The bittersweet vine is a deciduous growing plant that produces a woody textured climbing vine. The plant is hardy in the northern climates found growing naturally in thickets and along streams and fence areas. The vine produces and attractive ornamental foliage, but is considered invasive when not controlled as it grows vigorously. Bittersweet is propagated for additional plants by collecting seed capsules in the fall or taking softwood cuttings during the summer.
Propagate by Seed
Collect the bittersweet vine seed in the fall season after the fruit ripens and splits open. The seeds are dark red berries inside the fruit. Place the split fruit on a tray in a single layer to dry for two to three weeks. Remove the seeds from the fruit and let them dry for another week.
Stratify the seeds to stimulate a dormant period. Place the seeds in a container filled with moistened peat moss and store in a refrigerator for two to six months.
Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and sow them in a seeding flat filled with an even mixture of sterile peat moss and vermiculite that is moistened with water. Cover the flat with a clear plastic cover and place it in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
Open the container daily to introduce fresh air into the germination area. Monitor the soil moisture to prevent it from drying out. Mist the soil with water when needed until the seeds germinate.
Transplant the seedlings to individual containers filled with sterile potting soil once they reach several inches in height.
Take 3- to 5-inch-long softwood cutting during the mid-summer months. Softwood cuttings are taken from the tip end of new plant growth. The new growth is soft in texture. Cut a section that has at least two bud nodes.
Remove the leaves from the lower one-third of the cutting. Dip the lower end of cutting into rooting hormone and gently tap to remove any excess.
Fill a rooting tray with sterile rooting medium that has been moistened lightly with water. Stick the cutting into the medium to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Firm the soil around the cutting to hold it in place.
Cover the rooting tray with a clear plastic cover and place it in a warm location that has indirect sunlight. Monitor the soil moisture and mist it with water when needed to prevent the cuttings from drying. The cuttings will produce roots in 2-5 weeks.
Gently pull on the cuttings to see if there is resistance from root growth. Transplant the cuttings to individual planting containers filled with sterile potting soil once the roots have grown past 1 inch in length.
About this Author
Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.