Kiss Mistletoe Goodbye? Poor Weather Blamed For Holiday Shortage

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But we’re not going to let this stop our normal routine of awkward holiday kissing.

Holiday mistletoe, specifically the one that we’re supposed to kiss under around Christmas (there are different species), is pretty hard to find this year, according to The New York Times, especially healthy-looking mistletoe.

Thanks to a record drought in Texas and other bad weather throughout the country, mistletoe has had a terrible time growing, and now that the holidays are here, stores are having a terrible time finding and selling it.

(PHOTOS: Severe Drought in Texas)

The generally pricey plants showing up in New York have reportedly been rather puny and anemic, and many usual purchasers of the plant are bypassing it altogether. Even fake mistletoe has been difficult for some to find.

The dry weather in Texas this year has wreaked havoc on a number of the state’s crops and has been considered the worst in the Lone Star State’s history. Close to 70% of the state’s mistletoe plants have been hurt by the drought, forcing some retailers to get mistletoe from California instead, according to the Times.

(PHOTOS: Holiday Decorations Shine at the White House)

Still, real mistletoe is one of those holiday decorations that only the truly festive (and well-off) among us actually buy. And it appears to have waned in popularity recently. It’s often around $5 just for a little branch, and much of the kissing mistletoe we buy these days is fake – like our plastic Christmas trees.

An owner of a New Jersey florist and supply store, and apparently a mistletoe hater, called the plant a “cheap novelty item.” “People would rather buy a wreath,” he told the Times. Some florists have even said that this will be the first year they won’t be selling it.

In the tonier sections of New York City, however, it still seems rather popular. But the shortage this year may make consumers think twice about the plant next year. Maybe we’ll all be kissing under a shrub of holly in 2012.

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mistletoeus
mistletoeus

Record demand for fresh Mistletoe for Christmas 2013.  “We are experiencing record demand for Mistletoe this season” according to Brion & Lori @MistletoeUS.  Several factors have increased the demand for Mistletoe.  “We have executed an extensive educational program during the Summer months to dispel the myths of Mistletoe.  First, misinformation was provided to the press that a national shortage of Mistletoe occurred due to the drought.  “The Mistletoe crop is vibrant and surviving the drought with minimal impact.”

American mistletoe (genus Phoradendron) is a persistent, evergreen, photosynthetic (contains chlorophyll), seed-producing plant that is parasitic on certain woody plants, primarily hardwood or broad-leaf trees.  stem. The branching pattern of the mistletoe plant also is opposite. The plant requires direct sunlight for best development, which explains why it usually is found high in the crown of tall trees. Mistletoe may change from green to a greenish-yellow color during the winter months, but this is not an indication that the plant is unhealthy. It is particularly conspicuous on hardwoods after leaf fall. The mistletoe derives water and mineral nutrients from the sap of its host plant. Because the leaves of the mistletoe plant contain chlorophyll (green color), the plant can produce its own food through photosynthesis using water and minerals derived from the host tree. The leaves are leathery and occur opposite each other on the mistletoe stem. The branching pattern of the mistletoe plant also is opposite. The plant requires direct sunlight for best development, which explains why it usually is found high in the crown of tall trees. Mistletoe may change from green to a greenish-yellow color during the winter months, but this is not an indication that the plant is unhealthy or due to drought.

Second, marketing has been a significant market factor creating record demand.  “We revised our marketing strategy to grow the demand for Mistletoe by branding our products with creative names. We created TexasToe, MistleHolly and KissleToe and the MistleKissing Ball.”  TexasToe is Texas sized Mistletoe.  Everything is bigger in Texas is a common cliche.

Mistletoe is gorgeous for use in winter weddings.  Mistletoe is known for love, peace and fertility.  “Mistletoe is seldom utilized by Florists in floral arrangements.  We created the MistleKissing Ball for weddings and created floral arrangements utilizing Mistletoe.  The ball is 8″ in diameter and hung at the wedding reception.  The Bride and Groom embrace first under the ball and the wedding guests are invited to embrace throughout the reception.”  Mistletoe is also utilized in the Brides Bouquet, boutonnieres, table decorations, church and reception decorations.

“TexasToe is Texas sized Mistletoe.  Our desire was to promote Mistletoe and the State of Texas. KissleToe is our Texas sized 7″ Sprig which is almost double the size of our competitors.  We combined Mistletoe and Holly and created MistleHolly.”