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How to Make a Cutting of a Holly Plant

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

Many people think of Christmas when they see holly, but the shiny evergreen bush is beautiful all year 'round, and will grow in all but the coldest climates. Deer and birds like to eat holly's tiny red berries, and rabbits often snack on the leaves if left unprotected. Holly is an easy plant to propagate from cuttings, but be sure to plant plenty, so you’ll have enough to spare during the winter holidays. Holly should be propagated in summer to late fall.

Choose a few healthy stems on the upper part of the holly bush and take several cuttings. Make the cuts just below a leaf node--a bump where a new leaf is about to emerge. Cut at a slant with a sharp, clean knife. The stem should be 3 to 4 in. long.

Prepare a spot in your garden where the holly will be in full sunshine and dig a hole 12 to 14 in. deep. Add a shovelful of damp peat moss to the bottom of the hole.

Group the cuttings in bundles with the cut ends even, and tie a string around each bundle. Dip the bundles in rooting hormone and plant them in the hole. Replace the soil in the hole. The cuttings should be at least 6 in. below the soil, and completely buried with no part of the cuttings visible.

Mark the area with a stake so you’ll know where the cuttings are buried. The holly will emerge from the soil next spring.


Things You Will Need

  • Rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • String
  • Stake

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.