How To Keep A Wreath Fresh: 5 Essential Steps From A World-Renowned Floral Expert

A traditional Christmas wreath on a front door
(Image credit: Mark Richardson)

A festive wreath welcomes guests into your home and sets the tone for the rest of the decorations. 

There are so many DIY winter wreath ideas that you can make – but all too often these beautiful designs have dried out by the time Christmas arrives.

However, according to internationally renowned floral designer and Interflora consultant Karen Barnes, with the right care, a fresh wreath can sparkle throughout the holiday season.

With over 35 years' industry experience, Karen has worked around the globe, so she knows a thing or two about keeping greenery looking fresh.

1. Choose the right greenery

If you haven’t yet made your wreath, then consider the best foliage to use in its construction.

‘Blue firs, Douglas firs, Nordmann firs, holly, and spruce pine are all excellent foliages to use, as they are hardy materials and can withstand cold temperatures,’ says Karen.

Pinecones, berries and dried citrus fruits will also work well and look wonderfully festive.’

Dried flowers are currently on trend for wreaths, and will last all season. However, fresh flowers can be used too.

‘Just make sure that you pick resilient blooms, such as chrysanthemums, to get the most from your wreath,’ adds Karen.

2. Soak the foliage

Drying out is one of the most common reasons wreaths are resigned to the compost heap before New Year. So Karen’s top tip is to soak your foliage before making the wreath.

‘Soaking your greenery in water will really make a difference to the longevity of the foliage, preventing it from turning brown and decaying too quickly,’ she says.

‘Do this for a full 24 hours, to make sure that it’s absorbed as much water as possible. If fully submerging it isn’t possible, then at least make sure all the cut ends have had a thorough soaking.’

3. Keep an eye on the temperature

Fresh wreaths tend to last longer when displayed outside, rather than using greenery indoors. However, watch out for temperatures dropping too low.

‘Displaying your Christmas wreath outside in a cool, sheltered spot, will make it last longer, as the foliage and flowers won’t dry out as quickly,’ says Karen.

‘However, you don’t want the wreath to be left outside in freezing temperatures, so if a cold snap is predicted, move the wreath to a cool, protected place, such as a shed or garage.’

4. Spritz the wreath daily

‘Damp foliage and flowers will stay fresher for longer, so it’s key that you spritz your festive wreath with water daily, or at least every other day,’ says Karen.

The best way to keep your wreath moist is to use a misting spray bottle. ‘Make sure you dampen all of the greenery to properly hydrate it.’

Take care to remove any decorations that could be damaged with water before misting.

5. Don’t forget to spruce it up

As long as your wreath design is full, then you can get away with removing any foliage or flowers that are starting to turn, without impacting on the overall look.

'Just gently tease out any sprigs that are not looking their best, and if you’ve used fresh flowers, change them altogether,' advises Karen. 'It's the perfect way to give your wreath a little creative update and add impact to your entranceway.'

Melanie Griffiths
Senior Editor

Melanie has worked in homes and gardens media for two decades. Having previously served as Editor on Period Living magazine, and worked on Homes & Gardens, Gardening Etc, Real Homes, and Homebuilding & Renovating, she is now focusing on her passion for gardening as a Senior Editor at Gardening Know How.

Melanie has spent the last few years transforming her own garden, and is also a keen home grower, having experimented with pretty much every type of vegetable at some point.

In her spare time, she loves to explore inspiring gardens and historic properties.