Live wreaths, swags and garlands can be amazing holiday decorations, brightening a room with their evergreen boughs and freshening air with their crisp, piney scents. But how can you keep this greenery fresh and vibrant as long as possible without wilting, drooping or decay? There are several tricks that can help keep your live wreaths, swags, garlands and other fresh-cut decorations alive through the holidays so you can enjoy them much longer than expected.
Keeping Cut Greenery Lush and Luxurious
Fresh cut greens are beautiful for the holidays, whether you prefer pine or cedar decorations, berry sprigs, aromatic herbs or other types of greenery to create wreaths, swags and garlands. Whatever types of plants you use, these tips can help you keep your live decorations fresh and festive throughout the season.
Buy as Fresh as Possible
The fresher your greenery is when you receive it, the longer it will last. Investigate retailers to learn where their fresh-cut greenery comes from, and how long it has been cut before you purchase it. If you can cut your own greenery at a local farm or from your own yard, your results can be even better because you know just how fresh the cuttings are.
Soak to Save Greenery
Give your fresh greens a thorough soaking to rehydrate the stems and plants before you craft decorative arrangements. Dunk the plants in cool, clean, fresh water and completely immerse them for at least 24 hours to be sure they have absorbed as much water as possible. If complete immersion is not possible, at least give all cut ends a thorough soaking.
Make Misting a Must
After you've arranged your fresh decorations, regular misting every 1-2 days will help keep them properly hydrated so they will last longer. If your home is very dry, adding a humidifier near the decorations can also help keep them moist. If your arrangements include ribbons or any faux accents, however, remove those accents before misting to avoid any running colors or other water damage that can spoil the look of your decorations.
Try Anti-Transpirant Sprays
Using anti-transpirant or anti-desiccant sprays can help keep your fresh wreaths and other seasonal greenery from losing moisture. These sprays are developed to protect plants in drought-prone areas, and can be used to prolong the freshness and vibrancy of cut greenery as well. Spray the plants well before arranging them, coating the leaves, needles and branches from every angle for the best results.
Keep Them Cool
Cooler air will help keep your fresh evergreen arrangements from drying out as quickly. If possible, avoid putting these decorations in a room with an active fireplace, and avoid positioning them in direct sunlight or near heating vents or other breezes or drafts. Moving the decorations outdoors or into a cooler area at night, such as into an unheated basement or garage, can also help them stay fresh for much longer.
Opt for Outdoor Displays
In cool northern regions, fresh greenery decorations can last for weeks outdoors, but will dry out and look exhausted much more quickly indoors. If possible, use the fresh decorations only outdoors to keep them looking their very best for the longest possible time. In southern areas with mild winters, there may not be much difference between the lifespan of indoor or outdoor decorations if they are treated properly.
The more techniques you use to preserve your live wreaths, swags and garlands, the longer they will last throughout the holiday season and the fresher and more vibrant they will be. With the proper care, these decorations can brighten your home for several weeks and may even last a month or two, extending your holiday joy longer than you may have imagined.