Outdoor natural Christmas decorations

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Holiday decoration is in full swing. When decorating the hallways in your home, consider using readily available natural options for an authentic look, and of course the wonderful scents that follow these materials.

When using these outdoor materials, don’t forget a few simple tips to make sure your decorations last and the plants you harvest stay healthy and productive.

Greenery is the simplest and easiest natural decoration to add to your home decor. Remember, when you cut branches for decoration, you are pruning the plant, so be sure not to prune too much and follow good pruning hygiene.

Make sure to prune evenly around the plant so that once your decorations have served their purpose, your plant is still healthy and looking great for the rest of the year. Consider trimming spruces, firs, hemlocks and pines for classic greenery.

Use clean, sharp pruning shears to ensure a good cut and prevent disease. Try to keep your fresh greenery out of direct sunlight and hot weather. If possible, dip the fresh diagonally cut ends in water.

A unique natural holiday decoration to remember is mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that often grows in stressed trees. Sometimes mistletoe is at the top of a tree and can be difficult to harvest, but you can often find some that is easier to harvest. You will easily notice it because it is evergreen and can be seen on trees that have already shed their leaves.

Mistletoe is easily recognized in winter by its evergreen green leaves.  It can be added to natural outdoor holiday decorations, but make sure that children and pets cannot eat it as it will make them sick.

Make sure to keep all mistletoe decorations away from children and pets, as it will make them sick if they ingest it.

If you have additional questions about lawns, gardens, or any extension programs, contact 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 on https://bit.ly/3yniPCx.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is an equal opportunities educator and employer. Everyone is welcome! Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs.

Eric Wright is Extension Coordinator for the Etowah County Extension Office.

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