En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 28, 2008

From: Kingsport, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Support for Climbing Hydrangea
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

This past spring I planted a large climbing hydrangea at the base of a walnut tree which we have had to cut down this fall. The plant was very happy there and I'd like to keep it where it is but don't know what to construct to support it as it climbs. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

The best (and natural) support for Decumaria barbara (woodvamp), as you obviously already realize, is a tree. It apparently is an orderly, non-invasive vine, whose stems become covered with climbing rootlets, that can be used both as a climbing vine or a ground cover. However, in this North Carolina State University Horticulture site on Climbing Hydrangea, we learned that it has to climb to bloom. Certainly it could grow up a good, sturdy trellis, and we would suggest an arch-type construction so you have ground support at both ends of the structure. A nice stone wall would be a lovely backdrop for it, but rather a labor and money-intensive vine support. If you had a need for a space divider, to perhaps conceal some other part of your property, etc., you might consider a wall or even stepped wall of plain old concrete blocks. Even a chain-link fence would be strong enough, and quickly disguised by the vines, to support it.

You undoubtedly already know more about the plant than we do, but we did establish that it is deciduous. It would probably be a good idea to tidy it up with pruning and cutting back during the dormant season, to keep it within the bounds of the space you have and the support you can provide. It is native to Tennessee, so you have it in the right place!

Pictures of Climbing Hydrangea


Decumaria barbara

 

 

More Vines Questions

Failure to bloom of Campsis radicans in Elkins WV
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in a very cool climate of West Virginia, in the mountains, and it seems impossible for our Campsis radicans vines to flower! Perhaps the growing season is too short? W...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a thorny vine in Florida
June 02, 2009 - Area: panhandle of FL Problem: thorny vine with large potato like roots, rapid growing and very invasive. grows in summer time. thanks
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Will an ivy vine growing up my maple kill it?
March 23, 2009 - I have a ground cover ivy vine that has grown up my big maple tree. I would like to know if this will kill the tree if left, or will I kill the tree if I take it off? What should I do with it?
view the full question and answer

Plants to tumble over a retaining wall in OR
February 10, 2011 - Please recommend plants that I could use to plant on the ground space above a 4 foot high, 150 foot long unattractive concrete wall that would grow over and down to cover the wall. The area is very sh...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center