People born in December usually share the limelight with Christmas. You can give them unique gifts such as potted or cut flowers to make them feel special. So, what are December birth flowers? The answers are in this article, together with their care instructions.
The Paper White Narcissus is a December birth flower that’s famous in Germany and other parts of Europe. They are clustered flowers that have a solid yet pleasing fragrance. A crown of contrasting color holds its three petals and three sepals.
The petals are paper thin and fragile; that’s why it’s named Paperwhite. They start blooming in November but peak in December. They’re known to survive the frost and thrive in lower temperatures. Healthier flowers can blossom until April.
Some people confuse it with the March birth flower since they belong to the same Narcissus family. However, the December Narcissus is all white and has fewer petals than the March flower.
Most Narcissus flowers bloom in spring, but some varieties like Paperwhite appear during winter. This feature makes them appropriate to be the December birth flower.
What is the history of the Paperwhite Narcissus?
The Paperwhite flower traces its origins in the Mediterranean region. However, you may find some species in Central Asia. Most of the species found in the US came from early European colonists. Then, Eastward settlers distributed them westward. These flowers are prevalent in Great Britain, Sicily, The Netherlands, and the Channel Isles.
What does the Paperwhite Narcissus symbolize?
This white and dainty December birth flower symbolizes sweetness, simplicity, and purity. They can also mean faithfulness and respect. Since the flower is well-loved in many cultures, it also holds various meanings.
In China, for example, it represents wealth and prosperity. It’s a Chinese new year symbol since it’s one of the first blooms to come out during springtime. Many people believe that spring is a popular representation of new life. Similarly, the Kurdish use this as a symbol for the coming year.
On the other hand, Victorians believed that receiving a Paperwhite meant they were “the only one.” It can also mean renewal and time for a change. It is interesting to note that this symbol of hope became the logo of several cancer societies worldwide.
How to Care for the Paperwhite Narcissus
- Check the soil as soon as your potted plant arrives if it is dry, water just enough to make the soil moist. Be careful not to overwater the plant.
- If the flower container does not have holes, drain the excess water by tipping the pot over a sink.
- Place it two to three feet from a window. You may also place it under artificial light. Please ensure that the place is cool and bright.
- Make it a point to keep temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive when they are in cool temperatures. Its growth may suffer in warm temperatures or poorly lit areas.
- Rotate the pot so the plant won’t face the sun.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times.
Holly shows its beauty during the Christmas season, making it a perfect December birth flower. Its flowers are inconspicuous, so the red berries are usually the ones that stand out. The small greenish flowers typically have four petals.
People may think the red parts are berries, but they are indeed drupes. Drupes are fleshy fruits with soft skin that have one seed inside. It is similar to a peach or cherry. Birds love to eat them, but it is not safe for human consumption.
The Holly blooms in the spring, but it becomes the show’s star in December. It has spiky green leaves, so it needs careful handling. The Holly is not too fragrant but can easily attract butterflies and bees. This plant can adapt to different weather, from tropical to temperate.
Check out the crucial things you need to know about Holly.
What is the history of the Holly?
The Holly plants are indigenous to temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions around the globe. Some varieties grow in Europe and Southern US, while others bloom in North Africa and Asia.
During ancient times at the Saturnalia festival, Romans offered Holly to their deputy, Saturn. Several artworks combine this sacred flower with Saturn.
What does Holly symbolize?
Like Paperwhite, Holly has several meanings for different cultures. In Christianity, devotees believe that the berries used to be white. It became red due to Jesus Christ’s blood. The prickly leaves are the crown of thorns.
However, even before the birth of Christ, the Celtic people already used Holly to represent protection and good fortune. Mothers used to bathe their babies with holly-soaked water. Chieftains wore Holly wreaths to help them rule and protect their village.
On the other hand, some cultures believe that this flower means optimism and happiness. The bright berries against the green leaves give off a holiday vibe.
Meanwhile, it symbolizes eternal life and fertility for the Druids. Presently, Holly has become the universal symbol for Christmas. It’s a popular design for many Christmas decorations and artwork.
How to Care for the Holly Plant?
- Hollies are relatively low maintenance once you’ve planted them correctly. However, it would help if you watered them regularly during the summer. Keeping the soil moist when the plant is still young is also essential.
- For optimal drupe production, prune them in the spring. Otherwise, you prune the plant any month of the year.
- Place them under the shade. Hollies don’t like direct sunlight so keep them happy indoors or under a gazebo or patio.
- Use a balanced fertilizer to nourish your plants once a year.
- It will help if you apply mulch on the base of the plant. It helps retain water, especially during the summer months.
Aside from being a classic Christmas decor, a Poinsettia is also a December birth flower. Due to the shape of the flowers, it is also referred to as Christmas stars. It can adapt its color to the weather and becomes a vibrant red during the holiday season. In summer, all you can see is dark green.
The red petals are not petals, but bracts or leaves-the flowers are the yellow, tiny blooms in the middle. The vibrant bracts attract bees and other insects to stimulate pollination.
Poinsettias come in many colors. The usual combination of bracts includes red and white, pink and white, and green and white. On the other hand, other varieties only have one color, such as white or orange. The flower forms are also different across types. Some look similar to a rose, while others look more robust and fluffier.
What is the history of Poinsettia?
Indigenous Mexicans were the first ones to cultivate and use these plants. They used them as medicine, accessories, and home decor. The Mayans, for example, boiled the yellow flower and the red bracts to create a potion.
They used their concoction to treat blood loss in postpartum women. On the other hand, Aztecs used the sap to increase breast milk production. These medicinal uses led to robust propagation and cultivation.
These Christmas flowers were named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the US Ambassador to Mexico. He informed botanists about this fascinating plant and played a vital role in bringing them to the United States.
The bright red Poinsettias may be the most famous, but breeders have also created other colors. There are pink, green, white, and orange poinsettias.
What does the Poinsettia symbolize?
This vibrant flower is a symbol of purity for the Aztecs. Meanwhile, for many Americans, it represents the spirit of Christmas and the miracles of the holiday season. Many people also believe it means joy, success, and happiness regardless of color. It represents a joyful celebration and a cheerful holiday vibe for several cultures and traditions.
The brightly colored flower is Trinidad and Tobago’s national flower. Additionally, it is Madagascar’s floral emblem.
How to Care for the Poinsettia plant?
- Place the Poinsettia pot in the West, South, or East window to get maximum sunlight.
- Check the potting soil for moisture level. If the surface feels dry, water it.
- It would be best to keep the soil consistently moist. Your plant will if you allow it to become dry.
- Make sure to use pots with drainage to prevent the plant from getting too wet. Excess water can cause rotting roots.
- Remember not to fertilize during the holidays. You only need to apply fertilizer when you see new stems or bracts.
It’s enjoyable to answer the question, “what are December birth flowers”? The last month of the year offered beautiful and exciting flowers. They all have fascinating histories and features. They’re low maintenance and beautiful at the same time. So that December-born people have more time to enjoy the holiday and their birthdays.