Mistletoe or mistletoe, a special Christmas plant
“Mistletoe” plant or ixos, the plant with the small transparent round white fruits. reminiscent of enchanting pearls. Although the French name gui has prevailed, o ixos as it is called in Greek, is one of the most famous plants that have been associated with the Christmas holidays. In nature, it is considered a parasitic plant that survives on the foliage of various trees such as chestnut and fir. It is an evergreen shrub with branches that reach a length of 30 cm to 1 measure and characteristic leathery oblong leaves in yellow-green color. Mistletoe belongs to the Christmas plants that we combine in decorations at the festive season decoration, along with other plants such as thu, Christmas cactus and St. John’s wort. We can get mistletoe from nurseries and flower shops in a pot, but also plain branches to decorate them in vases and on tables or even in the form of a wreath. Let’s see in detail below what mistletoe symbolizes and what care it needs to enjoy its beautiful fruits in our decoration on festive days and throughout the year.
- What does mistletoe symbolize and why do we decorate it at Christmas?Mistletoe is considered to symbolize good luck to people, love, prosperity and peace throughout the world. In Greek homes, we will meet to decorate the mistletoe at the front door, in vases at
living room to bring good luck and be beautiful in the new year. It is worth noting that in the Gallic village of the famous comic book hero Asterix, the wise old Druid used mistletoe to create the magic potion in his cauldron and gave incredible power to those who drank it.
- What does it grow on; the mistletoe plant?The mistletoe (Viscum album) is very resistant to low temperatures, it prefers cool conditions and semi-shaded places. It grows best in fertile moist soils that have good drainage. In the Greek area, we will very often find mistletoe drifting to fir trees located in forests, at an altitude of over 700 meters.
- How to plant mistletoe in a pot?To plant the mistletoe, we choose a small pot, 20×20 cm, and use an enriched plant that contains perlite and zeolite to retain the soil moisture that the plant needs. At the base of the pot, we place a layer of gravel or pebbles to make better drainage, to remove the excess water after watering. We place the pot with the mistletoe in a northern or eastern position on the balcony. To keep the mistletoe indoors, we choose a bright spot, away from heating bodies, such as fireplaces and radiators.
- How often does mistletoe need watering?Mistletoe needs regular watering to keep relative moisture in the soil it is planted in. We definitely water twice in the spring and autumn, while in the hot summer season it can be watered daily.
- Mistletoe needs fertilizer? Although it does not need mistletoe in fertilizer to survive, adding a liquid green plant fertilizer once a month in the spring promotes vigorous foliage and shoot growth.
- How mistletoe is propagated?The process to create new plants is very special, as mistletoe seeds are very difficult to germinate if we plant them directly in the soil or even if we put them in water first. In the natural environment, mistletoe seeds are food for birds. When ingested, the seeds are activated by enzymes in the birds’ stomachs and then germinate after being dropped in their droppings onto tree branches.
- And a secret about the mistletoe plant.Mistletoe grows on large trees that are at least 20 years old. The branches of the trees to which the mistletoe is delivered may be somewhat more cachectic, but the tree survives and does not die.