What’s Growing On? Holiday Flora & Fauna

The holidays are full swing and what better way to brighten the ambiance then with decorative floral arrangements. Filling your home with sensational aromas and color can undoubtedly add to your holiday cheer. Many of these wonderful treasures can be found in your own backyard or your neighbors if you simply ask.

Plants for Floral Arrangements

Designing your floral arrangements is a matter of imagery, tools, and location. Think about the vision you are trying to create but remember it does not have to be an intricate piece of art sometimes, simple is better. Once you have determined your design, ask yourself will you need any specific tools to create the arrangement. Some essential tools are cutters or pruning shears, tape, and wiring as these will often get the job done. If you are designing a wreath, then you will need all the tools mentioned above. If you are creating a tabletop arrangement, then you may only need cutters to collect your plant material. The next item to determine is the location of the arrangement.

Here is a list of plants typically used for floral arrangement designs:

Plant Purpose
Magnolia Foliage, great for wreaths, tabletop décor, or accent pieces
Hollies Foliage, berries add for accent pieces
Palm Seed Pods Tabletop décor
Pine Needles Accent pieces, great aroma
Pinecones Accent pieces, great aroma, can be used for children holiday crafts for making Christmas trees or making wreaths
Spanish Moss Accent pieces, fillers for tabletop décor and wreaths
Fresh cut tree rings Décor base for candles or other accent pieces
Boxwood Foliage and accent pieces
Abelia Foliage and accent pieces
Palm fronds (small) Great background accent pieces for home décor
Turks Cap Accent pieces, filler for tabletop décor, wreaths

Red poinsettia in a basket in front of a fireplace with stockings hung from the mantle

Photo Credit: Poinsettias Holiday Gift Plants – Gardening Solutions – University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (ufl.edu)

UF/IFAS Polk County

Plant Gifts for Garden Lovers

If you have a garden lover in your family, why not gift them a plant for the holiday. Plants are often wonderful gifts as they hold sentimental value and can be appreciated for years to come depending on the plant. Many of the plants listed below can currently be found at your local nurseries or big box stores.

Plant Gift Ideas
Norfolk Island Pine
Christmas Cactus


Repurpose for your Homescape

Depending on the type of plant you received, you can pot it up and keep as a houseplant. Store in a window area to receive sunlight and water lightly as needed. Many of the holiday plants we receive as gifts are sensitive to cold temperatures, so they may be best kept as houseplants for the Central Florida area.

For more information on holiday flora and fauna, check out these resources:


Posted: November 29, 2022

Category: Agriculture, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, HOME LANDSCAPES, Horticulture, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension

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