American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is a climbing vine that grows to 20 feet in length. It is easily trained to climb on fences and trellises, adding a colorful cottage accent to the garden. The fruit, produced in late summer to early fall, hang in clusters in shades of red. Bittersweet is frost-hardy and will grow in a variety of soils. A very easy plant to care for, with no pest problems or disease tendencies, bittersweet is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 8.
Grow the bittersweet in full sun. If large trees are shading the plant, consider pruning them to provide more sun for the bittersweet.
Water the bittersweet sparingly. Allow the soil to dry to 4 inches before watering, then water until it puddles at the base of the vine.
Prune the bittersweet in late winter or early spring to keep it to the desired size.