Christmas started early this year, with celebrities leading the way in getting their decorations and real trees up by the beginning of November.
But, with two weeks still to go, there’s a worry over whether we’ll be able to keep our pine needles perky all the way to the big day.
So we were pleased as punch to learn that there’s a simple lemonade hack which could help cut Christmas trees last longer and look that little bit fresher.
Singer Louise Redknapp drew attention to the unusual tip by asking on Twitter: “Has anyone else heard of giving your Christmas tree lemonade to make it last longer? Or is someone having me on?
“And if so… does it require a Vodka with it?” she quipped.
Has anyone else heard of giving your Christmas tree lemonade to make it last longer? Or is someone having me on? 😂🎄
And does if so... does it require a Vodka with it? x
— Louise Redknapp (@LouiseRedknapp) December 8, 2020
Interestingly, some of Redknapp’s followers seemingly confirmed the tip.
“You actually can Lou! A drop of lemonade — or a dilute mixture of water, sugar and lemon — adds nourishment,” one follower tweeted.
“The glucose in sugar will help the tree to maintain its cell structure and prevent needle loss, even several weeks after being cut.”
Another fan added: “Plant stems can take up two things – water and sugar. So boost your tree by stirring a couple of spoonfuls of sugar into the water before you give it to the tree. Alternatively, feed the tree with some full-sugar lemonade mixed into water. True story.”
Should we be watering our Christmas trees with lemonade?
In short, yes. This tip comes recommended by gardeners.
This Morning viewers were recently left surprised after gardening expert, David Domoney, suggested feeding real Christmas trees with lemonade on 23 November.
“You can use florist’s cut flower food or you can just mix up some sugar water or full-fat lemonade,” he said.
Mark Rofe, founder of Christmastrees.co.uk, told Yahoo UK exactly why lemonade is good for cut trees.
“It may come as a surprise, but yes, using lemonade can keep your Christmas tree alive, this is because the sugar in it provides food and nourishment, while the water keeps your tree hydrated,” he explained.
“It acts in a similar way to the flower food you would typically get from a florist.”
Watch: Pop-up trees are this year’s biggest Christmas trend.
Rofe went on to add that the key to a long lasting Christmas tree is to avoid it drying out.
“When you first get your tree you should cut off a few inches from the base as this will help it to absorb your water or lemonade,” he explains.
“Keep it away from heat sources such as a radiator or open fire, and choose a cooler area if you can.”
He also suggests avoiding traditional incandescent bulbs as these are warmer than LEDs and can heat up the tree. “This can dehydrate the tree and cause the needles to dry out,” he adds.
Chris Wood, head florist at Waitrose, has some other top tips for keeping a real tree alive for longer:
Try to put up your Christmas tree the same day you bring it home and, using a saw, trim half an inch off the trunk before placing it in water. This gets rid of any resin that might block the tree from absorbing water.
Keep it hydrated
Ensuring your tree has an adequate amount of water is the absolute most important thing you can do to preserve it. “You can get tree stands with a built-in reservoir which are great!” says Wood. “People don't always realise how much water their Christmas trees will drink so keep an eye on it and replenish the water regularly.”
Cool your tree
Once the tree is up, Wood suggests trying to keep the room cooler than normal, if you can, to slow down the tree from drying out. “Locate the tree away from heat vents, fireplaces, radiators and windows that get direct sunlight,” he adds.