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How to care for fresh holiday wreaths

Majestic Christmas trees garner the lion’s share of the decorative fanfare when the holidays arrive. Trees may be the focal points of holiday decor, but the humble wreath adorning the front door is the first decoration guests are likely to see when visiting a home.

Wreaths may need some care to maintain their beauty all month long. Here are some tips to help holiday wreaths last as long as possible.

Choose a wreath wisely

When shopping for a wreath, choose freshly cut greenery that you assemble yourself; otherwise, look for wreaths made from freshly cut boughs with their foliage intact. Make sure not too many needles or leaves are falling off. Heavily decorated, preassembled wreaths may be convenient, but ornaments can make it challenging to give the wreath the moisture it needs to survive.


Access to moisture will help to keep the wreath fresh. While a Christmas tree trunk may sit inside of a stand filled with water, wreaths require a little ingenuity. According to the wreath and garland retailer Club Botanic, if you will not be hanging a freshly purchased wreath right away, keep it in a plastic liner in a cool, dark place to help it retain moisture. Just make sure you don’t seal that liner closed.

Before hanging, lay the wreath in a couple of inches of water for about an hour or up to a day so that the cut stems can soak up water. Once the wreath is hanging on a door or elsewhere, spritz it with water every few days to prevent it from drying out.

Location, location, location

Where you hang the wreath is key to its longevity. Wreaths and garlands hung indoors likely won’t last as long as those hung outside, advises the floral retailer Evergreen boughs tend to require a colder climate to thrive, and indoor heat can prematurely zap moisture from the wreath. Using a humidifier indoors or misting the wreath may help.

It’s probably best to hang fresh wreaths outdoors, but avoid direct sunlight, which can dry out the greenery. Slightly shaded spots are best. If your front door is bathed in full sun for hours, hang an artificial wreath there instead of a fresh one.

Maintain airflow

Another factor that can affect the wreath’s longevity is an ample flow of oxygen. Wreaths tend to last much longer when kept on an outer door, indicates Harbor Farm in Ellsworth, Maine. Wreaths sandwiched between a front door and a storm door will probably perish faster due to lack of oxygen.

Following these tips can help keep fresh wreaths as vibrant as the day they were brought home.


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