The genus Celastrus is comprised of a few dozen species of shrubs and woody climbers from thickets and woodlands worldwide. They are grown for their ornamental autumn fruit and colorful seeds, which attract birds. Provide a wall, fence, pergola, or large tree for them to grow on.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsOrnamental fruit and seeds. Attracts birds. Oriental bittersweet ( C. orbiculatus ) is an invasive weed in many areas.
CareGrow in full sun (preferably) or part shade in most any well-drained soil. Provide strong support and plant at least one male plant to ensure fruit production.
PropagationSow seeds as soon as they are ripe or in spring. Or, take root cuttings in winter or semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
ProblemsPowdery mildew, fungal leaf spots, and Nectria canker can affect plants.