Life Well Inspired

How to Care for Fresh Christmas Decorations- 6 Tips for Success

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Fresh cut Christmas greens garland draped railings with twinkling white lights and the fresh cut red and white flowers mixed with boxwood and balsam fir on the table have a way of inspiring me to decorate at Christmastime.  You just can’t beat the look and smell of fresh Christmas decorations. 

Fresh Christmas decorations are definitely inspiring and drool-worthy. 

And troublesome. 

All too often the garland is dried up and the tree is dropping needles by Christmas morning. It’s so disappointing when the decorations are spent on the day you really want them at their best. Have you lived that reality?  

Past-their-prime fresh decorations happens to everyone at some point. But knowing how to care for your fresh Christmas decorations will go a long way in ensuring success. 

Do you ever watch the movies at Christmas time and get a little jealous of all the fresh decorations?  It seems that the homes in every Christmas movie are bursting with decorations, doesn’t it?  From Christmas greens and flower centerpieces to fresh evergreen garlands and the tree cut from the field there are fresh Christmas decorations galore. 

The florist in me always wonders just how they manage to keep everything alive for the whole season.  Of course, we know things are easy to keep fresh on the set or are replaced frequently. 

Is it really possible to have those movie-worthy decorations in real life?  With a little care, it is!   You can have fresh decorations that last for a few weeks anyway.  You can enjoy fresh garlands, a real tree, and flowers on your table throughout the season. 

Success with your fresh Christmas decorations depends on 3 parts- timing, care, and realistic expectations. 

Fresh Flowers 

It’s not realistic for fresh flowers to last more than a week for the most part. So if you want a fresh centerpiece on your table all of December, you’ll want to plan on buying or replacing it every week. A simple hack is to create your base of evergreens and keep that watered with preservative solution and then change out your flowers each week. You can also mist the fresh flowers with Crowning Glory, which is a solution that helps the flowers stay fresh longer.

If you’re having a holiday party or hosting the day of celebrations, make sure you change out your fresh flowers the day before or the day of to create that silver screen-worthy decor! 

Christmas Trees 

Your fresh cut Christmas tree can easily last for the whole month. To get the longest life out of your tree, it is important that you choose a Christmas tree stand (like this one) that will hold water. You will want to bring it home, give it a fresh cut and fill its stand with warm water first . It will most likely drink a lot for the first few days so make sure to check it 2-3 times each day for the first couple days or just refill the stand with water 2x per day for the first couple days. Once it has rehydrated it will not need to be refilled as frequently. Keeping the stand full of water at all times will ensure your tree will last the entire season. 

You can realistically expect your tree to last 3-4 weeks if you care for it well. We usually go to get our tree the first weekend in December and I typically take it down sometime during the week after Christmas.  I have noticed that on the years we were a week late in getting our tree for whatever reason it would last until New Years Day. I recommend keeping that timeframe in mind when you’re planning to ensure your tree looks it’s best for you. 

Fresh Garland and Wreaths 

Your outdoor wreaths and garlands will hold up just fine in the cold December air. You can expect them to last all month with no real fuss on your part. But if you bring them inside, it will help if you put up your fresh garlands up last as you go about your decorating. 

While you are doing your other decorating, let your undecorated fresh garlands and wreaths soak submerged in a tub of water for 24 hours. This will allow them to be fully hydrated and last as long as possible. Let them drip dry before hanging. 

A simple spray bottle set to mist will help you keep them fresh as long as possible. Mist them daily to help them stay hydrated and keep them from drying out. 

Alternatively, after soaking and drying you can spray them with Wilt Proof, which will seal in the moisture. If you choose to use it, be sure to coat the branches really well from both sides and let dry for a few hours before hanging. 

Amaryllis And Paperwhites 

Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs make a stunning display on any holiday table but unless you are buying already blooming ones you will need to purchase and start them closer to Thanksgiving so that they are in bloom for your holiday table. 

In general, Paperwhites take 4-6 weeks to bloom and the Amaryllis will grace your home with blooms in 6-8 weeks. Since the blooms last for a while I would suggest starting 5 weeks before Christmas for Paperwhites and 7 weeks for Amaryllis.  A warmer location will help them grow faster so also take the usual temp of your home into consideration when planning. 

When used as part of a tablescape, you can place them on your table with your base of Christmas greens early in December and be all set except for changing out your fresh flowers as the month goes on. Most grocery stores and garden centers will have them and I would suggest purchasing one you can pick out instead of ordering one online especially if you are wanting to encourage blooming for Christmas. You should able to find one that have already started growing, too.

If using fresh Christmas greens to decorate your home for Christmas is a dream of yours but you haven’t been successful, using these tips will help you succeed in decorating your home beautifully with all the magic of the scents of the season. The scent of pine wafting to your nose from a fresh cut tree and live flowers is an experience that just can’t be beat!

Here are the 6 tips on how to care for your fresh Christmas decorations in short form for you: 

  1. Make a base of greens for your table and change out the fresh flowers once a week as long as you want a centerpiece on your table. 
  2. Give your tree a fresh cut when you get home and water with warm water for the first watering. 
  3. Put up your garlands last. 
  4. Mist garlands and wreaths displayed indoors every few days to keep them fresh. 
  5. Shoot for keeping decorations up for 3-4 weeks. Use that time frame when planning when you will decorate your home. 
  6. Start your Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs around Thanksgiving for a spectacular holiday show. 

A few considerations will go a long way in helping you create a home decorated for Christmas in a way that is silver screen worthy.