Garden Myth: Christmas Tree Water Additives

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Photo: Mike Raia

So, you’ll be bringing a cut Christmas tree indoors for the holiday season. What additive should you put in the water to make it last longer? 

I’ve seen such recommendations as a copper penny, aspirin, Seven-Up, sugar, honey, bleach, birth control pills, distilled water and fertilizer. Plus, you’ll find Christmas tree preservatives, apparently designed just for that purpose, in any hardware store. Which is best? 

You’ll find that any serious, non-partisan study always comes to the conclusion that plain tap water is just fine: you really don’t need to add anything. 

Do recut the base before you bring the tree indoors (this will open the pores to allow better water absorption) and do keep the base of the trunk constantly in water, but other than that, just relax and enjoy your tree!

5 thoughts on “Garden Myth: Christmas Tree Water Additives

  1. Thanks for this–my thoughts exactly! You mentioned copper pennies–I have used them in water with tulips and I think that helps them stay upright longer. Or is that a myth too? Your advice please.

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