How Do I Care for My New Climbing Hydrangea?


Hydrangea lovers have many different varieties of the plant from which to choose. The climbing hydrangea is an energetic climber that will easily scale almost any vertical surface to cover it with dense foliage, woody stems and fragrant, white blossoms. Once a climbing hydrangea establishes in a growing area, it can become immense. Care for a new climbing hydrangea properly to give it a good start, and you will soon have a spectacular climbing vine.

Step 1

Select a strong vertical support structure in a sunny or partly sunny location (hydrangeas benefit from afternoon shade). Due to the heavy weight of a mature climbing hydrangea, the plant requires a sturdy structure capable of supporting it. If you choose to train a climbing hydrangea to a building structure, consider placing a separate climbing structure between the building and the plant to protect the building from damage. Trees, fences and trellis systems are all suitable for a climbing hydrangea.

Step 2

Dig a hole approximately 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide for the climbing hydrangea. If you are planting more than one, space the holes between 5 and 10 feet apart along the structure and approximately 8 inches away from the structure. As you remove the soil from the hole, place it on a nearby tarp to allow you to amend it before returning it to the hole.

Step 3

Mix one part aged compost, one part peat moss and two parts soil together on the tarp to increase the quality and drainage capability of the soil. Refill the hole with approximately 6 to 8 inches of amended soil.

Step 4

Remove the climbing hydrangea from its temporary container and place it into the prepared hole, making sure the crown of the hydrangea will be at soil level. Add more soil beneath the hydrangea to bring it up to the correct level, if necessary. Fill the hole with soil from the tarp and tamp the soil down firmly with your hands around the crown of the hydrangea.

Step 5

Water the newly planted climbing hydrangea generously immediately after planting it to saturate the soil completely.

Step 6

Fertilize the climbing hydrangea in the spring as the growing season begins. Apply the granular fertilizer over the soil, consulting the package for the proper amount of fertilizer for the size of your hydrangea. Work the fertilizer into the soil with the hand rake, and then water the soil to saturate it.

Step 7

Prune the climbing hydrangea after it flowers, if you desire. Pruning a climbing hydrangea is not mandatory, however. Remove stems and shoots to control growth. This will help keep the hydrangea growing within bounds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not expect blossoms for two to three years after planting a climbing hydrangea. While these climbers start slowly, once they completely establish in a growing area they will grow quickly and blossom prolifically.

Things You'll Need

  • Strong vertical support structure
  • Shovel
  • Tarp
  • Aged compost
  • Peat moss
  • All-purpose fertilizer (granular)
  • Hand rake
  • Pruning shears


  • The Ohio State University Extension: Hydrangeas in the Landscape
  • Iowa State University Extension: Hardy Hydrangeas
  • University of Rhode Island: Hydrangeas
Keywords: hydrangea care, climbing hydrangea, climbing vine

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.