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hydrangea petiolaris

I've just bought a climbing hydrangea for the kitchen wall of our old stone house. I planted it last week upright, as you would expect, but some rather belated googling found some advice saying plant it sideways, so that the stems are lying on the ground at the bottom of the support. Then, I think it should root at several places along the wall and cover the wall better as it goes up. Has anyone else heard this advice? Have I understood correctly? There were no pictures with the article I read!

And a second question, it is planted in a small bed against the wall, with some space for some other plants to fill in the bottom. Any ideas for plants that might go nicely? Its east facing. I'm thinking something evergreen given that the hydrangea isn't...maybe some box and grasses?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    Hi @pinklara. Ideally , you just plant a reasonable distance from the wall,and lean the stems towards it. If you keep a cane [usually they come with one as support] leaning in as well, the stems continue to grow and then attach themselves. The cane can then be removed. The method you describe can also be used - it will largely depend on how flexible the stems are, and how easy it is to position, and pin them, down.
    Not really necessary to plant on it's side though, and that could be difficult to do successfully. 
    They get very big, so unless the border you have is a good size, it might be best to stcik with some low growing ground cover, and bulbs. Hardy geraniums are good though. The prostarte Gaultherias are evergreen, and would be good though. Pachysandra is another good plant and also evergreen. The hydrangea likes a good bit of moisture, so you don't want to have anything which will deny it that. 
    Have you got a photo of the space? That will help too. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ah great thanks for your advice. Ok, so I won't dig it up and replant on its side then! I like the look of the gaultherias and pachysandra, thanks for that. I'll take a photo shortly, it is tipping it down right now. I don't think water will be a problem, its a very wet part of the world here!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    Here also @pinklara - it's a great plant if you have plenty of rain.

    We're currently enjoying a little break from it  ;) 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Here it is - Actually the bed is narrower than I thought, but quite long just to leave bare. I need to get something to attach the hydrangea to the wall to get it started.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,481
    You can actually do it with strips of gaffer tape if you just put a bit of fabric or something between the tape and the bark so that it doesn’t rip the bark when you remove it. 

    I think that little space would look fabulous with cyclamen hederifolium
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,458
    @Fairygirl has provided good advice (as always :)). Really no need to plant it sideways, it will automatically grow away from the sun, as it's a shade-loving plant.
    I hope this narrow bed provides deep enough good soil, that plant (like all climbers) needs quite a lot of space for its roots, as it grows. Also, it's a slow developer at first (for a couple of years) but then it can grow quite large and you'll have to check that it does not get under your roof, where it might cause damage.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ooh thanks for the tips @Dovefromabove! hmm i hadn't thought of cyclamen :)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,481
    Their pretty leaves will be there most of the year ... when the leaves disappear the flowers appear ... win/win B)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • interesting post @Papi Jo ! yes i hope it will have enough space for roots too...we'll just see how it goes. The soil does get all gravelly as I dig down.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,404
    Cyclamen would be lovely - and you could add some other early bulbs too  :)
    @Dovefromabove is right - you can attach with gaffer tape or similar - I've done that before. You could also do a few vine eyes and wire, just until it gets going itself.
    That's quite a young plant you have, so it'll take a little while to get established,and then it'll hopefully romp away. They're stunning plants when seen in all their glory  :)
    Just to add to Dove's cyclamen suggestion - make sure you get the right ones as she shows in the link, and not the ones you see quite often at this time of year which aren't hardy.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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