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How Do You Keep Cut Holly Fresh?

Ask the Expert: Holly
How do you keep holly fresh looking ? Margaret

Plant Expert Reply:

Keeping holly looking alive and vibrant is a little tricky. Think about it! First we cut it from it life source and then we put it in a house that is warmer than its natural environment.

The key to keeping it vibrant is to create an environment as close to nature as possible.  First, keep it hydrated.  If possible, put it in water or at least mist the foliage every day.  You can create wreaths and other holly arrangements with floral foam soaked in water.  This will keep your holly hydrated.  The second key is to keep it cool.  Holly will do better if the room is slightly cooler than normal and away from any blowing heat source.

Fortunately even as holly deteriorates, it still looks pretty good.


  1. what do you put fresh cut holly in ? like a vase or what?

  2. Yes. Anything that can hold water to keep the holly hydrated. You can use a vase or floral foam.

  3. Catherine roberts says:


    I am wanting to cut some holly off my friends tree for my wedding table centre pieces. I’m unsure when to do it though as I don’t want the holly to die. My wedding is this Saturday so would it be best to leave it closer to the time or not? Also how would I keep it to keep it crest as possible?

  4. Catherine,
    Yes, if you hold off until closer to time, it will do better for your wedding. Make sure to mist it often until your big shindig so it stays fresh!

  5. Catherine roberts says:

    Hello Tanya, thank you for replying. Will the holly be ok in some water? It will be in a bucket of water then transfered to fish bowls with water in them x

  6. Catherine,
    Yes. If it stays hydrated, it should be good.

  7. What about the powder that preserves flowers? Would this work on the holly leaves? Wants to use for wreaths for a craft fair.

  8. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Valarie,
    I’ve never personally tried the powder to preserve flowers, but I would think it would work on the holly leaves. The only way to know for sure is to try it out. Let us know if it works!

  9. Just cut some holly for Christmas centerpieces, I’m in Maine and it’s pretty cold out. If I leave it out in the cold garage should I still put it in some water?

  10. Jamie Woods says:

    It needs to stay hydrated to look its best. You should put it in water or at least mist it.

  11. How long will Holly last after its cut if I keep in cold place and spray mist it. I need to cut it soon before the birds take all the berries and I would love to have it for Christmas!!!!!

  12. Miroslava Casiano says:

    Hi Catherine! Fresh holly often lasts about 2 weeks when cut, maybe even more in colder climates.

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