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Gem Box® Inkberry Holly

Description

  • Native evergreen looks like boxwood. 
  • Lush and full to the ground, looks stunning in the landscape!
  • Naturally grows with a neat, rounded shape.
  • Makes a shapely specimen or nice low hedge.
  • Zones 5-9, sun/part sun, 3' tall x 3' wide at maturity
Zone 5-9
Light part sun/sun
promo

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Hand-picked at our greenhouse

Shipped to your door

Arrives as young plant

More Information

Description Gem Box® inkberry holly (Ilex glabra) is a ground-breaking alternative to boxwood. Though it grows native across much of eastern North America, Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs selected Gem Box® for its dense, neat, rounded shape and ability to stay lush and full all the way to the ground. It makes a perfect evergreen, semi-formal accent to pollinator or native plant gardens, or plant it as a durable, low hedge. It does not require pruning or trimming to maintain its shape, making it incredibly low-maintenance. Inkberry holly is quite durable, tolerating very wet and occasionally dry conditions. It's not quite as shade-tolerant or deer resistant as boxwood but has the advantage of attracting pollinators and being a bit less fussy and far more disease resistant. History buffs, take note: this plant is called "inkberry holly" because Civil War soldiers used its berries to make a crude ink to write letters home. You may also want to check out Strongbox inkberry holly, which is like Gem Box but offers a lower, more cylindrical shape. Note about berries: Gem Box inkberry holly is a female variety and can potentially develop berries. However, there are no compatible males currently on the market to ensure the cross pollination required for fruit to form.   Details Botanical name: Ilex glabra 'SMNIGAB17'
Patent #: USPP 27,554
Common name: Inkberry holly, Dwarf Inkberry holly
Zone: 5-9
Sun exposure: Full sun (6+ hours sun) to part-sun (4-6 hours sun)
Height x width: 2-3' tall and wide
Flower color: White
Foliage color: Green
Season of Interest: Year-round
Uses: Hedge, low hedge, specimen, containers, formal gardens, native plant gardens.
How To Grow Soil: Moist but well-drained soils are best. Though inkberry holly can take some dryness, foliage will begin to brown if it dries out frequently or severely.
Light: Full sun (6+ hrs/day) to part sun (4-6 hrs/day).
Water: Average to abundant (as long as soil is well-drained).
Space: 2-3' apart, depending on landscape role.
Fertilizing: If desired, fertilize in early spring, once the ground has thawed, with a granular rose fertilizer. A second application may be made in late spring/early summer as well.
Winterizing: 2-3" of shredded bark mulch is important to protect the shallow roots and minimize water loss. Do not allow plants to enter winter "thirsty"; dry soil during cold, windy weather is the main cause of leaf browning or even the plant dying.
Maintenance: Trim as needed to maintain shape and size desired. Save major pruning for mid-late spring, after new growth has emerged but before it becomes hard and woody.
 

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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H
H.D. (Utah)
Would purchase from GGP again!

I bought 9 of the same plant and I was pretty nervous about them since they were shipped across the country and it took like 9 or 10 days for me to receive them after they shipped. I thought for sure they'd be dead or in sorry shape when they arrived. I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging and the plants were doing great when I got them. There was one "runt of the litter" that didn't make it but customer service was awesome and sent me a replacement plant for free. Now all 9 are happy in their new home and there's been a lot of new growth. I would shop here again.

E
E.R. (Texas)

Plants arrived in great condition and they are doing well after I planted them in my flower bed.

V
V.M. (Florida)
Inkberry is thriving in Florida

Thriving. Highly recommend!

J
J.S. (Connecticut)
Gem Box Inkberry

I have ordered 26 of these over the past couple of months. They were all packaged quite sturdily and they all seem to be doing well. By nature, they are slow growers but they have definitely put on some new growth since planting.
Overall, it was a very good experience and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to grow.

C
C. (Pennsylvania)
Easy transition

The inkberry arrived healthy and really well packaged— which protected them from heat as well as jostling. They have settled in well next to the outflow pipe from our sump pump. Although the soil is typically fairly dry, after heavy rain the pump absolutely inundates the planting bed. The inkberry plants seem just fine with that so far. New growth covers the plants after six week in soil, and I’m excited to see how they handle the rest of the growing season.