Climbing hydrangeas are truly fascinating plants. Today, I’m excited to share with you seven popular varieties of this unique climber.
1. Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris
Kicking off our list is the stunning Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, a true gem among climbing hydrangeas. Its eye-catching white blooms stand out beautifully against its lush, dark green leaves, which are decorative in their own right.
This climber can soar to heights of over 30 feet, provided it has something sturdy to cling to. Typically, it spans less than 10 feet in width. With the right pruning to shape its crown, you can create an enchanting green wall adorned with large clusters of white flowers.
Remarkably low-maintenance, this hydrangea thrives in nearly any type of soil and, once settled in, barely needs watering. It’s exceptionally frost-hardy, weathering both severe cold and heat with ease.
For optimal growth, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris prefers dappled sunlight or partial shade. Too much direct sun can lead to scorched leaves or a yellowish tint, while too much shade might hinder its full flowering potential.
2. Miranda Hydrangea
Next up is the striking climbing hydrangea known as Miranda. This variety showcases medium-sized, serrated leaves about four inches in length, notable for their beautiful variegation — a mix of green and yellow portions on each leaf.
Planting Miranda in your garden means welcoming lovely light cream flower clusters that beautifully contrast against the variegated yellow-green foliage, adding a unique decorative flair.
Miranda has the potential to reach up to 50 feet in height, similar to its cousins, requiring a support structure to climb. It can spread to about 6 feet wide. Pruning and the framework’s size allow for easy management of its growth and form.
3. Silver Lining Hydrangea
The Silver Lining Climbing Hydrangea is just as captivating as its counterparts but stands out with its unique silver-green leaves, as opposed to the yellow-green variegation of others. This variegated vine will undoubtedly become a garden’s focal point.
This hydrangea offers an excellent solution for creating a living privacy screen, ensuring both seclusion and aesthetic appeal throughout the growing season. With a potential height of 50 feet, Silver Lining is perfectly suited to screen off your space from neighbors. For an extensive hedge, consider planting these hydrangeas about 5 feet apart.
Thriving in partial shade, the Silver Lining Climbing Hydrangea doesn’t fare well in either deep shade or full sunlight. It prefers loose, well-draining soil and should not be planted in heavy, compact clay.
4. Flying Saucer Hydrangea
The Flying Saucer climbing hydrangea stands out for its unique flower shapes. Its blooms are almost flat, mimicking the appearance of saucers, which creates a captivating display of white “flying saucers” set against a backdrop of vivid green leaves. Choosing this variety for your garden guarantees an eye-catching spectacle.
Capable of climbing to impressive heights of 40-50 feet and spreading 4-5 feet wide, the Flying Saucer hydrangea is equipped with aerial roots that make it an ideal choice for crafting a lush green wall or a natural privacy barrier.
This variety is robust and can thrive in most parts of the United States, requiring full to partial sunlight to flourish. Its blooming season falls in the latter half of summer, demanding regular watering and nutrient-rich soil to support its rapid growth and stunning floral display.
5. Crug Coral Hydrangea
The Crug Coral Climbing Hydrangea sets itself apart from other varieties with its distinctive flower colors. Sporting red blooms that transition to pink as midsummer arrives, its flowering period begins in early summer. The vibrant clusters of flowers create a striking contrast against the lush green backdrop.
With a potential to stretch up to 40-50 feet tall and about 5 feet wide, this hydrangea transforms over a few years into a standout specimen. Its captivating presence when in full bloom is sure to be a delightful addition to any garden.
6. Hydrangea serratifolia
The Hydrangea serratifolia is another variety of climbing hydrangea, noted for its glossy, leathery, dark green foliage.
Its blooms are distinctive, featuring light creamy colors and large sizes with four petals, setting it apart from other hydrangea varieties in both appearance and charm.
This plant can reach up to 30 feet in both height and width, making it an excellent choice for creating a low, dense hedge. It has the advantage of being evergreen, retaining its leaves throughout the winter, and rapidly expanding in width.
However, its major limitation is its sensitivity to cold. The Hydrangea serratifolia is not recommended for areas north of USDA zone 8, limiting its availability to many homeowners across the U.S. due to its poor frost tolerance.
7. Hydrangea seemannii
Rounding out our list of climbing hydrangeas is Hydrangea seemannii, adorned with attractive oblong green leaves and bountiful clusters of sizable white flowers. Its bloom period peaks in late summer, during which it presents a truly delightful spectacle.
This variety can climb to 35 feet in height and spread out to 10 feet wide, offering the flexibility to craft a stunning hedge or stand as a singularly ornamental feature in your garden.
However, its susceptibility to cold limits its cultivation across the United States. It is best suited for planting in regions no colder than USDA zone 7, restricting its availability in cooler climates.
8. Hydrangea hydrangeoides (Japanese hydrangea vine)
The Japanese hydrangea vine, native to regions like South Korea, Japan, and the southern Kuril Islands, is a climbing plant celebrated for its lush foliage and large clusters of white flowers. This species is admired for its ability to add vertical interest to gardens, clinging to structures with ease. It’s especially valued for its ornamental qualities, including its heart-shaped leaves and the striking contrast its blooms provide against green backdrops. Ideal for gardeners looking to introduce an element of height and floral beauty to their outdoor spaces.
9. Hydrangea integrifolia
Hydrangea integrifolia, known for its climbing habit, features glossy, evergreen leaves and produces clusters of white flowers. This vine is admired for its robust growth and ability to adhere to surfaces, making it perfect for covering walls or trellises. Its attractive appearance and durable nature make it a favored choice for gardeners seeking to add a touch of elegance and greenery to vertical spaces.
10. Hydrangea glaucescens
Hydrangea glaucescens is a species of hydrangea known for its distinctive bluish-green, velvety leaves and clusters of white to pale pink flowers. This plant is native to wooded or forested areas in Asia and thrives in shaded, moist environments. Its unique foliage and attractive blooms make it a valued addition to shade gardens, adding texture and color.
11. Hydrangea albostellata (Chinese hydrangea vine)
Hydrangea albostellata, also known as Albostellata Hydrangea, is a deciduous shrub that reaches up to 35 feet in height. It is recognized for its small, white flowers with five petals and a yellow center, creating a delicate and attractive appearance. It thrives in forests and woodlands, contributing to its appeal in garden settings. This plant is adaptable and can be propagated by seed or cuttings, preferring moist, well-drained soil in conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade.