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Best grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Tolerates full sun in the northern part of its range, but needs constant moisture. Somewhat intolerant of the hot and humid conditions of the deep South, and may not thrive in USDA Zone 8. Slow to establish, but quite vigorous thereafter.
Climbing hydrangea is a vigorous, sprawling, deciduous vine that clings and climbs by aerial rootlets, typically growing 30-50′. If grown as a ground cover, it can eventually spread to cover an area of up to 200 square feet. Features flattened clusters (corymbs 6-10″ wide) of fragrant, white flowers in a lacecap configuration (small fertile flowers in the center with a marginal ring of showy sterile flowers). Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and the overall effect can be stunning. Heart-shaped, serrate, lustrous, dark green leaves (2-4″ long) persist on the vine into late autumn, with little fall color. Exfoliating, reddish brown bark of mature plants is attractive in winter. Once established, this vine can develop a somewhat bushy habit, with lateral branches growing out several feet from the support structure, thus giving the foliage a somewhat tiered effect (particularly when in flower). Zones 4 to 8.