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Schizophragma - Growing Guide
These are vigorous self clinging deciduous climbers with aerial roots that originate from Japan and China. They are very similar to climbing hydrangeas and can be grown on walls, tree trunks or anything to which the aerial roots can attach.
The difference between schizophragma and hydrangea is that the former has sterile outer flowers on the edge of the flower head which have only one bract rather than four.
Schizophragma like a good loamy soil and plenty of moisture. Ours grow and flower best on a south facing wall with their roots in the shade of large evergreen magnolias. Although they are in the teeth of salt laden gales our oldest plant grew to 40ft before succumbing to old age. These climbers can be slow to get going but, once they do, they will often put on another second set of new growth after flowering.
S. hydrangeoides has ovate sharp toothed leaves about 6in long. The flowers appear in June or July and have a slight scent. They appear in broad flattened creamy-white clusters of some 10in across with single ovate creamy marginal bracts. Good yellow autumn colours too.
S. hydrangeoides ‘Roseum’ has attractive pink bracts and S. hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ has silvery grey leaves in spring turning orange red in autumn.
S. integrifolium has longer more ovate and heart shaped toothed leaves and very similar but slightly larger flowers. However the single sterile bracts appear within the flower head rather than only at its edges.
Greenwood cuttings taken in early summer seem to root best for us but you can always detach some aerial roots with the cutting to speed up the process and make it rather easier!
It is often quite difficult to tell which is which of these two related species as young plants until the leaves develop more fully but there is no mistaking the individuality of the flowers.