Caring for Fresh Evergreens

Nov 20, 2020

Keep the Green, in Your Holiday Greens

Representing the everlasting life, goodwill, and hope for the return of spring. Fresh evergreens present many decorative options for the holidays. Here are a few tips to extend the freshness and fragrance of your greens.

Plan Ahead

If buying for a specific event, aim to purchase within 2 weeks of the desired date. If you buy ahead of time, keep them outside (in a shaded area) or in a cool garage or basement until needed. Spray with water every 2-3 days until ready to use.


Select and recut any branches you plan to use for the arrangement. Soak in room temperature water overnight or up to 24 hours (a 5-gallon bucket works well). When you’re ready to use, shake the water off each green and let them dry. Wreaths and garlands should be soaked in a large bucket overnight before hanging.


Before adorning with ribbons or other decorations, spray your greens with an anti-desiccant (such as Wilt Pruf, sold at Colonial Gardens). This coats the needles with a natural resin and seals in moisture. You may lose some of the fragrance, but it will increase the longevity of your evergreens. Do not treat Blue Spruce, Cedar, or Juniper berries with these products as it can harm the natural waxy coating giving them their beautiful colors.

Keep Cool

Cooler temperatures are better for your greens, so fresh greenery lasts longer outside vs. inside. Whether using evergreen decorations inside or out, do your best to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources such as fireplaces or vents. If adding lights to your greenery, use LED lights as they are cooler in temperature. Never place greens between screen doors and storm doors as they may burn.


Mist your evergreens often with water, including those in holiday containers to increase humidity levels around the branches. For fresh table arrangements, stick the branches in wet floral foam and keep watered.