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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
medium

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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 10 reviews
70%
(7)
10%
(1)
0%
(0)
20%
(2)
0%
(0)
I
I.B. (Indiana)

Inkberry are very small. They have grown very little.

Hello! Thank you for your feedback. As noted on our website, we do ship young plants with well established root systems. It's hard to say for certain why you haven't seen much growth in you inkberry, since many factors like weather, watering, soil type, and fertilizing all come into play. When transplanting young plants from a nursery pot to a garden, the plant allocates more energy to root development instead of shoot development (above ground). It's important for them to develop a robust root system so they can actually absorb the nutrients and water in the soil around them. Then after their root system is more developed they'll invest in their shoots and flower development. this is true of plants in a garden center or plants purchased online. With proper care, you'll see new growth in time. Happy Gardening!

T
T.S. (South Carolina)
All arrived green and healthy

Been a dry year since I planted them and all are doing well very drought tolerant bushes.

J
J.P. (Alabama)
Healthy plants.

My plants were healthy and looked good. I was, however, stunned by how small they were. One box came and thought it was a plant, one. But the one box contained all 3 that I ordered. I was anticipating small but they were tiny, only a few inches tall. The plants have grown and done well but now only barely 9”. Shipment was quick.

B
B.H. (New Mexico)
Inkberry Holly mistake

I wanted to replace a row of boxwoods and bought ten of these inkberry hollies. They were small when they arrived but healthy. Within two months they had black leaves and yellow leaves and dropping leaves. They are really picky about watering, about soil and the amount of light they get so definitely not easy like boxwoods. Not recommended if looking for something easy to grow.

L
L.H. (District of Columbia)
Gem Box Inkberry Hollly

Healthy little plant. I will know it better when it grows larger.