How to Propagate Holly Bushes


Propagating holly bushes through woody stem cuttings does not require any special equipment. Through proper selection and cutting the correct stem, a seedling will grow that can be transplanted the second year growing season. While the holly bush is a broadleaf evergreen, propagation must take place during the late summer to winter months. According to Washington State University, taking a semi hardwood cutting from the holly bush has a moderate to high probability of taking root.

Step 1

Select last year's growth on the holly bush mother plant, during late summer into the early winter months. Cut a 6- to 8-inch-long stem from the end of the plant.

Step 2

Remove the lower leaves, 2 to 3 inches from the cut end.

Step 3

Dip the cut end into the rooting hormone powder. Allow the white powder to coat the entire lower end where you removed the leaves.

Step 4

Mix equal parts of peat moss and sand as the potting soil medium. Fill a 6-inch-diameter pot, with bottom drainage holes, to within 1 inch of the top rim of the pot.

Step 5

Push a pencil into the soil to form a hole for the placement of the holly bush stem cutting. Insert the cut end of the stem cutting into the preformed hole. Avoid removing the rooting hormone powder from the cutting when placing it in the hole.

Step 6

Firm the soil around the cutting. Water the potting soil to moisten. Keep the soil medium moist, but not overly wet.

Step 7

Place the pot in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Inspect daily, remove any dropped leaves from the soil surface, and keep moist.

Step 8

Tug on the holly cutting after two or three months from initial planting. If you feel resistance, the stem cutting is taking root.

Things You'll Need

  • Holly bush mother plant
  • Scissors
  • Rooting hormone
  • 6-inch pot w/drainage holes in bottom
  • Soil mixture (peat moss, sand)
  • Pencil


  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • Washington State University: Propagating with Stem Cuttings
Keywords: broadleaf evergreen rooting, root evergreens, propagate evergreens

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.