Climbing hydrangeas (genus Hydrangea)
In general, the term Hydrangea refers to a genus of shrubby, perennial plants, more commonly known under the name of Hydrangea, originating in the Far East, in particular China and Japan. They are highly appreciated plants for the splendid ornamental effect ensured by its flowers. Hydrangeas are characterized by its floral system, consisting of inflorescences (corymbs), with a rounded shape and, in the various varieties, characterized by a wide range of colors.
These splendid plants allow to embellish and decorate a large variety of environments, indoors and outdoors, in particular, the climbing species, can be used to "upholster" tree trunks, with a truly striking aesthetic effect, to adorn gates or fences, and also for framing entrance doors, coloring pergolas or gazebos and all that fantasy can suggest.
There are several species, all more or less used, but the most widespread and cultivated in Italy are Hydrangea petiolaris and Hydrangea seemani, but in the course of the article we will also mention other species present in the territory.
Cultivation of climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris and Hydrangea seemani)
The cultivation of these two species is normally considered accessible to everyone, even novice amateurs can achieve good results, always taking into account some basic notions.
Unlike most hydrangeas, Hydrangea petiolaris is characterized by flat, instead of globular, 20-25 cm and white, ivory inflorescences. It blooms in late spring (June) for about a month, exhibiting flowering plentiful. Another sign of distinction of this plant is the deciduous leaf which on the whole forms a very appreciated bright dark green foliage. During the cold season the leaves turn a yellow with a warm and intense shade, while in the middle of winter, it shows its splendid texture of branches colored a dark brownish red. It can reach 6 meters in height. The Hydrangea petiolaris adapts itself in an eclectic way to different gradations of climate, from cold to temperate, and can grow indifferently in well-sunny positions, as well as in conditions of shadow and scarce solar radiation.
Both Hydrangea petiolaris and Hydrangea seemani are preferably watered with rain water, poorer in salts, but they also bear more basic waters. Usually, after the first year, if you are not in conditions of extreme climatic anomaly, watering is no longer necessary. They are plants that adapt to any type of soil, which greatly facilitates the improvised grower, but it is important to ensure that stagnant water does not form. It is advisable to fertilize (avoiding chemical fertilizers) but without exaggerating. During the first 2 or three years of growth, it is important to help them take root on the supports on which they must grow, therefore it is necessary to guide and direct them, in particular by fixing the end of the longest branch to the support itself. In this initial period of his life, it is useful to make sure to protect the exposed roots from direct sunlight.
These splendid vines can be grown almost everywhere, around trees, on fences, poles and even on the walls of houses, giving a pictorial and fairytale touch to homes. One might think that the price to pay for such beauty is the deterioration of the structures of the house itself, but this is not the case because the roots barely cling, enough to support the plant, but do not insinuate themselves in a harmful way cracks in the walls or between the roof tiles.
They can both be made to rise on walls, on trees, on the poles of a pergola. It can be used, without fear, to embellish the walls of the house because their roots do not damage the plaster, they do not infiltrate the cracks and under the tiles.
The Hydrangea seemani, unlike the petiolaris, blooms from June to July, also for the duration of a month, but the extent of its flowering is more contained. It is, however, an evergreen, and therefore guarantees a beautiful leaf cover throughout the year, characterized by a beautiful dark green. It is a little more demanding as a preferred position, in fact it must be guaranteed direct solar exposure, but it should not be excessive. When exposure to the sun is not sufficient, the appearance of flowering can delay for a few years. Hydrangea seemani also reaches, at optimal conditions, 6 meters in height of Hydrangea petiolaris.