“Follow these tips, and your evergreens should last throughout the holiday season.”
During the holiday season, consumers experience the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Twinkling lights, family recipes and, of course, the delicious scents of fresh Christmas greens and trees. Making these lush aromatic evergreens last for the duration of the season, however, can be a challenge. Many consumers complain that they dry out and expire too quickly.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will keep your Christmas greens – and trees – healthy enough to ring in the New Year.
Buy local when possible, and always buy as close as possible to the time you will need the cut evergreens, to ensure the freshest stems are on display.
If possible, store cut evergreens at 34°F to 38°F in a floral cooler until you are ready to use them. Cut evergreens can last in dry storage for several weeks when stored at the right temperature and humidity.
Before moving cut evergreens from dry cold storage to display at room temperature, submerge branches, wreaths and garlands in water overnight before removing them from cold storage, if possible. Be sure to shake off excess water.
As with other cut foliages, you can store cut evergreen branches in flower-food solution; just give them a fresh cut first. Like Christmas trees, cut evergreens are thirsty botanicals.
The No. 1 reason for needle drop is the end of the trunk drying out. Make sure every tree is placed in a container or plant stand with a large water reservoir and that it is refilled regularly. Trees take up lot of water, especially during first three days after cutting the trunk/stem.
Using an antitranspirant or a protectant spray (a ready-to-use solution that is sprayed onto foliage to prevent water loss through transpiration) really boosts Christmas greens ability to retain water and stay hydrated. Most wholesalers carry these sprays.
Mist greens as much and as often as possible. If your designs also include cut flowers, be sure to spray the water closer to the base of the greens. Avoid misting flower blooms to prevent Botrytis from developing. Instruct consumers to do the same.
Keep cut evergreens, wreaths and garlands away from extreme heat, cold and drafts, and advise customers to do the same. This will help greens not have to work as hard to stay hydrated.
Christmas greens displayed outdoors will last longer; just keep them out of direct sunlight. For Christmas greens designs displayed indoors, use LED lights, which are cooler, when possible. As a safety measure, avoid using open-flame candles in or near evergreen designs.
• Holly foliage, holly berries and balsam fir add a gorgeous touch to holiday designs, but they are ethylene sensitive. Insist that your supplier treats these foliages with an ethylene inhibitor to protect against exposure.
• Do not store or display any evergreens or other cut botanicals near ripening produce or products that produce ethylene.
• Place cut evergreens in a hydration solution upon their arrival in your shop to prevent desiccation (leaf and berry drop).
Now that you have all the tips and tricks, you’re ready to deck the halls without hesitation. If you still have questions on how to care for Christmas greens, visit floralife.com.