Mistletoe: Our Favorite Holiday Parasite


"Don't get caught under the parasite" sounds like good advice any time of the year. Why is it that during the Christmas holiday we give so much attention to a plant that lives off other plants? And, what is romantic about it? Mistletoe is a parasitic plant we associate with many Christmas traditions, says Jerry Goodspeed, Utah State University Extension horticulturist. A parasitic plant is one that invades other plants, robbing them of water and nutrients, instead of developing its own root system. Parasitic plants are found throughout the world. A couple invade Northern Utah, although they often go undetected.

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Tips for Keeping Holiday Plants Healthy
Several indoor plants are commonly used to commemorate the holiday season. Poinsettias are the most popular. Two other plants, Norfolk Island pine and holiday cactus, are also common. It is important to properly care for these holiday plants to keep them perky.      
Give the Gift of Membership  

A "Friends of the Garden" membership is a holiday gift your friends will use all through the year and it keeps our gardens growing. The $35 annual membership gives your friend discounts on classes like designing with bulbs and creating beautiful container gardens at the Utah Botanical Center and Ogden Botanical Garden, entry to "Friends Only" special events like garden tours and wildflower walks, and 20% off all regularly priced plants.


Especially for holiday giving, gift membership cards will be sent to you in a beautiful holiday card and include $5 off any plant purchase at the gardens next year.


There are two easy ways to give a gift membership. Print and mail the form from our online brochure along with your check. To ensure you receive this special gift card offer in time for Christmas giving we must receive the membership form and payment by December 16.  You can also purchase membership cards at the Ogden Botanical Garden office, 1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden, Mon  ̶  Fri, 8 am  ̶  5 p.m. 

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For the Gardeners on Your Gift List

Even during northern Utah's snowy, cold mid-winter most gardeners are dreaming of the next growing season.

USU Botanical Center Director Dave Anderson and Donna Minch, coordinator of the USU Off Campus Horticulture Degree Program, shared these ideas to brighten the holidays for the plant lovers on your gift list.    


On both their lists are Felco pruning shears because, as Dave put it, "They just work so well. They fit your hand like no others and they are very sturdy." A garden spade with a small head would also be a welcome gift because it is great for tight spots that more common sized spades just can't reach.

Donna's top suggestion is "A great trowel." She is a big fan of the Corona trowel she received a few years ago. Also on her list is a pair of sturdy, well-fitting garden gloves.

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Utah State University  Botanical Center  
725 South Sego Lily Drive
Kaysville, UT  84037
phone: (801) 593-8969

Ogden Botanical Gardens
1750 Monroe Boulevard
Ogden, UT 84401
phone: (801) 399-8201

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 Logan, UT 84322, 435-797-2200