Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GUEST POST: 8 Must Have Plants for the Holidays

Holiday decoration is soon to come. Here is a guest post from Brianna Davis:

8 Must Have Plants for the Holidays

If getting an interior ready for the holidays, fresh greenery is a must.  But which plants are associated with the holidays and can be utilized for indoor decorating?  The below is a list of eight must have plants for the holidays, which include a few well known plants and even some only told of in stories.

1.   Poinsettias – These red and green flowers are a staple for the holidays.  They can be used in boxes, vases, as garlands, and many other uses.  They need lots of direct sunlight, water when the first half inch of soil dries, and liquid fertilizer. 
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2.  Holly – There is a reason the Christmas carols say to deck the halls with this plant.  Hollies have distinctive, crisp, green leaves in addition to bright red berries for that Christmas color scheme.  They are often used in hedges and can withstand heavy pruning.
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3.  Evergreen – These trees are commonly known as Christmas trees.  Spanning from a few inches to several dozen feet, these trees are the kind that decorated indoors with lights, tinsel, and much more.  However, those with a yard and a knack can plant their own.  In addition to evergreen trees, firs, pine trees, spruce, and others can also double as Christmas trees.
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4.  Mistletoe – Known as the kissing plant, what holiday would be complete without one?  Usually joined together in a bunch and hung over a doorway, mistletoe is actually a semi-parasitic plant and grows on the branches of various host trees.  A little known fact is that in the first days of mistletoe kissing, a berry would be plucked for each kiss until they were all gone. 
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5.  Christmas Cactus – The plant earned its name for a reason.  Not a traditional cactus in the spiked sense, this plant almost looks like a fern with pink flowers growing on it.  Another plus of the Christmas cactus is its low maintenance. 
©Petra Voegtle

6.  Laurel – These shrubs are relatives of azaleas and are best known for their white flowers.  It is a broadleaf evergreen commonly found in New England.  They are also commonly found as accents in Christmas wreaths.
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7.  Frankincense – One of the three gifts for Baby Jesus, many have heard of it, but few know what it is.  This herb is made from the Boswellia tree.  It is commonly burned during church masses and has a distinct smell.
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8.  Myrrh – Like the above, this is also one of the gifts the three wisemen brought for Christmas.  It is from the Commiphora myrrha tree.  It is also used as incense burned during church ceremonies.  It is also used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes and toothpastes.
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Brianna Davis keeps up the site Bachelors of Arts Schools. Her site helps students find the right college to get a degree in the arts.


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