Holiday Greens and Trees Timeline

by | Nov 15, 2021

To avoid disappointment, and to keep your holiday décor looking and smelling its best, try using the following timeline to guide your decorating plans.

The excitement of the holidays builds a little earlier each year. However, while the thrill is in the air, there are a few decorating realities that may take some magic out of the moment (sorry to be a Scrooge, folks!).

Everything has its time, and this is especially true of winter greens and Christmas trees. Those glorious stems and trees will start to dry out as soon as they’re cut, so it’s critical to keep them as cool and hydrated as possible. Outdoor décor tends to stay fresh longer because of the cool, damp weather we traditionally have, but your garlands and porch pots will still need a little help. Our homes are especially warm and dry in late fall and winter, so the lifespan of greens indoors is usually much shorter—even if we do all we can to keep them healthy and watered.

To avoid disappointment, and to keep your décor looking and smelling its best, try using the following timeline to guide your decorating plans. 

Winter Greens Porch Pots (Outdoors): 4-6 weeks

Keep them cool and hydrated! Whether you are adding stems to a soil-filled pot or using an Oasis-base, keep adding water as needed and do not let them dry out. Mist them regularly, but remember to pull any fabric décor or bows out beforehand then set them back after.

Cedar Garland (Outdoors): 4-6 weeks

Keep garland cool and hydrated. If using lights, try to use LEDs instead of incandescent to keep heat levels down. Mist garland often, using the hose if you need to. We have mister nozzles available for purchase in our Irrigation area.

Flocked Trees (Indoors): 4-6 weeks

Yes, they last a long time, but within reason. Flocked trees don’t need much water if they’re kept in the house for a short time, but if you plan to keep them up all season, use water bowls (as you would with green trees) to prolong their life. When decorating, use as many light-weight decorations as possible. Keep larger, heavier ornaments lower down on the tree and inset, so they hang from a stronger part of the branch. Gravity always wins, however, and branches will inevitably sag as the weeks pass.

Green Christmas Trees (Indoors): 2-3 weeks

Resist the urge to put green trees up early. As soon as your tree stops drinking, you won’t be able to get it going again and it will dry out quickly. Keep your tree as cool as possible. Place it away from heat vents and the fireplace if you can, and do not let the water bowl dip below the trunk of the tree. LED lights aren’t just more efficient with electricity consumption; they’re also cooler than incandescent lights, so they’ll keep the heat off of branches. This also helps to prevent potential fire issues.

Winter Greens Arrangements (Indoors): 5-7 days

You can extend the life of arrangements by keeping them watered and misted regularly, but here’s the trick—when you don’t need them in your home for entertaining, set them in a sheltered, covered location outside. Simply bring them back in when you need them. By doing this, you can extend your greens arrangements’ lifespan by quite a bit. You can add fresh flowers at any time, but if the flowers fade before the greens do, just swap the blooms out with new ones.

Cedar Garland (Indoors): 5-7 days

Yes, Pinterest Christmas home photos are divine, but if you want to drape your bannister or mantle with fresh garland, it should only be for a few days. Our homes are warm and dry, and dragging a hose into your living room might not be feasible. Keep garlands as cool as you can and mist them if possible. (Remember, all the décor set in your garland will inevitably get wet, too.)

Living Christmas Trees (Indoors): 5-7 days

These are outdoor trees that would prefer to be outdoors, so when we bring them into our homes, it is a shock to their system. They will only last a maximum of seven days inside, and only if they stay in a cool spot and remain fully hydrated. You’ll certainly have to keep them watered, but you can also place ice cubes on top of the soil to help keep their roots cool and wet. Trees must be acclimatized before coming into your home, and again when moving back outdoors. As soon as they are acclimatized outside after Christmas, water the tree thoroughly while still in the pot, then plant it in good, well-drained soil, and then water it thoroughly again (to get out any air pockets).

Seem like too much work? Living trees can be enjoyed outdoors for a much (much!) longer period, and when set up on a deck or porch, they will look lovely! Please note, our Tree & Shrub Guarantee does not apply to living Christmas trees due to the fact that they’re often placed in ‘unnatural’ conditions for a period of time. Thank you for your understanding!

As much as it’s exciting to decorate for the holidays in one go, by rolling out your greens décor over time, you’ll be spreading that joy out a little longer. Deck the halls in stages to ensure your greenery’s lush, fragrant benefits can be enjoyed to their fullest!