Questions like, how to grow, when to cut, how to dry Bittersweet.
You may grow Bittersweet. You will need a female plant and a male plant to produce the orange berries.
You may cut Bittersweet at any time, but unless you are familiar with the foliage or it's leaves, you may wish to wait until late Autumn, as the berries are beginning to open and the plant is easier to detect. I have always found Bittersweet growing next to fence rows along country roads.
I have fond memories of my family traveling country roads on a cool Sunday Autumn on the hunt for the treasured twiggy plant. Bittersweet is becoming harder to find and requires a bit more driving in the country to stumble upon nowadays, but if you live in the areas listed above on the link, you will eventually come home with a bundle. Take a good cutting tool with you and some newspapers, as Bittersweet is sometime hard to cut, and the berries will stain if smashed or broken. When you find your treasured spot, don't cut all of it! You want to be able to return to the spot next Autumn to freshen your bundle.
Drying Bittersweet is simple. You simply cut the plant and arrange it in the container you've chosen. The orange berries open within a few days after it has been cut. You may strip the leaves of the plant if you prefer the orange berries without the green leaves.
My Mother would always wait until after a frost or two before picking Bittersweet, as then the leaves have fallen off and your left with the showy orange Fallish looking berries.
Bittersweet may be purchased already cut. Because of its rarity, and the fact that it's hard to find, it can be expensive. I've seen tiny posies sell for $20 or more.
Once cut, Bittersweet will last forever. I have found the best way to store the dried plant is to carefully wrap it inside newspapers. Some of the orange berries will fall from the plant, but if gently wrapped, you will enjoy your Bittersweet for Autumn's to come.
I hope this answers most of your Bittersweet questions.
Enjoy a caring and sharing day.
Jill 00 (Two hugs are better than one)