Where do our Christmas plant traditions come from?

December 14, 2020

Have you ever wondered why we hang wreaths on the door at Christmas?

Or why we kiss under the mistletoe? 

As a huge fan of all things festive, I decided to take a look at some of our most popular traditions.

Holly & Ivy

Holly was considered a sacred plant by the Druids. Conversely, ivy was considered bad luck if used in isolation which was why it was paired with the esteemed holly.

Holly wreaths

With holly symbolising the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, the evergreen signifying eternal life and the circular shape symbolising God who has no beginning and no end, it’s not hard to see why hanging wreaths on the door is a popular tradition for the Christmas period.

These days, you are likely to see a wide variety of wreaths from the traditional to the extremely modern. Personally I love spotting beautiful wreaths on front doors when I’m out walking the dog.

Christmas Tree

Although decorated Christmas trees have been a longstanding tradition since as far back as the middle ages, it is thought that Christmas trees in their modern format were brought to Britain by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III in 1800. Although exactly when the traditional fir tree was first introduced isn’t clear.


In ancient Britain, Mistletoe was considered so sacred it could only be cut by Druids using a golden sickle. Legend has it that people who met under the mistletoe - even if arch-enemies - would be forbidden from fighting. Such was people’s confidence in the power of this plant that people would hang it outside their homes to ward off evil spirits. 

Due to the Pagan connotations it is still, to this day, rarely seen in churches and it is thanks to the Victorians that it gained its modern romantic reputation.

What’s your favourite festive plant?

I’d love to hear what your favourite festive plant is. Pop across to our social media channels and let us know.