Holly for Holiday Decor - Knowledgebase Question

San Marcos, CA
Question by dgetty
October 9, 1998
How do you correctly dry holly branches so that you can use them for Christmas decorations? I tried just cutting it and putting it in a vase, but it drooped and turned an awful color.

Answer from NGA
October 9, 1998


Holly, as well as other evergreens normally used for holiday decoration, will only last 10-14 days indoors where the temperature is warm. Try cutting holly or pine boughs and using them 'as is', rather than putting their stems in water. They'll remain greener as they begin to dry out, and you can toss them and replace with new cuttings when they get too desperate looking. If you put cut holly in a container of water, the branch will try to take up water and continue to grow. When it doesn't get the cold air and/or sunny conditions it craves, it will wilt and lose color. Better luck this year with your holiday decorations!

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