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Humans have a tradition of associating symbols with different things around them, and it is the same for plants. Different plants carry different meanings. Some plants could symbolize luck and fortune, while others stand for evil and bad tidings.
Having said that, there are unique plants that will thrive during the harsh, cold winter and the new year’s seasons. These plants will symbolize different things.
Let’s look at 7 symbolic new year and winter plants that you should be aware of when choosing a plant for your home or to gift someone.
As these are the only trees that stay green withstanding the harsh and cold winter weather with layers of snow, they are associated with immortality and longevity. Evergreens are the trees that are cut down and brought inside the house to be decorated as Christmas trees.
Pines, juniper, cedar, and firs all belong to the evergreen family and do not go dormant during the winter. These trees have a beautiful woody smell of nature, and you can use the leaves to make wreaths and other decorations for the home.
Birch trees symbolize rebirth and new beginnings since they are the first tree to start growing back after a forested area burns. This tree is also associated with protection and healing. The birch tree is also closely associated with magic as seen in old tales and folklore. The birch also symbolizes the fertility and creativity of individuals.
Magical besoms or broomsticks are made using the branches of birch trees or there is mention of birch trees in spells and other rituals linked to new beginnings, enchantments, fresh starts, renewal, and purification.
In old traditions, yews were used to connect this world to the next and they symbolize the death of the old year. It represents the last day of the year as the sun goes below the horizon to rise on New Year’s morning.
This tree also represents longevity and immortality in many cultures, and it gives the message that one should accept new beginnings and stop fearing them and seeing them as a hurdle.
Holly has been used to represent good luck and protection. Since the old times, people used to hang a sprig of Holly in their house to feel lucky and protect their families. People also wear it as a charm and use it to make boughs, garlands, and wreaths.
The ancients had traditions of using the wood of Holly in protective magic and weapons and planting a hedge around the house was thought of as protection from the malevolent spirits.
Ivy symbolizes healing, faithfulness, and marriage and people use it to make garlands and wreaths as part of the New Year and winter decorations. Ivy also gives the lesson that life goes on circling in death and rebirth because an ivy plant continues to grow even after its host plant dies.
When used to decorate the home, it represents the bonds of fidelity and loyalty between friends and family and is also used in magic associated with healing, cooperation, binding two lovers, and protection.
Oak trees are not evergreens, but still, they symbolize eternal life and represent endurance, strength, and protection. Oak was considered a very special tree. In some cultures, an oak tree trunk would be burned for 12 hours on one specific evening during winter, the evening of the winter solstice i.e., when the day is the shortest and the night is the longest among all days and nights of the year.
In homes, when this oak wood fire stayed burning, the household was thought to be protected and supposed to have good health and a great harvest in the next year.
People would save a piece of that log and use it while starting the first fire of the New Year. This would mean that all problems are lifted from the house as the log burned in the fire.
When Roman generals returned after winning a battle, the king presented them with oak crowns. Even today, the oak leaf is considered a symbol of leadership and bravery in the military.
Have you heard about the old tradition of ending discord and peacemaking by kissing under the mistletoe tree? In old traditions, the Norsemen would lay down all their weapons and finish the fight if they ever met under the foliage of a mistletoe tree.
So, why shouldn’t we add this peacemaking tree to our lives this winter to finish all strife and discontent? Mistletoe symbolizes happiness and peace and is also associated with fertility and prosperity.
It is said that back in the day, mistletoe was fed to animals to guarantee fertility. People use sprigs of these trees to make different ornaments, or simply add them to vases and bowls and place them on tabletops.
How To Choose Winter and New Year Plants?
Choosing the right winter and new year plants can be a difficult decision since many plants grow dormant during the cold weather and many lose all their leaves. So, you need to consider some things before you choose any plant for the winter or the New Year celebrations if that falls during the harsh winter weather.
Firstly, consider the weather conditions of your area, and the temperatures that are likely to hit the thermometer. Secondly, consider the needs of the plant you are growing, what temperatures it needs, and which soil types are suitable. You should also consider whether the plant grows well in the yard or if you could grow it in a pot and what are its sunlight and watering needs.
It is important to consider what plants symbolize and what their leaves, flowers, and fruit may represent as some plants are considered lucky to have while some bring in bad tidings. It will be great to have some beautiful winter plants around your home and garden that are symbols of good fortune and luck for the household. If you are planting outdoors, they add some greenery to the bare white landscape, and when gifted to someone, they represent a gift of glad tidings.
Plants symbolize different things and plants that survive winter and remain evergreen right into the new year often symbolize endurance and life as they withstand the harsh and cold weather. The 7 symbolic new year and winter plants listed here are just a few among many plants out there. You can use these plants as a good place to start to learn more about the evergreens and what they symbolize.