Green and fresh is how you want your holiday wreath. If it begins to turn crispy or brown at the tips before the holiday season is over, the damage is already done because fresh greenery absolutely needs proper care from the first moment you bring it home.
You've smartly chosen a pine wreath—so you have a good start. Pine Christmas wreaths, cedar wreaths and boxwood wreaths are the most likely to last throughout the season.
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Follow these tips to keep your fresh-cut wreath the freshest it can be during the entire season.
Keep your fresh Christmas wreath cool
Whether you brought a new, fresh wreath home or made a homemade wreath, you can prevent it from drying out by following these tips.
Soak it before you hang it
You've brought your fresh evergreen wreath home (or made one), and you're ready to hang it—but wait. The wreath you just bought at a retailer may not be all that fresh to start with since you probably don't know where it was made or when it was shipped.
This may sound extreme, but your wreath will benefit from a lengthy soaking. Put 2 or 3 inches of water in a large sink or big, shallow pan, depending on the size of the wreath. Place the wreath, front side up, into the water so that all the cut ends are submerged. Soak the wreath for a couple of hours to allow the water to fully penetrate the cut ends.
A couple of hours is sufficient for a good soaking. You don't need to soak the wreath overnight.
This gives your wreath a great start before you hang it, and it begins the holiday season in your home.
Protect it from heat and sunlight
Direct sunlight and too much warmth will dry out any Christmas greenery, whether wreaths or Christmas trees, so choose the wreath's location carefully. Avoid hanging it above or near a heating vent or anywhere near a fireplace or other hot appliance.
If your wreath is destined for the front door, assess the level of sun that hits the door. If the front door receives a lot of southern exposure, consider hanging the wreath on an outside wall near the front door rather than on the door itself.
Mist it every few days
A fresh wreath needs a very light shower on a regular basis—not a heavy deluge, but a nice spritzing with a spray bottle full of water every few days to keep it from drying out. Remove the wreath from its location and spray the back of the wreath where most of the cut ends are located.
There's no need to spray the front as long as the back gets a nice, cool mist.
Cover the wreath at night
Your live wreath can benefit from a light covering at night so that it can retain moisture over the hours you are not benefiting from its beauty. You could call this its "beauty rest," which will help the wreath last well into the season.
Consider covering all your holiday greenery and Christmas garlands at night if you can.
Get a large plastic bag and wrap it around the wreath. Tuck it in around the edges lightly, taking care to avoid smashing any sprigs or decorations. If your wreath has LED or other types of light decorations, turn those off before you cover it.
Use an anti-desiccant spray
Professional florists frequently take advantage of anti-desiccant sprays, also called anti-transpirants, to keep wreaths and other greenery fresh.
These sprays create a film of polymers that lock in moisture to protect greenery from becoming brown. Some brand names include Wilt-Pruf, Pursell's Christmas Tree Preservative and Bonide's Wilt Stop. Frequently used to protect broadleaf evergreens from drying out in winter, they have recently been developed for home use.