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Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris)

Petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea Plants

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The details

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

  • Large white blooms
  • Good bright green foliage
  • Good in shade
  • Self clinging to 15m
  • Mild fragrance
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
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Description

Hydrangea 'Petiolaris'

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is an attractive, vigorous self-clinging climbing Hydrangea originating from woodland areas of Japan, China, Korea and the Himalayas. It tolerates many soils, even heavy clay, but needs good moisture retention and should be watered well in dry spells, particularly during establishment.

It takes a little while to establish, but once it has, it supports itself with aerial roots as it climbs walls, fences and even quite large trees. Once settled in, Hydrangea petiolaris produces masses of showy white corymbs (flat white plates of tiny white flowers) that last all summer and the foliage is fresh green with good autumn colour. As climbing plants go, It is also a very strong grower, and ideally should have plenty of space to expand, although it can be kept within bounds with a judicious hack-back in autumn. Left to its own devices, it can reach 30' to 50'. It should be dead-headed, and pruned if necessary,  immediately after flowering.

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Great for your garden:

Hydrangea 'petiolaris' is the perfect climber for a north or north-east wall as it prefers a bit of morning sun followed by some shade, although it will tolerate dense shade. It is strong and vigorous and needs a wall, tree trunk or solid structure for support. It is ideal for difficult shady areas where the prolific white blooms will provide highlights in the gloom. It is a magnificent climber covering large areas with good bright green foliage and abundant flowers. It will grow in other sites but does not like full sun and windy dry spots. Altogether an easy plant to grow and very rewarding. The growth rate varies enormously depending on position and soil, but in general it will grow quite slowly in the early years, and then become significantly more vigorous when it is well settled in. 

Characteristics:

  • Large white blooms
  • Good bright green foliage
  • Partial to full shade - north and north-east walls
  • Vigorous and will grow to 30' - 50'
  • Mild fragrance
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Look out for:

Healthy and generally disease free but can suffer from chlorosis if starved of nutrients when the leaves will become very yellow. A general purpose fertiliser will solve the problem. Occasionally it can be susceptible to rust and mildew both problems that can be avoided if dead and dying leaves are removed from around the plant.

Trivia:

The hydrangea is an ancient plant and fossils of between 40 and 65 million years old have been discovered. Roots of hydrangea were used by Native American medicine men to cure lung infections and kidney stones. Many varieties of hydrangea have been cultivated in China and Japan for several thousand years.

In 1829, Philippe Franz von Siebold, a doctor and botanist, was expelled from Japan where he was working. He had collected maps of Japan, a forbidden act, and was accused of spying for the Russians. He was, politely, put under house arrest and charged with treason, before being expelled from the country, taking his maps and thousands of plant and animal specimens, including this Hydrangea. 

Planting and Care Instructions

Hydrangea petiolaris Care

How to plant Hydrangea petiolaris

Position your plant where it will be shaded for at least part of the day and where there is adequate support as it grows. Take out a hole a little deeper than and twice the diameter pot in which it arrived. Clean up the soil from the hole, removing debris and weeds and make a planting mixture by adding and mixing in about 10-15% well-rotted garden compost or manure. Place the plant so its branches rest against the surface up which you want it to grow. Sprinkle Root Grow around the roots and then backfill with planting mixture, firming gently as you go. Water well and keep watered until the plant is established and growing away.

Pruning Hydrangea petiolaris

There is no need to prune climbing hydrangeas on a regular basis, but once established, they may need cutting back if they outgrow the space (or the support) available to them. If this happens, the best time is immediately after flowering when you simply remove the offending branches. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but we would suggest cutting them back enough so it will take a couple of years before they need pruning again. The best thing is to make sure they have enough space at the outset.

Ongoing Hydrangea petiolaris care 

There is no need to dead-head as the flowerheads dry on the plant and are decorative until well into winter. Some last until spring and can then be removed as new buds begin to burst into life.

Your plants will respond really well to being mulched in the autumn. Well-rotted compost or horse manure is ideal for the purpose.