Holiday Decorating from the Garden

Donna Fossum

When most of us think of holiday plants, several come to mind: trees, poinsettias and mistletoe. All can be used to decorate your home during the holiday season. Another plant that’s become popular in recent years is the topiary-shaped rosemary. Both poinsettias and rosemary can be planted in your landscape after the holidays are over to give you enjoyment for years to come.

The poinsettia is a semi-tropical plant with the colorful bracts giving us a beautiful show of holiday hues and it comes in a variety of colors. The most popular is red, but pink, white, salmon and bi-colors are also available. When you bring the plant home, keep it out of drafts and away from heat. It must be protected from freezing temperatures (even on the way home from the store). If you want to keep your poinsettia alive for an extended period of time, it should be placed near a bright window and must receive adequate water. Once the holiday season has ended, plant the poinsettia in a sheltered location and protect it from extreme cold. If you do this, the poinsettia will thrive for many years.

If you use rosemary topiary to decorate your home, provide it with bright light while enjoying the plant indoors and be careful not to over-water it as it is very drought-tolerant and will not tolerate too much water. Once the holiday season is over, plant it outside and enjoy the herb for cooking year round.

Another plant (actually parasite) that can be brought indoors to help you celebrate the holiday season is mistletoe. If you bring it into your home, just remember to kiss the loved ones who stand beneath the mistletoe. But remember, the berries are very poisonous and should be kept out of reach of small children.

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