Hello, I live in midtown Toronto. My house faces south, and my backyard is shaded to the north by a large silver maple and to the south by our house. I currently have a small, long planter in the east side fence (you can see part of it on the very right of the photo I attach) and I am thinking of planting some sort of climbing vine in the planter along the fence. Do you think climbing hydrangea can survive there (due to the shade from the tree)? If so, what would be the dimensions of the planter I need (my current planter is only 7.5 inches deep in the interior)? And would I need some sort of trellis along the east fence to help the vine climb?
Thank you very much!
Climbing Hydrangea or Other Vine for Shade
Thank you for submitting your question to the Toronto Master Gardeners. Climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris) are versatile as they can grow in a variety of conditions ranging from full sun to shade. The vine will flower best with more sun but will still grow nicely in shade.
A trellis is not required for climbing hydrangea, which has aerial roots that grow out of the stems and latch securely on to rough surfaces.
The larger and deeper the bed/planter, the better. I suggest a minimum of 12 inches and more if possible. You need to have enough space for the roots and depth to help the plant overwinter.
Alternatives to consider are Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), or Clematis. Virginia Creeper is native to Ontario and will grow without a trellis in shady conditions. There are many Clematis varieties to choose from and local Nurseries typically carry several types. A trellis will be helpful for this vine.