The Japanese climbing hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) is a slow-growing, woody, flowering vine that can eventually grow to reach heights of between 30 to 40 feet. It is revered for its blue-green, heart shaped leaves and scented 8 to 10 inch wide flowers that resemble the blossoms of a lace-cap hydrangea. For best success, plan on planting a Japanese climbing hydrangea in spring, as suggested by Michigan State University Extension.
Choose a sun-filled to partially shaded planting location for the Japanese climbing hydrangea. A good location is near a fence, arbor, trellis or along the north or east facing wall of a structure. Turn over a 3 foot wide section of soil in the planting area down to a depth of between 18 and 24 inches.
Dig a planting hole for the climbing hydrangea that is approximately 20 to 24 inches away from its host tree, fence, trellis, arbor or wall. The planting hole should be approximately 10 inches wide by 12 inches deep, if you are planting the Japanese climbing hydrangea from a 6-inch wide pot or one-gallon pot. Dig a 14 inch wide, by 16 inch deep hole if you are planting from a five-gallon pot.
Mix into the soil you extracted from the planting hole approximately 1/2 cubic feet of aged manure or dehydrated plant-based compost to improve soil that is light or sand-like. Use 1/2 cubic feet of coarse sand or perlite to improve sticky or heavy soil. Mix in sphagnum peat moss of leaf mold to improve the fertility of soil that has adequate drainage.
Cut along the sides of growing container, beginning at a drain hole, up to the rim of the container, using a pair of all-purpose heavy duty snips. Do this at each drain hole until you can remove the Japanese climbing hydrangea from its container.
Spray the root ball with water to remove approximately 1-inch of soil from around the root ball. Loosen any entangled or matted roots using your fingers.
Place the Japanese climbing hydrangea into its planting hole. Hold the plant level and straight in the hole, which you scoop in the soil and organic matter mixture so secure the hydrangea in the planting hole. Pour in approximately two gallons of water, then fill the planting hole full with soil slowly, tamping it down as you go.
Water the Japanese climbing hydrangea with two or three gallons of water if you planted from a 6-inch wide pot, or a one-gallon pot. Provide the hydrangea with six to seven gallons of water if you planted from a five-gallon pot.