Three Tips for Keeping Garland Looking Fresh

Tis the season, friends! I don't know about you, but I love decking the halls for the holidays! While I love to change my decor up from season to season, one thing remains the same from year to year--and that's my love for fresh garlands and greenery! 

 Three tips for keeping live garland fresh

Each season, I always get lots of questions on Instagram about how I keep my fresh garland and wreaths looking fresh throughout the season--particularly when I hang my garland above the fireplace. Well, fear not, sweet friends, I've got you covered with all my greenery tips today!

TIP #1 - PRE-SOAK THE GARLAND!

 Three Tips For Keeping Garland Looking Fresh

The main reason garland dries out and begins to get that "not so fresh feeling" (hahaha!) is due to moisture retention. So, all of my tips really relate to keeping the moisture and hydration locked in and helping to prevent the garland from drying out. First things first--soak your garland in water before you hang it! I put mine in the bathtub, cover it with water, and let it soak. I've heard some let their garlands soak for 24 hours, but I'm usually too impatient for all that. The garland is soaking right now as I type this, so we'll see how long I last this year!  (Update: I actually got busy and left the garland soaking in the tub for about a week. I just threw in the tub on the weekend and then got too busy to remove it! The garland is fat, y'all. It soaked up loads of water. Pretty sure it will stay green the whole season for sure now!)

TIP #2 - USE AN ANTI-TRANSPIRANT

Say what? Transpiration is a fancy term for water movement through a plant and evaporating through the stems and leaves. Excessive transpiration causes stress, shock, wilting, and plant failure. Ok, enough for the science lesson. After you take your garland out of its spa bath, dry it off and give it a good coat of anti-transpirant. You can get it at Amazon or local nurseries. I'll link the one I'll be trying this year down below, which was the first anti-transpirant to ever hit the market, about 50 years ago. (Full disclosure: I've actually never used an anti-transpirant before, but all the research I've done says this is the way to go). If you skip this step, never fear, because I'll tell you what I HAVE used--with perfect results--in years past in Tip #3.

TIP #3 - USE A CHRISTMAS TREE PRESERVATIVE

Each year, I pick up a bottle of Christmas tree preservative at my local nursery (this is probably just another form of anti-transpirant). I follow the manufacturer's instructions by adding it to some water and mixing thoroughly. I add the whole solution to a spray bottle, and I spray the garland and live wreaths around my home every single day. The preservative keeps the greenery looking green and fresh all season long--even the garland I hang on the mantel, above the fireplace. I'll link the one I use down below, but any preservative you'll find at any nursery will work. According to the manufacturer, the "specially developed formula helps promote liquid absorption and needle retention." The preservative "contains fiber softeners and essential nutrients and minerals to help maintain a fresher tree." It really does work!

 Three Tips For Keeping Garland Fresh 

BONUS TIP - KEEP YOUR FIREPLACE DOORS CLOSED

OK, I know I said only three tips, but I have one extra tip, which won't work for everyone, so I'll call it a bonus tip. We have glass doors on our fireplace--and we also live in Houston, where it's still, like 80 degrees on Christmas Day. I love using our fireplace, but living in Houston, it's really more for ambiance than for warmth. I find that keeping the fireplace doors closed when the fireplace is on helps prevent drying out of the wreaths. I know some of you who use your fireplace for actual warmth don't have that luxury! But, if you live in a moderate climate, and have glass doors on your fireplace, keeping them closed as often as possible when the fire is on, will help keep the greenery from drying out as fast.

WHERE CAN I GET FRESH GARLAND? 

The other question I get asked a lot is where to find fresh garlands and greenery around Christmas time. I always get my cedar garland at our local nursery, Houston Garden Centers. But at Christmas time, fresh garlands can be found at the garden centers of the big box home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. My local Whole Foods also carries a huge supply of fresh wreaths, garlands, and even Christmas trees. I love fresh garlands because we use an artificial tree each year, and the fresh garland brings in that lovely Christmas time smell of cedar/pine/spruce/fir! 

 Three Tips For Keeping Garland Fresh 

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XOXO, Jules