I had a spectacular Christmas tree last year that, unfortunately, dried out quickly (I did forget to put water in it once). To prevent this from happening again, I went online to see if there are Christmas tree preservative recipes that I could make.
Yes, I buy the little bottle of premixed Christmas tree preservative for sale at the tree lot but it doesn’t seem to be enough.
There are quite a few interesting suggestions for Christmas tree preservatives that I’ve never heard of. Whatever you do, definitely make a slit at the bottom of the tree (our lot does that for us) so that water can be more easily absorbed.
You can also use these solutions with cut flowers.
Christmas Tree Preservative Recipes
The most popular homemade Christmas tree preservatives use common household ingredients. You need a food source, a disinfectant (to prevent algae, etc.), and an acidifier to help plants absorb more water and food.
1 gallon water
4 tsp Clorox bleach
2 cups Light Corn Syrup
4 tsp lemon juice or vinegar (or some recipes use iron tablets) – This step is OPTIONAL
You can store this mixture for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you decide to add lemon juice or vinegar, add it to the water and not to the bleach directly because otherwise, you risk toxic fumes. In light of that, you may want to skip the lemon juice or vinegar all together, or try the following:
1 gallon of water
1 can of 7-UP (or equivalent) that isn’t diet
splash of bleach
OR (less common)
1 gallon of water
4 tsp sugar dissolved in water
1 copper penny
Add a penny to the sugar so that the copper acts as a disinfectant. It’s not clear to me if you leave the penny in or out or the solution. I think you take it out.
The More “Interesting” Christmas Tree Preservative Recipes
1. Add vodka to the water. The myth is that the vodka will allow the water to spread throughout the tree faster. Not sure about you, but when I add vodka to myself, I totally dehydrate. BUT, I was at the lot again yesterday and overheard a staff member mention this. Use at your own risk.
2. Add aspirin to the water. This allows better flow of water into the trunk. People claim this works.
3. Run a whole-house humidifier. Talk about impractical.
However, all of your efforts will be wasted if the level of water falls below the trunk of the tree. I’m guilty of that.
I suppose I should also remind you to use these methods at your own risk. I’m going with the first recipe sans lemon or vinegar.
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What are your best recipes for Christmas tree preservatives?