How to Use Bittersweet Branches in a Floral Arrangement


Bittersweet is an invasive vine in some parts of the country that can kill trees and bushes by strangling them. It is planted for its decorative foliage and berries in fall. The leaves turn a vibrant yellow, and the stems are covered with bright orange berries in a yellow husk. Bittersweet is often used in floral arrangements for Thanksgiving, harvest bouquets and autumn weddings.

Things You'll Need

  • Bittersweet vine
  • Bucket
  • Ice water
  • Shears
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Roses, yellow and orange
  • Rubber band
  • Vase
  • Trim the branches of the bittersweet and put in a vase of ice water for 30 minutes for the plant to re-hydrate.

  • Place tall branches in a vase as the highest point in an arrangement. Work shorter branches throughout the arrangement. Place a short stem with a group of berries to rest on the vase.

  • Wire a branch with floral wire by twining the branch with wire every inch. Don't cut the wire as you twine. This allows you to bend the branch into a curve. The wire forces the branch to maintain the curve. Curved branches give a sense of movement to a floral arrangement. Use several curved branches to sweep down from the vase to the tabletop.

  • Cut long branches of bittersweet and twine them around themselves to make a wreath. Place the wreath around the vase of a floral arrangement that also contains bittersweet.

  • Add yellow and orange roses in and among the bittersweet. Place taller roses in the back of the arrangement and shorter stems toward the front. Other flowers that could be used are chrysanthemums, carnations and yellow lilies.

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  • Photo Credit bittersweet image by Alexey Stiop from
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