Gardening Questions And Answers
American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is dioecious. Dioecious plants bear male and female flowers on separate plants. Gardeners need to plant at least one male and one female bittersweet vine to produce fruit. Unfortunately, most bittersweet plants sold at garden centers and nurseries aren’t labeled as to sex.
Leaves Yellowed; Bumps on Leaves, Stems means Scale. Scale insects are the most common pest of bittersweet. They gather in clusters on the leaves and stems and look like small bumps. The males are white and elongated; the females, brown and oval. They make bittersweet foliage turn yellow, and eventually drop.
Toxicity. Although this is not the same plant as deadly nightshade or belladonna (an uncommon and extremely poisonous plant), bittersweet nightshade is somewhat poisonous and has caused loss of livestock and pet poisoning and, more rarely, sickness and even death in children who have eaten the berries.
Bittersweet is a dioecious vine, which means it needs both a male and a female plant to produce seed. Knowledge of how to harvest and care for this seed will help you grow a healthy bittersweet vine. Pluck the ripe red berries off the bittersweet vine when the yellow capsules surrounding them break open.
American bittersweet will tolerate some shade, but grows best and produces the most berries in full sun. The vines grow 20 feet high and 20 feet wide so they will need support. Despite the fact that they climb trees in the woodlands, it’s not a good idea to encourage your vines to climb trees or […]
Oriental bittersweet vines grow between 1 and 12 feet per year and are capable of regrowing from roots that are left in the ground. Individual vines can reach 60 feet long, notes PennState Extension. An oriental bittersweet vine may regrow several times until the nutrients stored in the root system are exhausted.
To start rooting bittersweet vines, dip the cut end of each cutting in rooting hormone. Plant each in a pot filled with two parts perlite and one part sphagnum moss. Keep the soil moist until roots and new shoots develop. You can increase the humidity for hardwood cuttings by placing a plastic bag over each […]
Bittersweet thrives in alkaline soils. If you have acidic soil — or you’ve grown accustomed to automatically lowering your alkaline soil’s pH — you may be preventing your bittersweet from getting nutrients it needs. Without them, flowering suffers. Inappropriate fertilizer also leads to lack of blooms.
Bittersweet vines grow well in both full sun and shade, although full sun is critical for fruit production. These vines are not particularly fussy about soil quality and pests seldom bother them. Because of their climbing habit, bittersweet needs a sturdy support-either an upright trellis or a lateral fence.