Posted by Christine Guenther on December 5, 2019 Uncategorized

Decorate with the Symbolic Holly Berry

The holiday season is upon us, and winter weather’s on its way. At Wildflower Florist, serving Arnold, MD, and the surrounding areas, our professional floral designers have been busy creating new designs to celebrate winter and the spirit of the season, using holly, December’s birth flower.

What Is Holly?

Holly Berries on Snowy Branch

Holly Berries on Snowy Branch

Holly is a shrub-like evergreen plant, meaning its leaves stay green all year long. The holly shrub has tree potential but doesn’t always grow quite tall enough, especially when compared to other evergreen trees. Holly blooms with small white flowers that eventually give way to the bright, red berries we associate with holiday festivities.

Is Holly Poisonous?

Holly leaves, stems, and shoots are not poisonous, but the berries are extremely toxic for both people and pets. It’s important to keep decorations that use fresh holly berries and holly plants growing in your yard away from cats, dogs, and small children.

What Is the Holly Plant’s Symbolism?

The tradition of decorating with the holly plant in the winter and the holly plant meaning has a long history. Holly was once sacred to the Druids and Romans due to its long-lasting qualities through harsh winters. In ancient cultures, it was integral to the celebrations of solstice and Saturnalia in ancient Rome. Christians adopted the tradition of decorating with holly during the winter and changed the symbolism to reflect the Christmas holidays. The thorns on the leaves represent the crown of thorns and the red berries represent the blood of Christ.

Wreath of Holly

Wreath of Holly

Our Favorite Ways to Decorate with Holly

Floral Arrangements

Of course, our number-one favorite way to decorate with holly during the holidays is with floral arrangements. We love to feature the vibrant green leaves and red berries in a variety of floral designs. They look lovely paired with all sorts of red and white flowers such as roses, carnations, hydrangea, chrysanthemums, lilies, orchids, and ranunculus. We love to give them some extra sparkle with frosted pinecones or other seasonal embellishments. Arranged in a festive container or elegant vase, holiday floral arrangements provide plenty of seasonal spirit.

festive array of crimson carnations and winter white alstroemeria and holly berries.

Silver and Snowflakes Bouquet

Decorative Wreaths

One of the oldest traditions associated with holly is hanging it on the front door to ward off evil and provide good luck. Why not carry on the tradition by including holly in your holiday wreath? A front door wreath can use holly as an embellishment or as the primary material. It looks beautiful on its own or incorporated into a spruce, floral, or pinecone wreath.

a classic holiday wreath with holly berries and red bow.

Classic Holiday Wreath

Advent Wreaths

Boughs of holly also make wonderful advent wreaths. If you’re accustomed to lighting a candle each Sunday leading up to Christmas, then the leaves and berries of holly, which hold important symbolism in Christianity, make the perfect design.

Christmas Gifts

Add an elegant embellishment to your Christmas gift packaging by tying on a sprig of fresh holly with a pretty ribbon. Just be sure not to leave any of these packages in easy-to-reach places in a home with pets or small children.


Holly’s a lovely addition to the centerpiece of a Christmas dinner table. Add a few candles and your meal will simply glow with holiday joy.

Holliday greens with red and white roses and holly berries with 2 red candles

Christmas Wishes Centerpiece

Seasonal Boutonnieres and Corsages

If you have a special event, party, or formal celebration this winter, consider adding holly to your boutonniere or corsage for a festive take on wearable flowers.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas with Designs from Wildflower Florist

Whether you choose to decorate with holly or use it to celebrate a December birthday, our professional florists at Wildflower can help you choose the best designs to celebrate the season. Our florists have a variety of floral designs created especially for December, but we’re always willing to dream up something new with our customers. We welcome you to stop by for personalized assistance from an expert.