea petiolaris
  • Hydrangea petiolaris



Origin and description

Native to Asia, this species is a vigorous climbing vine that can grow to over 10 metres. In our climate, the plant takes time to establish. It can serve as a ground cover, a fence cover or can climb a wall using its aerial roots. Toward the end of June, panicles of small white flowers appear.

Shiny, finely toothed leaves
Corymbs of blooms: inner flowers fertile with small petals, and outer ones sterile with large petals
Reddish wood in winter

Species, cultivars and related plants

‘Miranda,’ ‘Firefly.’


All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Common name

Climbing hydrangea

Latin name (genus)

Hydrangea petiolaris

English common name

French common name


Growing conditions

Light requirements

This plant enjoys a partly shaded exposure. It is a good choice for a northeast exposure.


The ideal soil is rich, cool and well drained with a neutral pH. When planting, amend the soil with compost and water regularly to encourage root establishment. Thereafter, simply watering during dry periods and adding compost annually will meet its nutritional needs.

Hardiness and protection

Hardy to Zone 5, buds and branch tips often freeze in our climate. Therefore, the plant needs to be protected from cold and drying winds.

Easy to grow?

Exposure: partial or full shade
Type of soil: cool and acidic

Pruning and maintenance

The flowers bloom on old wood. In general, prune climbing plants in the spring by removing dead wood and broken or diseased branches. Stem height can then be reduced by one-half to encourage new growth and prevent the foliage from thinning at the base.


  • Zone 5

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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