An investigation.

By Meghan Overdeep
December 06, 2019

From Aspirin to bleach, people use a variety of tricks to keep their Christmas trees fresh for as long as possible. But it seems like soda, and 7UP in particular, is the life-preserving method people are most passionate about. Even actor Rob Lowe swears by his recipe (equal parts water and 7UP) for a strong and healthy tree.

We get it. It’s hard to watch your gorgeous greenery dry up and wither away. That kind of desperation can lead the average Christmas lover to try any number of things to keep their tree looking fabulous. But is it all in vain? Can science confirm that a sugary soft drink benefits any living thing, let alone a cut tree?

Inspired by Rob Lowe’s fervor, our sister site People reached out to Tim O’Connor, the Executive Director of the National Christmas Tree Association, to find out how the organization feels about the soda and water combo.

“We hear about all kinds of things people do to their trees,” O’Connor told People. “We recommend just water—what the tree used while it was growing—but if something has been working for someone, we are not against it.”

Speaking with LiveScience, Tchukki Anderson, a staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association, confirmed that water is usually enough, though many people have had success by mixing a tablespoon of sugar or corn syrup in the water.

So, what is it about 7UP? Some folks think that in addition to the sugar and citric acid (which cut plants love) the natural lemon lime flavoring may act as a preservative. And compared to potentially harmful alternatives like bleach, 7UP-believers don’t have to worry about children or pets coming into contact with their tree’s water source.

The consensus? If you feel like 7UP is the key to Christmas success, have at it!