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To remove established vines, cut the stems near the ground and pull down the tops of the vines, or simply let them dry where they are. Site. Sprouts growing in shade seek out full sun by climbing nearby vegetation and forming a blanket over the forest canopy. Following cutting, Oriental bittersweet resprouts vigorously from cut stems and roots. Bittersweet is a Christmas ninja. Not this time! The best way to manage bittersweet is to physically remove the plants, including the root systems, and follow up every year or two by pulling out the new seedlings before they grow too large. Snip off sections of young stem about 4 inches back from their tips. Prune in late winter to early spring. My references say the plant is usually dioecious. Cut back the vine as much as you want to control growth. American bittersweet blooms on “new wood” which is the new growth that appears in the spring. The berries are small and yellow and often in clusters. Oriental Bittersweet is considered a noxious invasive weed, so I don't recommend that you ever consider planting it, but if it's growing in the wild, cutting some of it sure can't hurt. With bittersweet, it is not as clear-cut. To kill a mature plant, cut back all top growth, and dig out the stump, making sure you get all remaining pieces of the roots. This is a bit tricky. It is hardy in zones 5 to 8. Place them in a plastic bag immediately so that they do not loose any essential moisture while being transported to the house. Cut them out near the base of the bittersweet vine. You don't have to do this, but it will encourage bittersweet to grow fuller with more fruits and blooms. There have been times I have spotted a bumper crop along a guard rail, and we'll go back to cut it and find that the ground behind the guard rail is just covered with poison ivy. This will encourage the vine to produce new growth during the current year, on which berries will grow the following year. Cutting back invasive bittersweet plants can stimulate the growth of new stems and root suckers. Cut back damaged and dead branches anytime. So, I guess that means it may need a male nearby, or it might not. If necessary, repeat this procedure again in … Bittersweet vine (Celastrus scandens), is found in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Branches that have already produced berries are considered “old wood” and won’t bloom and produce berries again which is why it's a good idea to prune them away to encourage new growth that will bloom and produce berries. Overnight the yellow berries pop open to reveal pretty red-orange ones underneath. Help answer a question about when to cut bittersweet - Gardening Know How Questions & Answers. American bittersweet vine is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 3b through 8, while Chinese bittersweet suffers frost damage and may die to the ground in USDA zones 3 and 4. When growing bittersweet for the attractive berries, you’ll need both a … So if you've invited this comely vine into your home for the holidays, be careful lest it strike. Woven into wreaths on doors and gates or draped over the mantel, it silently bides its time and waits for a careless moment. Select enough of the larger branches to outline the supporting structure of the bittersweet vine and remove all others. Bittersweet Propagation Taking cuttings from existing plants can reproduce bittersweet vines. How to Cut a Bittersweet Vine Down. Unfortunately, bittersweet and poison ivy like the same conditions so they often grown in tandem. While Oriental bittersweet prefers full sun, it tolerates dense shade while young. Also, help answer other questions about General Gardening and Bittersweet, and plants at GardeningKnowHow.com Fertilize bittersweet with an all-purpose fertilizer once a year in the spring, if desired. 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