How to Propagate a Leyland Cypress


The Leyland cypress is a group of sterile hybrid trees. This means there are no naturally created Leyland cypress trees. A rooted cutting must be created in order to propagate. The Leyland cypress is a semi-hard to hardwood variety of evergreen plant. Take cuttings for propagation in late fall after the last growth. The tree might be in a dormant stage at this time. The Leyland cypress grows in most climates as there is no historic natural range for the tree.

Leyland Cypress Propagation

Step 1

Disinfect pruning sheers or a sharp knife and workspace with rubbing alcohol or a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach prior to use.

Step 2

Cut a 6- to 8-inch cuttings from th current season or from 10year-old growth on the Leyland cypress tree. Choose cuttings that are growing upright and have stems that are slightly hardened with green foliage.

Step 3

Remove the leaves from the bottom 3 to 4 inches of stem.

Step 4

Make an angled notch with a sharp knife in the bottom of each stem to open the structure and allow water and nutrients to move up the cutting.

Step 5

Prepare a propagation medium by filling a sterile pot or jar with course sand or a mixture of one part peat and one part sand. When purchasing the medium, make sure it is labeled as "sterile."

Step 6

Water the medium to make it moist but not wet. The medium must stay moist during rooting to provide the proper environment for root growth.

Step 7

Dip the bare stem bottom into rooting compound to stimulate root growth. Tap any excess compound from the stem. Pour a small amount of rooting compound in a sterile dish prior to use as this prevents contaminating the entire container if a disease exists. Discard the remaining rooting compound.

Step 8

Insert the stem end of the cutting at least a third the total length into the prepared medium. Make sure the stems are standing upright and not at a slant. Cover the container and cuttings with plastic to create a greenhouse effect. Place in a window or under grow lights.

Step 9

Plant rooted cypress stems in potting soil once roots have set in. Rooting might take six to eight weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting compound
  • Sand medium
  • Pot


  • Plant Propagation: Leyland Cypress Cuttings
  • Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • National Christmas Tree Association: Leyland Cypress
Keywords: Leyland cypress propagation, evergreen propagation, cypress cuttings

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.