How to Extend the Life of Boxwood Wreath

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The cool thing about a boxwood wreath is its potential longevity, not to mention the availability of boxwood sprigs if you already have a hedge or know someone who does. As the days grow dark and cold, the crisp green of a boxwood wreath can complement your dining tabletop as a centerpiece or shout "cheer" from your walls.

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A greenery wreath is not specific to winter holidays. Unlike a Christmas tree, you can bring it out for any occasion, from Valentine's Day to Easter to the 4th of July, decorated not with pine cones and red berries but with hearts, bunches of spring flowers or American flags—or leave it out as permanent home decor and enjoy it all the time.

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To make it last as long as possible, ensure that it gets enough moisture or take steps to preserve it so that it lasts for years.

Keeping a Green Boxwood Wreath Fresh

Unless you want to preserve your boxwood wreath for years, a goal that is possible but time-consuming, all you need is water and a spray bottle to keep your boxwood wreath fresh.

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Things You'll Need

  • Large, shallow pan or sink

  • Spray bottle

  • Large, lightweight plastic bag

Start fresh

When you get your fresh boxwood wreath or garland home or finish making a DIY version, invest some time to keep it moist. The most effective way is to submerge the wreath in water overnight, either in a large sink or a large, shallow pan. A long soaking like this helps the boxwood stems take up water so that they start out nice and hydrated. If you have baubles on the front that can't get wet, no worries: Just soak the back where the stems are.

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Spritz regularly

Every two or three days, fill a spray bottle with water, remove the wreath from its hanger and spritz the back where the stems are. You can also spray the front, but the back is the most important.

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Protect from heat and sunlight

Sun and warmth will quickly dry out your boxwood wreath, so avoid hanging it above a heating vent, close to a fireplace—which you should avoid anyway since you don't want something flammable near a fire—or on a wall that gets direct sunlight. If you are planning on outdoor use or front door decor, consider that a door that faces south and gets direct sun will likely provide too much sun.

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Cover it at night

After misting and at night, get a large plastic bag, such as a trash bag and drape it around your wreath before going to bed. Tuck it in lightly all around. The plastic will hold in the water for several hours, giving your wreath a nice, long boost of healing moisture.

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Boxwood is a long-lasting, broad-leaved plant that will naturally have more staying power than a holiday wreath made from other evergreens, such as pine or fir trees. Keeping it moist like this can help it look fresh and green for a few months. It will eventually dry out, but even a dry boxwood wreath can be an attractive addition to your decor.

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Preserving a Fresh Boxwood Wreath After Christmas

Nothing lasts forever, but your boxwood wreath might come close if you take steps to preserve it the way the professionals do. While you can dry flowers effectively using various methods, the best way to preserve foliage is to use glycerin, although some people use desiccant instead. Glycerin replaces the moisture in the leaf, preserving the texture and even the color in many cases.

Tip

Before you decide to treat your boxwood wreath with glycerin, you should know that your boxwood will likely turn a warm golden color rather than retain its deep green. This has its own attractions, but avoid this method if you want a green wreath.

The caveat is that you need to do it immediately because the fresher the foliage, the better. So, as soon as you get your wreath home, get ready to act.

Don't water, mist or otherwise moisten your wreath because dry stems are more likely to take up the glycerin. In a large sink or shallow pan big enough to hold the wreath, mix 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water. Weigh the wreath down with something if it floats.

When the stems and leaves begin to turn golden, the process is finished. This may take a week or two, so be patient and replenish the solution if it runs low. Remove the wreath from the solution and hang it somewhere to dry fully.

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