Gardening Tips and Highlights

Holiday decorating with fresh greenery

by Christine Yesko


Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of the oldest winter holiday traditions. Evergreens have been a part of winter festivals since ancient times. Evergreens are used to represent everlasting life and hope for the return of spring. Greenery such as cedar, ivy, pine, and holly add a fresh look and natural scent to our homes.


Many different kinds of greenery can be used for holiday decorations.

Pines, firs, and cedars are good to use for indoor decorations since they dry out slowly and hold their needles best in warm interior temperatures. They may last for several weeks if properly treated and cared for.

Hemlock, spruces, and most broadleaf evergreens will last longer if used outdoors. Dried evergreens can become flammable when in contact with a heat source, such as a candle flame.

Make sure that any wreaths, roping, and garlands that you bring indoors are as fresh as possible. Check needles by bending them. They should be flexible and not break. Avoid greenery that is shedding or that have brown, dry tips. Before bringing the greenery inside, soak them in water overnight to rehydrate them. Never place fresh greenery near heat sources, such as space heaters, heater vents, candles, and fireplaces.

Check your decorations every couple of days for freshness. If greenery is becoming dry, either replace or remove the dry portions. Make sure to discard dry greenery away from the house or garage to prevent a further fire hazard.

In addition to the more commonly used evergreens, consider using other plant parts such as berries, dried flowers, cones, and seed pods to give color and texture interest. Other possibilities are acorns, bittersweet, hydrangea blossoms, mistletoe, pine cones, and fruits such as lemons, limes, kumquats, and pineapple. Preserved leaves such as ivies, eucalyptus, boxwood, oak, and rhododendron are useful and long-lasting as holiday decorations.


This information was obtained from Klien’s Newsletter.