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Extension Notes: Tips for Fresh Holiday Arrangements

By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

The colors and smells of evergreen shrubs and trees are synonymous with the holiday season. As such, holiday arrangements made from fresh greenery became a common tradition centuries ago. Arrangements may feature boxwood, fir, hemlock, holly, juniper, magnolia, pine, spruce, or a variety of other evergreens. Below are a few tips for keeping your arrangements fresh and beautiful throughout the season.

Warmer indoor temperatures are better suited for arrangements made from pines, firs, and cedars while hemlocks, spruces, and most broadleaf evergreens tend to last longer if used outside. All arrangements will last longer if they are kept in a cool location away from direct sunlight, fans, and heat sources such as space heaters, vents, and holiday lights. As branches dry out, they can become flammable, so take extra caution to make sure they are away from candle flames and fireplaces. Evergreen needles should remain flexible. Needles that break, shed, or have brown, dry tips should be replaced.

If possible, keep the arrangement watered. For wreaths and other arrangements where watering is not feasible, the cut ends of the branches can be misted with water. Misting the entire arrangement can cause mildew to grow though.

As a precaution, keep arrangements away from curious children and pets. Examples of poisonous plants include yew, holly, inkberry, winterberry, rhododendron, mountain laurel, mistletoe, Jerusalem cherry, and boxwood. Visit the poison control center at https://www.poison.org/articles/plant for more information on poisonous plants.

For additional information on holiday arrangements contact the Carter County Extension Office.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

A Holiday Vase Workshop was held at the Extension Office on December 14th. Participants learned how to care for greenery arrangements and about a few types of evergreens before making their own vase arrangements. Homemaker Council Treasurer Shirley Carra assisted participants with the bows for their arrangements.
Sue Tackett, Carla Prater, and Jilda McDavid show off their vase arrangements.
Mother-daughter duo Marcella Clay and Angie Holbrook participated in the Holiday Vase workshop.


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