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Hydrangea 'seemannii' is a lovely evergreen climbing hydrangea from Mexico, introduced to the UK in the 1980s'. It has very attractive lance-shaped serrated leaves and beautiful lacecap white flowers from June until September. The buds are shaped like ducks eggs and soon develop to blooms of 6" across with a delicious evening scent.
It is hardy to -5Â°C and so will need some protection from heavy frosts while establishing. It prefers to grow in shade, even dense shade and, being evergreen, it will not be happy in exposed positions where wind and cold will spoil the foliage. It needs a moisture retentive soil.
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Hydrangea 'seemannii' is perfect as a climber in a sheltered, shady site where the lovely evergreen foliage and beautiful white blooms will provide interest all year round. It can be planted on a north or north-east wall. It climbs with the help of aerial roots but may need some support initially.
It can also be grown beneath a strong deciduous tree where it will get plenty of shade and support. It is necessary, however, to ensure that it is kept moist as it will not thrive in a dry area. It has also been used as a ground cover plant and, when pruned to shape, as a free standing shrub as the stems are strong and upright
Hydrangea 'seemannii' is a healthy evergreen climber but can suffer from chlorosis. If the leaves take on a yellow tinge, water sequestrene around the roots and spray the foliage with a dilute solution of Epsom salts.
The leaves can suffer in an exposed site so it is essential to give it some shelter.
Apart from these two minor problems, it is healthy and fairly easy to grow.
Hydrangea 'seemannii' was introduced into the UK by Neil Tressider of Truro in the 1980's from the Sierra Madre in Mexico, since when it has become widely available and is now extensively grown. It gets its name from the botanist Berthold Carl Seemann, born in 1825, who studied at Kew and travelled widely as a plant collector.