Care of climbing hydrangea in tub and pot - instructions

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Triste facades, sober downpipes, grates and fences cover the climbing hydrangea with a magnificent foliage dress and filigree, white flower abundance. The skilled climber does her decorative work even where no topsoil is available as a substrate for planting, because the area is paved or asphalted. Clever hobby gardeners simply pound the hydrangea petiolaris and place the vessel at the desired starting point of the floral pull-ups. This tutorial sheds light on how you skilfully cultivate a climbing hydrangea in a bucket and pot.

The right pot

To cultivate climbing plants for the greening of facades, fences and trellises in pots is a viable alternative to the classical planting of the earth. Although this variant is mostly used for the settlement of annual vines, nothing speaks against the care of a perennial climbing hydrangea in the planter. They give a young hydrangea petiolaris the best starting conditions for a vital growth, if the pot is such:
  • A minimum volume of 10 to 30 liters
  • One or more openings in the floor as water drainage
  • Stable, non-tilting material, such as ceramic, concrete or terracotta
Please do not put the pot in a coaster, as in this case there is a risk of waterlogging after every downpour. Better, the bucket has feet or you push a few blocks below. Also, choose a light color that may reflect the sun's rays so the root ball does not heat up.
Tip: As a self-climber, the climbing hydrangea likes to develop an irrational line at first. By using a bucket with integrated climbing aid, guide the climbing plant away from the start in the desired direction of growth.


Located in the forests of Korea and Japan, the climbing hydrangea favors a loose, humus rich and nutritious soil. Furthermore, a slightly acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is advantageous because the plant is designed to be less tolerant to lime. A first-class water storage capacity is just as indispensable as a reliable permeability, so that no waterlogging develops as a result of compaction. With standardized culture substrates, such as unit earth, the requirements are not satisfactorily met. Optionally, upgrade commercial plant soil with aggregates, or mix the substrate for your climbing hydrangea yourself. The following formulas have been proven in practice:
  • Rhododendron or peat bed, enriched with 20% expanded clay, fine grit or quartz sand
  • A mix of 2 parts of leaf compost, white peat and garden soil, 1 part of lava granules and 1 handful of horn shavings
  • Alternatively, a mixture of loam, loam soil, coconut fiber substrate, bark humus and perlite and horn shavings
Since it is difficult to estimate the pH of self-made substrate mixtures, please carry out a test at the end. Inexpensive test strips are available at every home and garden market. If the result is below 5.5, use algae or garden lime to raise the value. A pH greater than 6.5 is reduced by using peat or alum (potassium aluminum sulfate).



Place the root ball, potted in the container, in a bucket of stale tap water or rainwater while preparing the bucket for planting. If it is terracotta, the pot should be in water for the previous 24 hours, so that the porous material does not deprive all moisture of a young, fresh climbing hydrangea. On the bottom of the pot, drain a layer of pottery shards, chippings or expanded clay balls. So that later on the substrate does not get stuck between the inorganic material, put a breathable fleece over the water-bearing layer. Following this preparation, pot the hydrangea like this:
  • About drainage and fleece fill the bucket to one third with substrate
  • Drain the water-soaked root ball and position it centered on the ground
  • Fill the substrate in portions and lightly press in between
  • Fill in potting soil as far as the lower pair of leaves
  • Keep a pouring rim free from 3 to 5 cm
Finally, pour the potted climbing hydrangea with lime-free water until a trickle runs out of the bottom opening. If you have decided on a pot with integrated climbing aid, tie the lower tendrils to the struts without cutting the binding material into the fabric.


Place the bucket with the potted hydrangea in a partially shaded to shady location. On the north wall of the house, in the light-poor street space or on the shady balcony, the climbing hydrangea meets all expectations.A wind-protected location is an advantage, so that a strong gust does not tear off the tendrils from the facade or climbing aid.
A sunny place with west or east orientation is also considered, if during the warm season enough water is available. The brighter the location, the more colorful the fall color of the leaves is in scene.

to water

All hydrangeas are characterized by a need for water at a high level. In this respect, the climbing hydrangea is no exception. At the same time, their low lime compatibility requires a special water quality. To properly water the deciduous foliage and blossom jewelery plant:
  • When the substrate surface has dried, pour in a timely manner
  • Preferably use rainwater or decalcified tap water
  • Slowly pour the irrigation water onto the root disk
  • If possible, do not sprinkle the plant over the top
The casting process is completed when the water flows through the bottom opening. The sunnier the location, the shorter the intervals between waterings. Is the climbing hydrangea in the summer in their dense deciduous and flower dress, the high degree of evaporation sometimes requires daily watering. A short finger test provides information about the actual need. As long as you still feel moisture within or above 1 to 2 cm, you should not water it to prevent waterlogging.



The climbing hydrangea thrives as a heart root with vertical main roots, of which a dense network of fine roots branches just below the surface of the earth sideways. Solid fertilizers are therefore not very recommendable, as these must be farmed into the soil, with the risk of damaging the fine roots. In contrast, liquid fertilizers are added to irrigation water and can be administered without difficulty. In order to meet the special nutrient requirements of Asian forest plants, specialist retailers offer hydrangea liquid fertilizers. In addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, these contain other micro-nutrients such as iron, manganese and copper in water-soluble form. The administration is very simple:
  • Fertilize every 4 weeks from March to September
  • Add the hydrangea liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Pour before and after with clear water
To support the winter hardiness of a climbing hydrangea, switch to a potassium-fertilized fertilizer in liquid form in September. One of the many benefits of the main nutrient is that potassium increases tissue cell pressure in the tissues. As a result, the plant is better equipped in winter for the constant change between dew and frosty weather. At the same time, potassium lowers the freezing point in the cell water, which also optimizes the frost hardness. Well suited is comfrey, which is rich in natural potassium. Alternatively, commercially available liquid potassium fertilizers are available.

To cut

Until the first flowering, a climbing hydrangea takes between 5 and 8 years time. Until then, encourage bushy growth by cutting the tendrils one-third down to the next leaf node in late winter. Older specimens lay the buds for the next flowering period in the previous year, so that timing and cut differ from young plants. How to proceed correctly when pruning:
  • Cut adult climbing hydrangeas into shape immediately after flowering
  • Shorten too long tendrils until just above a sleeping eye
  • Clean up withered flowers to prevent the exhausting growth of seed stalls
Only in the foliage-free winter time is a climbing hydrangea illuminated. If no leaves obstruct the view of the tendril in January / February, you can cut more precisely and level out. Dead and weak shoots cut off at the base. Otherwise, the branches remain untouched, so as not to reduce the summerly bloom in advance.

Meaningful fall protection

During the development phase, the self-hailing hydrangea does not need a climbing aid, as it has stable attachment roots. In order to direct the letterbox hydrangea at the beginning of a facade in the desired direction, not only a built-in pot climbing aid makes sense. Alternatively, you can set up several fixation points on the ground, for example beeswax clay. From here, the plant climbs even smooth surfaces exactly in the orientation in which a greening is sought.
Furthermore, a fall protection is recommended because the adhesive organs are applied only to the young shoots. As a result of growth in thickness over the years, these adhesive organs tear off. The result is that the majestic climbing hydrangea sticks to a façade with only its young tendrils. This behavior increases the risk that heavy wind and storm will detach the plant from the ground in whole mats. By installing a simple cable system in time, you avoid this risk.


Firmly rooted in the ground, a hydrangea at the appropriate location is reliably hardy so that no special precautions need to be taken. This does not apply to a climbing hydrangea in the bucket.Due to the exposed position of the root ball, threatened primarily by damage from sharp wind and freezing frost. Please leave a plant in a pot with a mobile climbing aid in a frost-free winter quarters. Since the leaves are dropped, it may also be dark here. On the other hand, if a bucket was used as a starting point to green a facade, pergola or arbor, the following measures guarantee a healthy winter:
  • Before the first frost cover the pot with insulating materials
  • Well suited are bubble wrap, jute bands or garden fleece
  • Alternatively, surround it with a chain link fence and fill it with foliage, straw or soil
  • Water occasionally during the winter so that the potting soil does not dry out
In the first 3 to 5 years, you also put a breathable hood over the young tendrils, so that they do not freeze in heavy frost. Also helpful are reed mats, which put you in front of the climbing hydrangea, for protection against cold wind and intense winter sun.


The Hydrangea petiolaris owes its status as a top-class climbing plant, not least a simple propagation strategy. The Absenker method works without extensive effort and produces young plants that have the same beneficial benefits of their mother plant. This is how you proceed in a knowledgeable manner:
  • In the spring, fill a 10-liter pot with a pikierde, coconut fiber substrate or peat sand
  • Place this seedling pot next to the bucket with the mother plant
  • Pull down a half-lignified, healthy, non-flowering shoot on the substrate
  • Dig the contact area with the ground 8 to 10 cm deep and complain with a stone


For the end of the drive, insert a wooden stick into the ground and tie the tip to it. Apply moderately to the sinker with soft water. In the coming weeks and months, the offshoot remains connected to the parent plant, ensuring its supply of nutrients. Water the soil whenever the surface has dried. A fresh shoot signalizes that a separate root system has formed on the buried branch. If you also feel a slight resistance to slight pull, the sinker can be cut off from the mother plant. Repacked into nutrient-rich, acidic substrate from now on, the care program according to this manual.

Diseases: leaf chlorosis

A climbing hydrangea cultivated according to this manual develops a robust resistance to typical plant diseases. Nevertheless, there can sometimes be reason to complain because the rich green jewelry leaves turn yellow. What appears at first glance to be an illness is actually the result of iron deficiency. Although this trace element is sufficiently present in every good plant soil. Nevertheless, it can lead to deficiency symptoms, because iron is no longer absorbed by the roots and transported into the plant interior.
If a lime-sensitive climbing hydrangea is poured exclusively with hard tap water, the lime content accumulates in the soil. As a result, iron, magnesium and other microelements are fixed and are no longer available to the plant. This blockage leads to leaf chlorosis. Visible indicator are yellow leaves with green leaf veins. In the tightly limited substrate volume of the bucket, the climber is particularly vulnerable. How to solve the problem:
  • At the first signs, switch the water supply to rainwater or decalcified tap water
  • Check the pH in the substrate
  • For a result below 5.5, the climbing hydrangea repot a recommended acidic substrate
In the advanced stage of leaf chlorosis there is an urgent need for action, as it takes longer time for the roots to pick up iron again. By subjecting the climbing hydrangea to leaf fertilization with liquid iron fertilizer, you balance the deficiency where it has an acute impact. As a chelate fertilizer, iron is water-soluble and can be applied directly to the leaves using a spray bottle. Please note the special safety regulations, as this fertilizer contains poisonous ferrous sulphate.
Planted in a bucket, the climbing hydrangea plants facades, fences, downpipes and arbours even where no planting of the earth is possible. In partially shaded to shady locations, the climbing artist fulfills the task without requiring a time-consuming care program. For a good success guarantee a sufficiently large pot of 10 to 30 liters volume and a nutrient-rich, slightly acidic substrate. An adequate supply of soft water and fertilizers in 4-week intervals during the summer mark the central points in the care. If the Hydrangea petiolaris grows over your head, it will not bother you to cut back on summer after flowering. The garden year concludes by keeping the tub from frostbite before the first frost with a winter coat.

Video Board: Propagating Hydrangea Cuttings the Easy Way.

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