5 Tips To Keep Your Christmas Greens FRESH LONGER


Evergreens have long brought freshness to wintertime, with their delightful scent and bright green color.

Whether you live in a grand Victorian home or a small, romantic cottage, the allure of fresh greens continues to enchant us, don’t they? Keeping them looking lush and beautiful is not that easy, though. Here are my five BEST TIPS for for keeping your fresh holiday greens alive and luxurious longer.



Greens are not just pretty, they are often free for the taking {clipping.} Most of these photos are from a magazine feature I wrote for the holiday issue of Victorian Homes Magazine this year.



A variety of flowers and greenery will bring the fragrance of winter inside, as well as visual enchantment to your holiday home. Eucalyptus, juniper, holly, ivy, mistletoe, pine, rosemary all are beautiful twined into garlands, to layer over mantels, paintings and bookcases.



I love how my antique silver trays look when I add just a light layer of greens, clipped from the garden, and layered with fresh branches of eucalyptus. You could do this at home with any greens you can clip from your garden or neighborhood!  A little natural touch like this is all you need to bring out the magic of the holidays at home.


I tend to use a combination of fake faux intertwined with fresh greens for the larger greens arrangements such as garlands, as it’s very dry here where I live in California in December. But all fresh would be my first choice.



Crowned with rose leaves and fresh eucalyptus, the mantel in the guest room invites the eye to linger.  I started this look off by putting down a slender faux garland, then tucking in branches eucalyptus and small sprigs of pine.


Small swags created from more clippings are tied up with silk chartreuse bows to decorate the candle sconces on each side of the gilded mirror.  Since we have an orange tree in the garden, I often use oranges on mantels and buffets. But apples, pears, or pomegranates would look just as stunning!



1. CHOOSE NATIVE: Use greens that are native to your area, they will last longer.

Some long lasting evergreens that are perfect for holiday swags and arrangements:

  • Boxwood
  • Douglas fir
  • Balsam fir
  • Fraser fir
  • Noble fir
  • Scotch pine

2.  GO FRESH. Make sure the branches, swags and wreaths you purchase or cut look bright green,  and that there’s not a lot of needle loss when you pick them up.  The branches should be bendable, smell fresh, and look lush. If there are a lot of needles falling off, look for another branch.

3. BATHE THEM.  Soaking your ever greens before use is a great way to give them the best possible start!  I soak mine in our bathtub {!} for a full 24 hours, then let them dry off outside before using. The exception to the bathing rule is eucalyptus, since they dry to a beautiful, papery sage green color, but I do keep them “fresh cut” in a deep bucket in water for 24 hours before using.

4. MIST.  Mist your greens lightly with a fine mist of water, every few days if the area where they are displayed isn’t too warm, daily if you live in California or other warm states like I do.  By lightly, I mean lightly, there should not be water dropping on your floor.  The mist should be fine, and give your greens a tiny drink of moisture. Be sure that if you, like I often do, combine fresh with faux flowers and berries, that you do not get those wet. dripping mess. runny colors. take it from me! {note to self…pay attention during the busy month of December.}

5. APPLY ANTI-TRANSPIRANT. You can buy special sprays that are made especially for extending the life of evergreens, which reduces the amount of moisture loss through needles. Most florists soak their wreaths and greens in buckets of this, you can buy a spray and apply it yourself. Wiltpruf is one brand that I’ve used, I love that it’s a natural pine oil emulsion that is organic, non-hazardous and biodegradable.



Happy Decorating!

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21 thoughts on “5 Tips To Keep Your Christmas Greens FRESH LONGER”

  1. noreen

    Love all those greens that bring a special touch to all the bright colours. Even a little bouquet of a few rosemary sprigs in a vintage jug in the kitchen adds such a festive flair!

  2. Your Christmas decorations are gorgeous. Just my style with natural elements and your tips are quite timely. I decorated early this year and my swags are already starting to shed. Good thing we have plenty of branches so maybe I’ll try one of the products you mentioned next. Thanks!

  3. Genevieve Miller

    Thank you for the helpful information. Mine are usually crunchy by New Years.

  4. Teddi Sue Wilson

    Thank you so much for the info on keeping your holiday greens fresh. My fondest memories of childhood Christmases are of helping my grandmother gather greenery from her yard and garden to decorate her house. Now that I am retired,I have time to recreate those memories with my granddaughter in my home. We live on a large farm and have access to a variety of most natural materials associated with Christmas decorating. Now I will be able to keep it all fresh for everyone to enjoy for the holiday season.?

    1. Thank you Teddi Sue, for sharing your beautiful memories. How special that you get to repeat those memories with your granddaughter!

  5. Camille

    Even your informative posts are beautiful. Thanks for the tips, they make complete sense, now why didn’t I think of those before? Happy decorating!

  6. Ginger Valdes

    I LOVE all of your vignettes, Lidy. Thanks for the tip on Wiltpruf! XO, Ginger

  7. Thanks so much for these tips. I had my home on tour this past Sunday and this Sat. I have a Christmas Tea, so I need to use all your tips. Been worrying about my greens of magnolia leaves, pine, holly and nandina berries and leaves. Thanks.

    1. Jackie, I love Christmas Tea! I used to have one yearly, maybe I’ll think about re-instating that..it was so much fun. xo Lidy

  8. Being in the south it is hard to keep greens for more than a week. I use a lot of Magnolia, holly and pine. I am lucky I can cut from our garden so I refresh them before I have people over.
    Your decor is so beautiful.

    1. Bonjour Linda. Thanks so much for your visit, and like you, here in California I sometimes have to “refresh” before guests arrive. The spray does totally help, though!

      Your Magnolia, holly and pine combination sound gorgeous!

  9. I forgot you lIVED in CALIFORNIA!SO, do I…………
    I’m in NORTHERN and YOU with an ORANGE tree SOUTHERN?
    GREAT TIPS………….BEAUTIFUL GREENERY……….I must GO finish my decorating!But yet I sit here reading posts!!!!!!!!!!XX

  10. Karenann

    I love fresh Christmas greens all around the house. The smell is amazing and it just puts you in such a Christmas-y mood!

  11. Thank you as always, Lidy! Never thought to soak my greenery before.

    Congrats on another magazine article…you rock!


  12. Thanks for the tips LIdy!….I mist my evergreens and even my preserved boxwoods…but never used the Wiltpruf….will have to get some!! Loving the great vignettes of the holiday in your home!! Gorgeous!

  13. Shirley, it’s a great product. Thank you for your visit! xo Lidy

  14. Maureen Connelly

    I have so enjoyed seeing all of your beautiful treasures & feel truly inspired after seeing your festive greenery and arrangements!! Thank you for sharing your talents! Off to clip some fresh greens for my front porch urns.

  15. Charlotte Des Fleurs

    Hello Lidy, Thanks for all the great tips on how to keep Holiday Greens fresh. I worked my way through college as a florist and LOVE the smell of fresh flowers and greens.

    Soak fresh flowers and greens in slightly warm water with a little corn syrup (to provide nutrition to the plant material) and a few spritzes of Clorox Clean Up. The bleach reduces algae build up in the stems while the soap makes the water a bit easier for the plant material to absorb. Most florists do this and then put the buckets of plant material in a cooler. I put mine outside overnight. Like you, I live in southern California so it is rarely freezing outside.

    We did not have anti-transpirant “back in the day” so that is a great new idea for me!

    LOVE your blog,

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

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