The Q&A Archives: climbing hydrangea

Question: I have a climbing hydrangea that was planted more than 6 years ago along side a shady patio arbor. It has never grown more than 3 feet or flowered. I moved it to a sunnier location along a picket fence. When do I prune it to keep it from getting out of control? What other care should I be aware of?


Answer: I think you'll see an improvement in your hydrangea's performance now that it is receiving more sunshine. Climbing hydrangea performs best in acidic to neutral, well-drained soils with a high fertility. It is moderately drought resistant, and prefers slight to moderate shade; if the soil is kept moist, full sun is acceptable. The growth can be very slow until the plant is established. To help establishment, water amply during the first year, and fertilize each spring. When the plant is established, the growth rate is moderate. Winter hardiness: Zones 5 to 7 or 8.

Climbing hydrangea requires little or no pruning, perhaps only to thin or direct growth. If certain shoots have grown out of bounds, reduce their length in summer.

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