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How To Keep Christmas Greenery Fresh

I shared my Christmas Cedar Topiaries and Garland with you yesterday and I had several questions about keeping the Cedar Fresh through out the Holidays.

How to Keep Christmas Greenery Fresh is not as difficult as you might think. Although I’m not a professional, here are some simple tips that I use when I start to cut the fresh greenery.

What are the best Christmas Greeneries?

The easiest answer to this question is any evergreen that you have growing in your landscape or property. Some will last longer than others but all look beautiful in containers during the holidays.

Basket of Boxwood for Chistmas Greenery

Here are some of my favorites to use during Christmas!

  • Magnolia
  • Cedar
  • Pine, Leyland Pine, Spruce,
  • Juniper
  • Holly
  • Boxwood
  • Nandina
Nandina for Christmas Decorating

Nandina is so beautiful during the holidays and the red berries make it perfect for

Christmas Decorating

In addition, I love to use fresh herbs such as Rosemary and Sage. Both are hardy and are usually still available through the holidays here in the south.

Fresh Herbs, Rosemary and Sage for Holiday Decorating

You can see the Herb and Dried Fruit Garland I made using fresh herbs here.

How to Keep Christmas Greenery Fresh

First, you want to hydrate your greenery. This should begin immediately after you cut.

You can fill containers with water to place the fresh cutting into immediately.

Leave in the water for as long as 24 hours before using the cuttings in your arrangement.

Pine placed in water before arranging.

Another method is submerge the entire plant in cold water and leave for approx. 24 hours. You want your evergreens to absorb as much water as possible.

Submerge herbs and greenery if possible before arranging to make them last longer.

Arrange in Water

It’s easy to add water to most containers. I’ve shared how I add tin cans to baskets and large containers that are not water proof to hydrate plants and flowers. This method works great for evergreens as well.

You can see how to add containers to a wall basket here and a table top basket here.

Here, a combination of Nandina, Cedar and Rosemary create a festive Christmas arrangement in a milk glass vase which can hold water.

Christmas Greenery in a vase with water will last longer

Which Greenery last the longest

Obviously all greenery will last longer when watered properly, however some greenery will last longer than others.

Magnolia leaves are excellent for Christmas Decorating because they last so long. Their leaves can begin to curl and turn brown after a few weeks if placed in a hot space or close to a heat vent. .

Magnolias will make great fresh Christmas Decor

When harvested in the winter, Boxwood will last for months without water. The leaves will be brittle but still look fresh. Just don’t touch them. LOL

Basket of Boxwood for Christmas Greenery

Cedar and Leyland Pine are both long lasting if you don’t touch them. They maintain an evergreen appearance for some time although they have become brittle.

When It’s impossible to add Water

Garlands and topiaries are examples of greenery applications that will dry out quickly. See the Cedar & Orange Topiary tutorial on this post.

However, you can prolong the freshness by watering as suggested above before arranging the greenery.

Then avoid placing close to heat vents.

Finally, mist the greenery with water daily.

Mist greenery with water to prolong freshness


Be cautious to not damage the area around your garlands. If possible, bring the greenery to a sink to mist.

In addition, some greenery will leave a stain when misted. Be sure to take precautions to protect your floors, railings, tabletops, etc.

Some suggest using a wilt stop such as this one, however I’ve not tried this so can’t say if it’s worth the cost.

What if it’s faded and you don’t want to replace

This is another great tip for faded greenery as well as faded moss. Just add a drop or two of green food coloring to your water before misting.

This will instantly refresh the look of your greenery. The same precautions apply as above.

Use with Caution

The green food coloring can stain and precautions should be taken to avoid damaging walls, floors, etc.

Fresh Christmas Greenery Outdoors

I love to use fresh greenery in existing flower pots and containers.

Just place stems into dirt to hold them in place.

See The Secret to Making Fresh Cedar Garland on this post.

Mix Fresh with Faux

Another way to make your fresh greenery look better longer is to mix fresh with faux.

The cedar and pine wreath is made using a faux pine wreath but adding sprigs of fresh cedar to make it look fuller and more natural.

Christmas Greenery left outdoors will stay fresh much longer than what you bring indoors.

When decorating for an event, such as a Christmas Party, I usually cut inside greenery the week of the event.

If cut too early, you may have to replace before your guest arrive.

Boxwood works will in containers for the Christmas decor.

Boxwood in a recycled tuna can adds a festive touch to a side table vignette.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

pin it to remember it

Va in NC

Sunday 5th of December 2021

Thank you so much for your posts and for including all the how to info. I especially appreciate this post on the greenery. I will be putting to use soon.

Love all your posts...have gone back and read some of earlier ones and enjoyed them all. Don't stop!

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.


Wednesday 8th of December 2021

Oh you are the sweetest. I love sharing and I'm so glad you found this helpful.


Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Wow, thanks for those amazing tips. I’ve been doing my live greenery’s all wrong, I don’t think that will be a problem for me any longer. Thank you so much for sharing. By the way, your Christmas greenery’s are fantastic


Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Ivory, I'm so glad you found this helpful.

Debra Oliver

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Love your ideas for using and keeping the greenery fresh. I have to get outside while the weather is good and gather some things up. Happy Wednesday!


Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Debra, I'm so glad you found this helpful. Thanks for stopping by.