How to Help Your Fresh Greens Last When the Temperature Drops

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    Fresh greens have become a staple in landscaping, inside, and outside décor across Kansas. This is especially true as the winter season approaches, and holiday decorating ensues.

    There is nothing as fragrant or aesthetically pleasing as freshly cut evergreen branches mixed with sprigs of holly, and arranged in beautiful flower pots. These add a touch of nature and tradition to any outdoor living space.

    While fresh greens are a luxurious way to decorate your home for the holiday season, they do require a little extra care. Due to the lack of root on these cut branches, your fresh greens could dry up, or worse, rot, if they are not properly maintained.

    At High Prairie Outdoors, we use fresh greens in many of our outdoor décor arrangements. To help our loyal Kansas clients get the most out of your holiday greenery this year, we have created this helpful guide on maintaining freshness in the cold.

    Bringing Your Fresh Greens Home

    Before you even arrange the greens you’ve chosen, there are some steps to take to make sure they stay at their freshest. This includes rehydrating the branches, which have likely dried slightly since being separated from their source of water.

    To rehydrate the branches and sprigs, fill a large bowl or bucket with tepid water. Next, cut the end of each branch diagonally and crush the end carefully, so that the branches can better absorb the liquid.

    This process is very much the same way you would treat a fresh Christmas tree. Once the tree has been chopped down, it requires a water source or the needles with brown and dry. Water guarantees a longer life for your tree, just as it increases longevity for your fresh green décor.

    Sorting Out the Best Bits

    After your branches are rehydrated and looking their best, it is time to sort through your collection for the best and most beautiful pieces. Not every branch is going to come back to life after a few hours in water. Some may have been too far gone.

    You will also find that some fresh green species are more aesthetically pleasing than others. For example, at High Prairie Outdoors, we generally believe you cannot go wrong with a classic long-needled pine tree. The short-needled trees like hemlock are tempting, but they quickly lose needles and won’t last nearly as long as a sturdy cedar branch will.

    Now, it is time to arrange your branches and create a festive decoration for your front steps, patio, and walkway.

    Seal Your Greens

    After your fresh greens are watered, hand-chosen for sturdiness and beauty, and arranged to your liking, it is time to seal them. One of the problems fresh greens face as outdoor decorations is the biting cold air. Even here in Kansas where our winters are mild, the dry cold air will dry out the branches quickly, causing them to fade in color and lose needles.

    To reduce the loss of needles and keep your fresh greens looking fresher longer, we recommend an anti-desiccant spray. These sprays close all those little pores on the branches which let liquid escape. This helps your branches keep moisture in and live longer

    Continued Care

    After your greens have been sealed and hung with care, there is nothing left to do but try to keep them as hydrated as possible. A spray bottle is the best way to maintain that healthy green vibe. Spritz your fresh greens once a day, and you will find they last longer and look more vibrant.

    Choose the Best Placement

    Finally, it pays to be picky about where you place your fresh greens. You can use these decorations inside or outside, although your outdoor greens will live longer because of the cold air. Indoor greens tend to last about two or three weeks before the lack of water will cause them to lose needles. Your outdoor plants will surpass this timeframe if you keep them in a prime location.

    So, what is the best location for fresh greens? We recommend a location out of direct sunlight and close to a wind blocker. You should also keep your fresh greens away from any outdoor appliances which produce heat, like your fire pit or outdoor kitchen.

    Contact High Prairie Outdoors

    Interested in creating some gorgeous holiday décor for your home? We can help. High Prairie Outdoors specializes in outdoor décor and landscaping. Our team works with fresh greens regularly and can help you design and implement these classic adornments with little maintenance to worry about. Contact us at (816) 398-2901 to learn more.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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