I have the standard, unattractive City of Toronto concrete hydro pole in my front yard. I’ve successfully concealed it with a porcelain vine which has turned out to be way too invasive, so I’ve ripped it out. I thought a climbing hydrangea would be a better option, but don’t know if it will attach to or grow up a smooth(ish) concrete surface like this pole. I can wrap the pole in chicken wire if that would help but don’t know if that would make a difference to a climbing hydrangea’s chances of attaching and climbing the pole. I would really appreciate your thoughts! Many thanks!
What a great question! And I can confirm that the vine (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) will grow on the concrete pole … my next door neighbour is as the exact situation, and his blooms there very happily.
Because the vine climbs by using aerial rootlets as well as twining, it is not necessary to add chicken wire, although you will have to help the vine get started by winding it around the pole.
Do note, however, that unlike the porcelain vine, these are slow growers and even slower to bloom, sometimes taking up to 7 years before you see a flower. Luckily, the lush foliage is very attractive.
Here is a good guide to growing Climbing Hydrangeas from the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Should you rather consider something that will grow and / or bloom more quickly, take a look at the information we provide for a previous inquirer, especially the options for native plants. Climbing Vines.
Good luck with beautifying that concrete pole!
September 20, 2023