Gem Box Holly Shrub (Ilex glabra ‘Gem Box’)

Gem Box Holly Shrub


What is Gem Box Holly Shrub

A dense, compact shrub with small dark green leaves, the Gem Box Holly is the ideal substitute for your typical plant bed boxwood. Also known as the Inkberry Holly, it develops attractive red tips during the spring and requires virtually no upkeep.

You get the look of a classic boxwood with the benefits of a holly. Unlike typical hollies that can grow too large or overpowering, the Baby lives up to its name, staying very compact but delivering all the perks you love in a holly, including berries and evergreen foliage.

In fact, it’s a perfect alternative to the classic boxwood. Unlike many other varieties, it maintains its dense habit right to the ground without a leggy look. And it’s unbelievably versatile, perfect for hedging, container-growing, or specimen planting.

No matter where it’s planted, you get a manicured appearance without the fuss. Although it can be pruned and shaped, it grows naturally into a polished, tidy silhouette. The Gem Box Holly delivers instant curb appeal, taking any space to the next level. Especially since it’s resistant to pests, disease and other ailments that cause other boxwood varieties to fade.

When you order your Gem Box Holly from GardenCenterPoint, you get a well-rooted shrub in a pot, ready for explosive growth. Our tried-and-true process of planting and growing in nutrient-rich soil, months ahead of shipping, gives you a healthy head start.

Now, no matter where it’s growing in your homescape, the Gem Box Holly will be the brightest new addition to your landscape…and will have guests and neighbors wondering where you got your green thumb.

What’s not to love when it comes to this garden gem?

Gem Box Holly Shrub (Ilex glabra 'Gem Box') Ilex glabra 'Gem Box'

How to Grow and Care for Gem Box Holly Shrub

Gem Box Holly Shrub (Ilex glabra ‘Gem Box’) Growing Requirements

Hardiness zone 5-9 outdoors

Sun exposure

Plant your Holly in an area with full to partial sun – at least 4 hours of sunlight daily.


Fertilization isn’t required for your Holly, but you can apply an evergreen fertilizer in the spring as needed.


Plant in an area with full to partial sun and well-drained soil (generally, any area with about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily).

Dig your hole large enough to accommodate your shrub’s root ball. Once you’ve placed the shrub in the hole, backfill the soil, tamp down, and water to settle the roots.

We recommend mulching the area surrounding your new shrub. Adding a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around your planted shrub will help it conserve moisture and suppress weeds.


Water your Holly each week if the natural rainfall for your area doesn’t supply enough water. If you’re not sure when to water, just check the surrounding soil – if the soil is dry, it’s time to water.


Apply an evergreen fertilizer in the spring.


Pruning isn’t required, but you can prune for shaping in the spring.

Gem Box Holly Shrub (Ilex glabra ‘Gem Box’) Details

Common name Gem Box Holly Shrub
Botanical name Ilex glabra 'Gem Box'
Plant type Evergreen Trees
Hardiness zone 5-9 outdoors
Growth rate Medium
Height 2-4 ft.
Width 2-4 ft.