August 15, 2021

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A living wreath is a beautiful addition to any home decor or even office displays. Living wreaths offer vibrant greenery and sometimes even blossoms. Unlike dried wreaths, they shed less, last longer, and are more reliant to handling. Live wreaths are also better for all-season decorations beyond seasonal holiday wreaths. Knowing the different ways of keeping live wreaths fresh is important to know so you can have them live longer.

Of course, tending a live wreath is a lot like keeping any living plant alive. You will want to remain aware of its need for fresh water and nutrients for the longest lifespan of your fresh wreath. Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to keep your live wreath Fresh for as long as possible. Let’s dive in, starting with wreath preparations and then exploring how to lengthen the life of a hanging wreath.

Start With the Freshest Wreath or Branches

Whether you are ordering a fresh wreath or building your own from live branches, always start with the freshest possible cuttings. You want branches that were part of a tree very recently so they still remember how to grow. When your branches arrive, trim the dry ends and set them in water to soak up life just as you would with fresh-cut flowers.

Not only do you want to craft your wreath quickly after buying your cuttings, you also want to find brands that offer extremely fresh cuts and fast shipping.

Soak Your Greenery for 24 Hours

The best way to fill your live wreath with fresh growing power is to soak it in water. Soak the needles, branches and stems so that the entire plant has an opportunity to absorb water. Without the main trunk, branches get their primary life from water, and drying out is where your wreath starts to die.

So before you add your ribbons and ornaments, soak the wreath or your fresh branches for several hours. The best timing is a full 24 hours of soaking to give your plants the best longevity after you hang the wreath.

Arrange Artful Decor After Soaking

Once your branches have soaked, pat them dry with a towel and begin decorating the wreath. From this point on, the wreath will only be misted to renew its water supply. Now is the ideal moment to make your wreath beautiful with your favorite decorations. Follow the theme of your holiday decor or create a beautiful season-neutral style that enriches your decorated space.

Soaked branches go well with thick ribbons and decorations laced into the branches. Consider a special display that can perch in the center of your wreath.

Keeping a Live Wreath Fresh

Hidden Stem Water Tubes

One special option to keep a natural wreath fresh is to use water tubes. These are bouquet technology that keep stem-flowers fresh when held for all-day weddings and other events. Water tubes lock onto the end of a fresh plant cutting with water inside, providing the stem with water all day without misting. Attach one of these water-filled bulbs to the stem of every branch that forms the wreath and the stem of every frond or flower that decorates the wreath.

Apply an Anti-Desiccant Wax Spray

Anti-desiccant spray is a special wax for plants. It coats the needles, stems and leaves of your wreath branches. This prevents moisture from escaping the plant length while it hangs decoratively in your home, outdoors or in the workplace. You can find anti-desiccant spray in most garden supply or hobby supply shops as it is a normal part of working with fresh cuttings.

Apply the wax spray to your wreaths after soaking for 24 hours to lock in that soaked-up moisture. Give your wreath the longest lifespan with protected needles and leaves.

Mist Your Wreath or Garland Regularly

When your garland is hanging, one of the best ways to keep it fresh is to mist it lightly with water. Fill a spray bottle and adjust the spray to a fine mist. Then coat your evergreen wreath in fine misting droplets that can nourish the wreath and keep it from drying out. If you have treated your wreath with an anti-desiccant spray, you may have better results misting the stems directly to promote moisture absorption from your drying wreath.

Hang Wreaths in Cool Low-Light Areas

You can reduce the drying effect on your wreaths by placing them in cool and dim places.  Keep your wreath out of direct rays of sunlight or the sun will dry it out faster.  The same goes for wreaths above the fireplace soaking up hot, dry air and perhaps hanging on a hot chimney. Instead, keep your wreaths cool and out of direct drying light. Pick artful and sheltered places to hang your wreaths so that they can last the longest.

Float Wreaths in Glycerine Water

If your wreath doesn’t need to hang on a door or wall, you can try one neat trick for a very long-lasting living wreath: glycerine water. Float your evergreen wreath in a beautiful bowl of glycerine water. This type of water is another trick common in keeping flower cuttings fresh. Fill a bowl half and half with glycerine and water. Then lay the entire wreath into the bowl to float. The stems of your wreath, facing backward, will get a chance to soak up fresh water while the main body of your wreath is just as beautiful as ever.

Maintaining beautiful wreaths for more than a week or two can be difficult, but only when you don’t understand how wreaths stay alive. Keeping a wreath alive is very similar to keeping a living potted plant alive. Tend its source of water and the greenery will continue to thrive and bloom for extra days and weeks beyond what you might have come to expect from live wreaths in the past.

By protecting the needles from desiccation with a wax spray and tending to the water needs of your wreath, you can enjoy your wreath for days and weeks longer. Here at Alpha Fern, we are proud to help celebrants find the freshest wreaths and cuttings to give your wreaths the best possible life as a living decoration. For more insight on wreath care or how to choose the perfect wreath for your celebration, contact us today!