The Unexpected Spot Martha Stewart Plants Her Climbing Hydrangeas

Regardless of your personal opinion of Martha Stewart, it's undeniable she's got some great tips for home décor and gardening, including the care and placement of climbing hydrangeas. So what's the unexpected spot Ms. Stewart plants hers? According to her website, it's on the trunks of trees, of course! We'll review all the details, including some terrific maintenance tips. In the meantime, be aware that this growing tip takes a few years before looking fabulous and flowery.

Still, it's a great idea, and leave it to the queen of home and garden tips to bring it to the masses. If you have unsightly tree trunks or unhealthy trees on your property, this may be an interesting and beautiful way to hide them. Or perhaps, you may just enjoy the idea of introducing a climbing, flowering vine full of hydrangeas into your yard. They might also be just the thing for your arbor or gazebo to make your outdoor entertainment space look like something out of an enchanted forest!

What Martha Stewart says about her climbing hydrangeas

One thing about climbing hydrangeas is that just a single vine can ultimately cover quite a large area, explains Martha Stewart on her website. They will take two or three years to establish themselves, but they make a terrific choice for wrapping around trees because they don't do any damage to them. Some vines choke out trees when intertwined, but as long as they don't weigh too heavily on the highest branches, it should be fine. Luckily, hydrangeas don't harm or stunt the growth of trees as long as you regularly prune them.

In her own backyard at Bedford Farm, Stewart likens the climbing hydrangeas covering her damaged trees to the woodland in the novel "Green Mansions" by William Henry Hudson. The trees were casualties of a hurricane that removed the tops of several large spruces near the entrance to her property. Stewart planted one vine at the base of each, and five years later, they are completely enveloped. Seeing that the stumps were higher than 20 feet tall and 6 to seven 7 wide each, this is an impressive accomplishment.

What you should know about climbing hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangeas can reach up to 50 feet in height and up to 6 feet in width, and they will flower in three to five years after planting. Their delicate white blooms flourish throughout the summertime once established and would look great in an outdoor entertainment area where they can grow on a pergola, gazebo, or an arbor. However, it's important to note that they're toxic to pets, including dogs, cats, and horses, per Plant Addicts.

They also make an excellent ground cover and can be established as shrubs as well. They love the sunlight and will produce more vibrant flowers when allowed plenty of it, but they can also tolerate partial shade. They need a minimum of 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall, and possibly more during the hottest part of the season. Additionally, they prefer daytime temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures of around 60 degrees. Climbing hydrangeas do tolerate frost conditions well and are generally considered low maintenance. Use them to help decorate your backyard to look like "The Secret Garden" of your dreams!