If you use live Christmas greens to decorate your home during the Holidays here are a few savvy tips for keeping them looking fresh and their best so they last longer.
I love real greens as much as you do. A bough of pine or cedar or any other evergreen boughs gracefully draped over the mantel. Or fresh, perky Fraser fir sprays mixed with pinecones in a bowl! Just thinking about fresh Christmas greens makes me happy!
But because I decorate with Christmas greens in early November no matter what I would do to real greens they just won’t stay fresh that long. And that doesn’t make me happy! Not at all. What a messy business it is to clean up all the needles around other holiday decor!
However, if you don’t decorate with fresh green until two weeks before Christmas you can keep them fresh and your home smelling like you just cut down your Christmas tree. Here are some tried and true tips for keeping alive. Yay!
I have very tried and true tips for fresh Christmas greenery looking beautiful for the rest of the holiday season!
I want to take a small pause, and let you know I wrote a Christmas e-magazine called Enchanting Christmas. I hope you will sign up to get your free copy!
USE JUST-CUT FRESH GREENS
Not all greens are equal! Some Christmas greens, trees, wreaths, garlands, branches, and sprays are cut weeks ahead and sit outdoors. These are not the greens you want. You want to know where your evergreens are from and when they were cut!
Greens should be subtle and bend easily. The needles should be soft and if needles are dropping off or come off or break when you pull on a branch then pass them up.
Only pick greens with vibrant color and a nice strong fragrance.
I cut these greens room the bushes in my yard so I know they are fresh!
GIVE YOUR GREENS A SOAK
When it comes to Christmas greens, it’s all about moisture loss, my friend! It’s our job to keep our greens from losing moisture! Water loss means dry and brittle evergreens!
Soak your fresh greenery in a bath of cold water for about 24 hours before using them. This will help them retain moisture. And moisture is the best friend of Christmas greens!
If you are using cut greens you can easily soak them in buckets.
I soak my greens in the garage or outside if it is not freezing.
MIST YOUR GREENS
Put water in a mister and give your greens a daily mist. Just be careful if you are misting lighted greens or greens that have faux berries or flowers or bows because the color might run!
Again, it’s all about moisture! You will see a big difference if you give them a mist!
CHANGE THE WATER FRESH GREENS ARE IN
If you have greens in oasis or water make sure to change the water VERY OFTEN!
Keep the water clean. Just use plain water. Studies have shown that adding things like Clorox, sugar, corn syrup or even commercial supplements has no effect on the longevity of fresh cut greens.
If you have potted greens keep them moist but not wet.
KEEP GREENS AWAY FROM SUNLIGHT AND DIRECT HEAT
Direct sunlight and heat sources are the worst enemies of cut Christmas greens.
Sunlight and heat will dry up and burn the greens making them look faded and dry and dead! Again, it’s all about moisture!
So keep fresh greenery away from things like the fireplace or heating vents and direct sunlight.
OUTDOOR GREENS LAST LONGER THAN THEIR INDOOR COUNTERPARTS
Outdoor greens last so much longer than the ones we use indoors because our homes are so dry. That’s why our live green wreaths on our front doors stay fresh longer. As long as they are out of direct sunlight.
TOUCH UP OR REPLACE TIRED-LOOKING GREENS
When your greens start to look spent and needles begin falling like green snow, touch your arrangement up with new greens. If you have fresh greens in your home longer than 2 weeks you might want to plan on replacing the whole thing unless the greens are in water or have been bought from a very reputable greenhouse.
I can highly recommend ordering greens from Lynch Creek Farms. Their fresh greenery stays looking gorgeous! The wreath above was from them.
MIX REAL AND FAUX GREENS
This is really the best of both worlds. Mix live and faux greens and replace the real ones as they get tired. Practical and smart!
USE AN ANTITRANSPIRANT
I used to say to spray your live wreaths and other live greens with an anti-transpirant. However, I no longer suggest that! I have tried so many of them. They do keep greens fresh a little longer but what I found is that the greens get dry and brittle and just don’t fall off the branches.
We can’t expect miracles when we use live greens, but we can be smart and help them to stay looking fresh as long as possible with the tips above!
This year I’ll be adding live greens to our home. Not a lot, but enough that we can enjoy their fragrance.
Here are the top 5 strongest smelling greens…
- The best is Balsam Fir
- Then in no order… Scotch Pine
- Douglas Fir
- Fraser Fir
- Colorado Blue Spruce
If you use a lot of faux green to decorate your Christmas home you might like to read BEST TIPS FOR DECORATING WITH FAUX CHRISTMAS GREENS.
HERE ARE READER’S FAVORITE CHRISTMAS DECORATING POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY…
Enjoy a few fresh greens in your Christmas home this year!