American Bittersweet vines Celastrus scandens, display bright yellow-orange fruits that ripens in October to November. Because of its beautiful yellow orange berries, the bittersweet vine like branches are commonly used in holiday flower arrangements.
Tip for using bittersweet in holiday arrangements: spray berries on stems heavily with an inexpensive hair spray before adding the branches to arrangements. The hair spray will hold the berries in place longer.
This fast growing vine is a favorite plant choice for wildlife projects. American Bittersweet is a native plant variety that is adaptable to many soil types. It does take a male and female plant to produce berries on the bittersweet plants. We do not sell sexed plants as it requires 3 to 5 years to be able to accurately sex a plant. Our plants are 1 to 2 year old seedlings and we do not grow them onto larger sizes. To increase the chances of having 1 or more male plants, we recommend ordering at least 30 plants.
We suggest planting and growing your American Bittersweet plants as shrubs. Keeping plants within a 100 feet area should allow for potential pollination. For the best flowering and fruiting, prune bittersweet in early spring. Unpruned plants eventually grow to flowers and fruits only at the ends of the branches. Mulching in spring with several inches of aged compost mix will provide most of the nutrients the plant needs for strong growth.