Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Dec 20
2 min read
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With the Christmas weekend quickly approaching we wanted to focus this week's posts on plants for the Holidays. Many plants have come to have a strong association with the Christmas season for their colors, legends, and seasonality. As you hear the background as to why these plants are so popular at this time of year, consider your own memories and the influence these plants, or any others, have played in your life. Nature plays a great role in our lives. You may be surprised at the memories that come flooding back because of these seemingly unimportant plants.

Today's plant is Holly. The influence of Holly at this time of year starts with winter celebrations of the Romans. At these celebrations, holly would be used to decorate homes and garlands in celebration of agriculture, creation, and time with the days being at their shortest times. The Celtics would include them in their wreaths for rites and festivals. More recently Christians have associated the plant with the death of Christ. As holly naturally possesses the characteristics of red and green coloration with sharp edges, this plant can be used for many symbolic representations of the season.

In its origin of use, holy was a tool to fend off evil spirits because of its sharp edges. In its root meaning holly is named for its “prickly” points which can be razor sharp. It is also tied to male protection with its counter being Ivy for females. With its evergreen qualities holly is guaranteed to look great all season no matter its significance to your celebratory traditions. Bring more than good luck and cheer this season by incorporating the holly berries and leaves into your decorations creating the ambiance of the perfect holiday environment.

Fun Facts About Holly:

  • Holly is dioecious which means both a male and female plant have to be near for pollination to take place. Without pollination you won’t see the traditional berry development.
  • The “berry” is actually a drupe. Drupes are a fruit with a flesh that surrounds a pit.
  • Holly fruit is actually toxic to people causing nausea and diarrhea.
Ashleigh Smith's photo

I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.

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Janelle Huston AKA Garden Glam Goddess

I loved your article. It was very nice. It is always interesting to learn about the language of flowers. This is a wonderful advertisement for a gift that can be given to friends and nonromantic relationships. Perfect for “Galentine’s Day” and “Palentine’s Day.” Thank you.


I learned a lot from this article! We give our cat wheatgrass but never knew how good it was for them! I just bought some seeds to grow our own so our cat can have it all the time.

Kathie Hitt

This is amazing! I had no idea you could grow your own popping corn. Will be definitely adding to my fall gardening plan to surprise my family. Thank you!


Thank you for the helpful information! As a beginner gardener it has been tempting to start everything indoors. It’s helpful to know that it best to directly sow some crops.


Beauty berry is one of my favorites bug repelling plants. Great article.


I love nasturtiums. Great article.