Hanging a fresh garland is a beautiful way to decorate any time of year. Garlands are most common during the holiday season when evergreen branches are often twined into brilliant door wreaths and strands of evergreens are draped over railings and stairway banisters. Of course, you can design a fresh garland for any holiday in the year. Some love their Valentines or Easter garlands in the spring and even summer garlands are a beautiful addition to home decor.
Of course, the single biggest challenge with a fresh garland is preventing it from wilting. How do you keep a garland fresh indoors? Experienced fresh wreath decorators know the tricks behind keeping your garland flush and hydrated for up to several weeks after you hang your beautiful indoor garland. Let’s dive into the professional tricks for keeping a garland fresh when indoors.
Keep it Cool
Heat is the enemy of plant freshness. Cut flowers and sprigs are often transported in refrigerated trucks to keep them fresh and you can use the same trick with your garland at home. Keep your garland in a cool place as much as possible. Before you hang it, store your garland in the refrigerator, or in a cool basement if you have one. Then consider cooler locations in the house as your primary decorating opportunities. A drafty corner or a cold stairway might be the perfect place for a garland where it will stay fresh longer.
Cut Stems at a 45 Degree Angle & Provide Water
Stem treatment is very important for garland freshness. Like a cut flower, your garland stems are where water is absorbed to keep your branches and sprigs fresh over time. Part of this is helping the stems absorb as much water as possible. To do this, use the old florist trick: cut each stem at a 45 degree angle. This creates the most fresh-cut exposed surface area for the stems to absorb water and keep the garland fresh.
Provide each fresh cut stem with access to water with soaking or spritzing. If you’re making your own garland, soak each step before weaving the branches together. You can even use florist bulbs – small containers of water that fit onto the end of cut stems.
Soak Your Garland Before Hanging
One professional garland trick is to soak the entire garland before you hang it. We don’t just mean the stems, though floating your garland on its back is a good way to pre-water the wreath. However, fully submerging your garland allows the most water possible to be absorbed into the greenery and gives your garland the best chance of staying fresh over time.
To soak your garland, fill the bathtub with cold water deep enough to fully cover the top of the garland as it sits on the tub bottom. Leave your garland overnight or up to 24 hours in the cold water tub as it absorbs moisture. Then shake the garland dry, decorate with ribbons, and hang it wherever you please.
Soak Overnight Between Hangings
You can use a similar method to keep a long-term garland fresh. If your garland is primarily displayed during the day, you can take it down at night and re-soak the stems to help them absorb water overnight. Lay the back of your garland in a pan of cold water and let it soak during the evening hours. Then when you wake in the morning, retrieve the garland from its water and re-hang it on your door, wall, or banister.
Spritz with Water Every Day
The most popular way to keep a garland fresh is with a spritz of fresh water each day. Fill a spray bottle with cool tap water and set it to a ‘misting’ dispersion. Experts advise that you spray the stems most attentively, ensuring that fresh water reaches the cut ends and is absorbed into the garland. If the stems have become dry and wooden, recut, them so that new water can be absorbed.
Decorators also commonly spritz the front of garlands with water along the branches and needles. The greenery of the garland absorbs water more slowly, but a fresh spritz can slow the drying and wilting process. Not to mention making those needles gleam.
Mist with an Anti-Desiccant Spray
The trade secret of a fresh indoor garland is anti-desiccant spray. Desiccation is the formal word for drying out. A plant that becomes desiccated wilts and turns brown. Anti-desiccant spray helps you fight that natural process by locking moisture into the garland. Using this spray on the branches will help to reduce the water loss that occurs through the needles and stems.
Keep Out of Sunbeams and Away from Heat Vents
Direct heat is the enemy of a long-lasting garland. Heat increases the rate of desiccation by causing water to evaporate from the greenery. Heat can cause your garland to wilt and dry more quickly than usual, so try to keep your garland away from warm hanging locations and out of hot air waves.
Don’t hang your garland in a direct sunbeam if you want it to last. Also maintain awareness of your heat vent locations and how hot air flows through your house. Make sure your garland isn’t being directly heated by nature or your winter furnace.
Make Use of LED String Lights (Instead of Incandescent)
For our final fresh garland trick, don’t forget to use LED string lights. If you are winding string lights into your garland design, avoid traditional incandescent bulbs. Those little filament bulbs pack a real punch when it comes to heat. The heat put off by a few dozen little incandescent bulbs can actually wilt your garland. Instead, use LED strings which burn at a much lower temperature and last longer to boot.
Are you looking to keep your indoor garland fresh for a few extra days or even weeks? Start with beautiful high-quality fresh greenery and use these tricks to enhance the lifespan of any cut green branches you use for fresh garlands. With a cool environment and moistened stems, your garland should last up to a few weeks looking vibrant and beautiful. Contact us today to build your next fresh indoor garland.