Preserving Fresh Evergreens for Decorating


Winter décor and holiday decorations often feature evergreen foliage. Evergreen branches contrast beautifully with winter landscapes. Green foliage also shows such colors as red, blue, silver and gold to their best advantage. Use evergreen branches to create wreaths, centerpieces and mantel decorations. Properly preserving fresh evergreens will result in decorations that will last throughout the season.

Step 1

Make the glycerin solution. Mix one part glycerin with two parts water in a container. The container should be large enough to hold the foliage. Stir well to blend the ingredients thoroughly.

Step 2

Cut fresh evergreen branches with pruning shears. Cut the branches at midday when the water content is lowest.

Step 3

Smash the ends of the stems with a hammer to expose more of the wood's surface area. This will help the branches absorb more of the glycerin solution.

Step 4

Place the evergreen branches in the glycerin solution with the smashed ends down. Leave the foliage in the solution until the leaf edges darken. This signifies the foliage has absorbed enough solution. This process may take as many as two weeks.

Step 5

Spray the evergreen foliage with an anti-transpirant, which will protect the foliage from drying out quickly. Follow the directions that come with the anti-transpirant spray.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the foliage becomes limp in the solution, promptly remove it and hang it upside down. The limpness comes from leaving the branches in the solution too long.

Things You'll Need

  • Glycerin
  • Water
  • Container
  • Stirring utensil
  • Pruning shears
  • Hammer
  • Anti-transpirant spray


  • University of Kentucky: Preserving Flowers & Foliage
  • GSI Horticultural: Anti-transpirants
  • AllSands: Wreath Making: Preserving Foliage For Wreaths
Keywords: preserve evergreen branches, preserving foliage, anti-transpirants, glycerin solution, evergreen foliage, preserve tree branch

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.