How To Dry Bittersweet

Question From: L. Paul - WASHINGTON
Q: Hi Nancy, I checked the site re info on drying bittersweet. While there, I did not see the variety I have planted, which produces yellow berries. This year I have the most berries ever, and would really like to gather some before the birds get all of them. I really like the berries that are red inside after the yellow cover splits, and thought that was what I had ordered from the nursery; however, mine have never opened to reveal that wonderful red part. What kind of bittersweet variety do I have then? I live in the Seattle area where we have wet, rainy winters usually, a rather temperate climate considered zone 8. I have left them in the garden waiting for a few frosty nites to see if that might cause them to open, but nothing has happened. Now, I just want to cut some to dry without losing the to do that? Also, what is the name of the split red berried variety? Thanks so much for any info you can provide. I really do love the berries, vines, old fashioned roses, etc. style of plant, but don't know much about them....perhaps you can recommend info sources or nursery's, etc. We live on 20 acres, most of it in trees, but do have a large yard I'm trying to enhance.


If your bittersweet is the oriental variety you need to dry it to get the yellow shell-like coverings to open. It takes time. Cut the branches and hang them in a warm dry place. This plant is invasive so you should cut all the berries so the birds don't eat them and spread the plants. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.