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4 Tips to Help Fresh Greens Last Longer

Plan ahead when incorporating natural elements into your Christmas embellishments, as it does take a bit of work to care for living decor.

The major challenge in decorating with fresh items is keeping all those berries and evergreen sprigs from dying in your decor. No one wants a limp centerpiece or, even worse, a moldy wreath! Here are four tips to keep your natural decorations vibrant:

1. Cut evergreen branches from your own yard. Pruning from your own trees and shrubs gives you fresher boughs than any you could purchase. Leave the branches in water overnight to allow them to absorb as much moisture as possible before using them. Pine, fir and cedar tend to dry out more slowly than other cuttings.

2. Keep your living decorations away from heat vents, flames and direct sunlight. The draped pine garland that looks so perfect over a roaring fireplace wonít look so great with dry, singed ends.

3. Donít decorate too early. At most, greenery and fruits will last only a couple of weeks, so donít plan on decorating right after Thanksgiving. Or, be willing to regularly replace dried-out pieces with fresh ones as the season goes on.

4. Use unobtrusive containers to keep natural items hydrated. Insert branches and stems into floral water tubes or bowls filled with soaked floral foam. Choose containers that are as small as possible so they can be hidden among the greenery and decorations.