The Q&A Archives: Training Bittersweet as Vine

Question: Bittersweet is classified as a vine or sometimes as a climbing bush. What needs to be done to make it a regular bush? Does it need a trellis or something to grow on? Also does a female need a male plant to produce berries?. How does one know when buying it if male or female?

Answer: Bittersweet, Calastrus scandens, is a twining vine or a scrambling bush. In either case it is an unruly sort of plant. To grow it in more of a bush shape, you will need to encourage it to twine itself around a very sturdy support. Keep in mind the plant canr each a size of twenty feet, so allow plenty of room.

This vine does require both male and female plants for pollination. Unfortunately, most suppliers do not identify the plants as male or female although some sell a matched pair potted torgether.

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