Climbing hydrangea won't bloom

bmiller(7)June 22, 2005

I purchased a climbing hydrangea 3 years ago. The plant is thriving (has grown from 1 foot to over 3 1/2 feet tall with sprawling foliage) but has not yet bloomed. Someone told me I had to nourish the plant with epsom salts. Is this right? Is there some other magic ingredient? When is the best time to feed this plant and when can I expect to see blooms?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


No magic pill.....Climbing Hydrangea (Anomalas Petiolaris) is famous for being a slow starter and even slower bloomer. Many people wait over 5 yrs for blooms. Once it finally takes off, you will not regret the wait.....yg

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 3:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
andrea_san_diego(z10 So Cal)

Ah Ha!!! So that's what that pot full of sticks has been doing for the past 3 years. It's waiting. For hell to freeze over???


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Andrea, that 'pot full of sticks' is not suitable for container growth. Unless you have it in a 100G+ pot where root system could grow large enough to support 20'+ vine.
If yours is in a pot for the last 3 years roots are extremely pot bound and overall health of the plant is in danger.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine is blooming for the first time after about 5 years in the ground. It's climbing up a fir tree and is about 15 feet long (tall?).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linda Eastman

boy am i glad i jumped over here from the hosta forum!! i was just formulating the exact same question as beth. and now i know the answer! this is also the 3rd season for mine and nary a bud to be found but everything else is so healthy looking. i have to say mine hasn't grown much taller. but it's a lot wider and fuller looking...growing up the trunk of a spruce tree. so thanks to all for asking and answering the question!
white violet

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Creech444(z7 Atl GA)

I keep hearing too that they don't like to bloom until they hit the top of whatever they're growing up the side of. So if they're growing up a wall or the side of your house, they don't like to bloom till they hit the top, then something tells them "okay I can quite climbing now, I'll think I'll bloom."

I keep hearing this from growers but wonder if it's really all that true?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 1:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I don't think I buy that theory. Mine had a bloom (a fluke I know) this spring on a branch that was just sticking out and not climbing anywhere on a small plant. This plant can grow indefinately so according to that theory, they would never bloom........yg

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
happyhoe(z6 OH)

The branches that are held horizontally off the plant are the ones that bloom.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Creech444 - not true :-) Mine is growing up a 100+ foot Doug fir and is nowhere near the top and blooms vigorously. As happyhoe has pointed out, short laterals extending from the climbing stems bear flowers. They do take time to establish and mature to blooming size but well worth the wait.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
derfy(5 MI)

we have one that has to be 20 feet up a red Oak and still going and is full of blossoms. Interesting it only hugs the north side of the oak. The one on our front porch took 3 years before blooming

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, I didn't know I would have to wait so long to see blooms. I planted one this year. It is growing and attaching well, but now is only five feet up the oak tree. Does anyone know what the lowest temperature it will take and still live. What type of mulch it will need, etc.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This particular hydrangea is about 10-11' tall and 6'+ wide.
It is in a ground for 7-8 years now and could of be much higher if owner (no, it's not my garden) wouldn't cut portion of the top growth every other year in order to promote side (blooming) growth:

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

can anyone id the vines growing up the trellis by the climbing hydrangea? what about the pyramidal evergreen? thanks!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aktnyc(z7a NYC)

BTW it's not true that climbing hydrangea can't thrive in a pot. It definitely can if the pot (or other container) is a big one. I live in Manhattan, I have one, and there are maybe half a dozen others just within a few blocks, and they're all doing fine. They won't get so big, but here you wouldn't want them so big here, would you?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
staceybeth(7 MA)

I have had mine for about a year and a half and one is blooming and the other one has brown ends and is not blooming... this particular one, the one that isnt blooming is surrounded by Hosta, would this be the cause of the lack of blooms?????????????/

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank God I found this forum! I have two climbing hydrangeas that have been growing in boxes for 3 full summers climbing a trellis. I apparently need to get them out of there because they are way too small. Is there any way to transplant it from the boxes and save the plant and the trellis?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I have the same issue as the other Beth. But my hydrangea seems to be covered in deadheads, without ever having bloomed this year. I planted it last year, while it was in full bloom. It has grown quite a bit since last year, and all the deadheads are new growth. Is the answer the same? Do I just need to give it another year or two?

Here is a link that might be useful: photos of my climbing hydrangea

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just figured out how to put the photo directly in the post so you don't have to follow the link in my last post.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

well, mine has been in the ground for around 10 years !!!! It is 30 ft up a pine tree, and still no blooms. But the good news is this is the first yr, that I have lateral branches, so maybe it will bloom ????????? I can always hope. I have great patience. I waited for a purple wisteria ,that I grew from seed, for over 10 years to flower, And boy was it worth it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 2:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

I purchased a climbing hydrangea on a sale table two years ago. It was in poor condition but the price was right. I overwintered it in my cool greenhouse, then planted out the following spring. It didn't do much other than put on a few leaves. This spring it began to leaf out nicely and about a month ago it looked like this.

Now, it has also put up new runners on the brick, some being 15-16 inches long and is already putting out new side growth on the new runners, as seen in the second photo taken yesterday. The wall it is on is N-NE and is bright/high shade most of the growing season.

Because of all the helpful information I've gotten from GardenWeb, I knew it would be slow to establish but I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of growth it's put on this spring. I've never seen one in a garden so I'm really looking forward to seeing a real bloom someday. This plant has interestng bark and the leaves turn a most perfect shade of yellow in the fall.

An excellent all season plant for the garden! When it becomes established, you will be so happy you planted it.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have established a hydrangea vine from the ground on a 6' trellis against a stone wall of the house near my garage door to soften and provide some greenery there. It hasn't bloomed in about 4 years or so, but it is growing vigorously and sending leaders in all directions from the trellis and attaching to the sandstone of the house. I understand they do well in shady conditions but it is now reaching into the sunlit portion of the house. Will this affect blooming? I have been patient and will continue to be.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, once it reaches the top of whatever they are climbing, they tend to start blooming more than before. That usually means the top of a building, top of a tree or the top or end of a fence.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 2:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted a climbing hydrangea last Spring and it has grown profusely and is climbing. I live in Philadelphia, PA and it gets a western exposure - I live on5 feet the east side of the street. It is climbing up the north side of a wall. The part of the plants on the ground are blooming well, but there are no blooms on the wall. The length of the wall is 5 feet and the plants have reached the top. Why should this happen?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 7:57AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
galls in dirt where to plant
Hi, Last summer I dug up a rose that had not been doing...
Need help with hydrangea companions
Hello. I am putting in a new bed this Spring. It is...
What Hydrangea to grow in full sun
Hi, I'm a total newbie to gardening. I want to plant...
Propogating Hydrangea
Hi, My neighbors have just put up a 6 foot high fence...
So Cal Hydrangeas growth is stunt
Hi, I live about 3 miles from the beach in Southern...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™