Holiday decorating is in full swing. As you deck the halls at your home, consider using some readily available natural options for an authentic look, and of course the wonderful fragrances that follow these materials.
As you use these outdoor materials, remember some simple tips to make sure that your decorations last, and that the plants you harvest from remain healthy and productive.
Greenery is the easiest and most simple natural decoration to add to your home décor. Remember when you are trimming off branches for decorating that you are pruning the plant, so make sure that you don’t over prune, and follow good pruning hygiene.
Make sure that you prune evenly around the plant so that after your decorations have served their purpose, your plant is still healthy and looks good for the rest of the year. Think about pruning spruces, firs, hemlocks and pines for classic greenery.
Use clean, sharp pruners to ensure a good cut and prevent disease. Try to keep your fresh greenery out of direct sunlight and strong heat. If possible, put the fresh, diagonally cut ends in water.
One unique natural holiday decoration to remember is mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that often grows in stressed trees. Sometimes mistletoe occurs high up in a tree and can be tricky to harvest, but you can often find some that is easier to harvest. You’ll notice it easily as it is evergreen and is visible on trees that have already dropped their leaves.
Make sure to keep any decorations with mistletoe away from kids and pets since it will make them sick if they ingest it.
If you have additional questions about home lawns, gardens or any other Extension programs, reach out or stop by our office at 3200-A W. Meighan Blvd. in Gadsden, call us at 256-547-7936 or visit us on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3otwUdl or online at https://bit.ly/3yniPCx.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Everyone is welcome! Please let us know if you have accessibility needs.
Eric Wright is extension coordinator for the Etowah County Extension Office.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Natural outdoor Christmas decorations