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Climbing hydrangea

I have a climbing hydrangea in a pot against an east-facing wall which is thriving and now reaching bedroom windows. However, it’s roots have escaped the pot and the roots have penetrated through the paving, so know I’m worried that it may damage the house footings. 
Would welcome experience and advice please.

Nesi Gravy


  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058
    As you are discovering they make big plants. Keeping it in a pot, unless a very big one isn’t going to be ideal.
    Any chance to repot it? Then you can trim those roots but unless there’s a ‘saucer’ beneath that pot then the roots will escape. 
    You’d also need to quite hard prune it as well to do that. 

    I inherited one at my last house where it was planted in a small bed next to a garage. In over 30yrs living there it didn’t appear to cause problems with the foundations but it did get into the soffits & eaves so needed pruning at times, post flowering, to limit that. 

    Here I’ve planted one again against a garage wall, but in the ground, sorry. It’s what they prefer. 

  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,048
    We have one up our house and it's been there 45 years. It depends very much on your local conditions as to whether it posses a threat to the foundations. We are on sandy soil which helps but it might be more problematic if you are on clay. The position is also important and if it's not next to any drain or utility pipes then it should be fine.
    They don't do well in pots longterm though so you will need to consider how big you let it grow and whether you will put it in the ground. You will only know how far the roots go once you dig down but there is a chance it's already got a good root network in the soil and it makes moving it a lot harder. 
  • Thank you Victorian. Much appreciated. I am on clay
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,968
    The ideal site for them is against a wall, and are particularly beautiful on house walls. They really aren't problematic  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ChezNousChezNous Posts: 40
    Hi, I've got mine in the ground against a wall and I've got clay soil too. It's the petiolaris. I had a semmannii in a large pot and it died. Sounds like yours is doing much better. If you decide you don't want it in the ground, maybe trim the roots and put it in a bigger pot and see how it does? I did read that it might damage the brickwork as it climbs up so will have to check that as I plan to fix a trellis on the wall (after the fact!) so it climbs on that instead of the bricks.
    Late to gardening .... @cheznousgarden
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,968
    You'll need some amount of trellis for a petiolaris  ;)
    They all need to be in the ground. Pots aren't big enough for the root systems and spread that they need. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,048
    Ours is a petiolaris and a trellis won't help for long given how thick the branches will grow. At the base it has three or so branched trunks that are all as thick as your thigh. Some of these branch with decreasing diameter growths moving up to the roof and the tiny roots that attach it to the wall don't really do anything. It basically just supports itself like a tree and it's only the new, spindly, growth that needs to hang on. It has been there 40 odd years though. It's done no damage to the brickwork or render and if you have to take bits off, you are only left with the thin sticky advantageous root bases.  

    We planted a new one a few years ago backing onto a shed (in the knowledge hopefully it will be there longer) and we put a trellis support for it to grow up so if we need to move the shed we can but we have to stop the new growth rooting where we don't want it and onto the trellis otherwise we will never move the shed it we ever needed to. We will switch the support for something stronger when I get around to it as the wood just rots.  

    I don't think seemannii is as hardy as petiolaris.
  • Thanks all. Very helpful. 
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