Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

By Polly Conner
November 30, 2020

I was reminded this week how much I love a REAL Christmas tree.

Real Christmas Tree

Imperfect? Yep.

Messy? Yep.

A hassle? You bet.

Worth it? Yes.

The scent of a cedar tree in your house is unlike any other. The smell hits you every time you enter the room. It brought back so many sweet memories to be around it this weekend!

When I was growing up, we usually waited to cut down a real tree until early to mid-December so it wouldn’t get too dried out by Christmas. This year however, my dad was eager to get the Christmas season started so he and my brother went out the day after Thanksgiving to scout out some potential trees for this year.

Two men Looking for a Christmas Tree

They came back with a HUGE tree. It’s amazing how they seem to look so much bigger in our house than out in the woods.

Cedar tree inside the house

After getting it all set up, my dad asked me to look up a recipe for tree water.


I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Apparently, if you add certain ingredients to the water that you give your Christmas tree, it will last longer and keep its fresh scent.

After doing a little research, I landed on a formula that looked promising.

Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

  • 2oz Regular Clorox Bleach –prevents algae, etc.
  • 8oz Karo Syrup (clear) – the sugar feeds the tree
  • 2 pinches of Epsom Salts – magnesium sulfates make the needles green
  • 5 quarts of water
Mix all of the above and store in a cool place. It is better to error on the side of being too diluted. Osmosis happens from weak to strong, and if the mixture is too strong, it will actually drain your tree instead of feeding it.
My dad has used this on his past Christmas trees and claims that it does make a difference in the longevity of the tree. I guess the only way to REALLY know is to have two trees and use it on one but not the other. However, no one is going to do that so we will just have to trust people who have used it!

Looking for more Christmas ideas? Check these out…

Holiday Gift Guide – Ideas for every age!

31 Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

15 Books that Share the Real Meaning of Christmas

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12 replies
    • Polly says:

      I can’t give a certain time on how long the tree will last because so much of that is contingent on other factors (type of tree, when it was cut down, etc.) but the solution DID seem to help.

  1. Trissy says:

    So you haven’t tried this yet? Can you post what your results were since I’m assuming you looked it up to actually use it on the new tree you got???? Thanks

    • Polly says:

      I just updated the post but in short, my dad (who used the solution) said he plans on using it again this year and thinks it made a difference. Good luck with your tree!