Preserving Magnolia Leaves for the Holidays

Greetings, Thanksgiving survivors! Now that you're wondering what to do with all of that left-over squirrel, I know you'll appreciate some helpful holiday decorating tips that will effectively obliterate any free time you have between now and Christmas!

Debbie asks: "We are getting ready to trim some limbs from a scraggly magnolia. I would love to preserve the leaves for Christmas decorating, but I don’t know how to do it effectively and efficiently. I will have ten to fifteen branches of varying lengths to work with. My goal is to preserve them so I can make a garland for my front door or banister. Any quick, cost friendly ideas?"

Answer: If you just want them to look good through the holidays, I would do the following:

1. Wait until the last minute to cut 2. Cut fresh, healthy growth from the ends of the branches 3. Keep the leaves in a cool room out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources

Now, if you want to preserve them long after the holidays are gone, I suggest you use this this link to read very thorough instructions from the Clemson University Extension about using glycerin and a number of other methods to preserve cut material for the holidays. The Grump just loves takinbg advantage of the hard work of others!

http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic1151.htm

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