The Bittersweet Dilemma – Solved!

After years of yanking the pervasive (and invasive) red roots of bittersweet from my garden beds, I am highly paranoid about the re-introduction of this noxious weed.

But I can’t deny that it is simply beautiful this time of year.  I’m constantly seeing it grace all sorts of stylish tables,  and long strands are regularly used to drape over doors and wind and twist into beautiful seasonal arrangements.  I usually snort at the editor who commissioned this and how he or she clearly has no idea what a nightmare this plant can be if it takes hold.

bittersweet vineBut, I can’t deny the lure of those orange berries with their papery yellow casings and I can’t help but lust after those pretty twisty branches.

With a quick bit of reasearch, I’ve confirmed what I already knew –  it is not compostable (unless you relish that battle).  Disposal recommendations include sending it to the landfill (this is logic I don’t fully understand and I am not going to follow this recommendation) or burning.  Dilemma solved, I can decorate with abandon, and when it is time to take it down I can safely burn it in the wood stove.

So, before the snow hits later today, I will bring my pruners with me as I walk the woods and gather the makings of lovely decorations for the long holiday weekend.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Connie on December 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Try not to drop any of those pretty berries along the way. Harvesting it for decoration before the birds start eating (spreading) it would be a good way to start pushing back against bittersweet, if only people could be trusted to keep up with all the berries and truly dispose of them all afterward.

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