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Hard pruning climbing hydrangea

WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,994

Hi. I'm contemplating planting a climbing hydrangea on a fence, but was just wondering what would happen if I needed to repaint the fence or replace a panel.

When mature, would the plant tolerate hard pruning to a framework of branches that could be pulled away from the fence to allow access to it? 


  • It would but it would be a shame to cut back that much (which you would have to do to be able to get it off the fence, as by the time you want to paint it will have made quite a bit of growth). It clings by means of tiny axillary roots off the stem, so is very secure against whatever it covers. It will also leave some debris stuck on the fence over which you have to paint. I'd use something else that could be trained onto a trellis or wires which could be leaned away when you treat the fence and quickly and easily put back when the treatment's dry.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,322

    I think it's part of the reason I don't like seeing climbing hydrangeas on fences. Best on a wall. 

    I'd agree with HC. Clematis would be more suitable - especially those that require hard pruning in late winter/early spring. Fix some wires, which can be painted over or around. Alternatively, and more attractive when plants are dormant, attach trellis with screws in case you need to do repairs. Easy enough to remove it in future. image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,994

    Thanks. Makes sense! Luckily there's an end wall of a huge windowless brick warehouse at the bottom of the garden, which the hydrangea can romp away on. It's in sun which I hear isn't ideal for the flowers but it'll certainly have plenty of space.

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,994

    Any clematis (or any other well behaved climber) suggestions for a N-facing fence? Good foliage is important, and I prefer subtle flowers rather than those big 'Nelly Moser' type dinner plates.

    Last edited: 31 March 2017 12:58:42

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,322

    Take a look at the alpinas Will. I also like the viticellas as they have smaller flowers and are very floriferous. I have an alpina and a viticella side by side and it gives me a long flowering season. The alpinas have nice fresh foliage, and many have lovely seedheads too.

    If you go on some of the specialist sites (Taylor's, Thorncroft, Hawthornes) you can put in colour, aspect, flowering time etc, and get a great selection image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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