Gem Box Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra ‘SMNIGAB17’)

Gem Box Inkberry Holly

Dwarf broad-leaved evergreen stays formal, neat and tidy! If you love the evergreen look of Boxwood but want to step out of the pack a bit, try Gem Box® Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra ‘SMNIGAB17’)! This Proven Winners® plant is long in style, but short in stature. We’re sure you’ll appreciate it all year-round!

Dark green, lustrous fine textured foliage sports beautiful red blushed new growth. This is a female cultivar, but currently, no males have been introduced to pollinate it so it is grown as a broadleaved evergreen that does not set fruit. Dense and fluffy, this Inkberry maintains good branching right to the ground, Gem Box® always looks classy and full!

The fine-textured, glossy, lance-shaped leaves bring a year round dark-green sheen and a high-style look to your garden throughout USDA growing zones 5 to 9 adding an amazing designer touch to your landscape! It will tolerate several hours of shade a day. That makes it even more versatile to use near ornamental trees, patios, and foundations.

Planting and Application:

Create backdrops, and garden definition, adding formal structure to beds or borders without the designer price tag! Try them in small containers along a walkway or at your entry. Gem Box® Ilex remains neat and tidy, and you’ll love using the mounded structural accent in just about any garden bed! These bring a lovely quality to containers and planters.

That steady year-round green just looks so handsome and the dainty dark-green leaves retain that glossy sheen! Fitting into formal beds as well as they do loose country plantings! Evergreen shrubs are amazing facer shrubs to hide the bare legs of your larger foundation plants.

For a solid low hedge, plant them 1 – 3 feet on center. You’ll measure from the center of one shrub to the center of the next. As your budget allows, plant them closer together. They’ll fill in faster for you! You can also try a staggered zig-zag to create a mass planting on a slope or a large bare patch. The plants will grow to create a low-maintenance groundcover.

  • Lustrous Green Foliage with Red Tips in Spring
  • Sophisticated Lance-Shaped Leaves
  • Dwarf Broad-Leaf Evergreen
  • Dense Ball-Shaped Plant
  • Fantastic Small Evergreen Hedge & Gorgeous in Containers!

Tips for Care:

Gem Box® Inkberry Holly It also performs beautifully in full sun all day long as well as displaying good shade tolerance! Gem Box® is an excellent alternative to Boxwood, especially in those areas that do not have quite so well-drained soils. Preferring moist acidic soils and appreciating winter watering. Just keep it weeded and fertilized with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Premium Fertilizer in spring and mid-summer to support that inviting color all year round! A generous layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture as well as insulate the root system from heat and chill.

  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Most Moist Soil Types
  • Prune to Shape Late Winter
  • Nice Alternative to Boxwood
  • Deer Resistant

Every garden bed needs a strong, architectural anchor, and charming little Gem Box® Inkberry Holly fills the spot perfectly!

Gem Box Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra ‘SMNIGAB17’) Details

Common name Gem Box Inkberry Holly
Botanical name Ilex glabra 'SMNIGAB17'
Plant type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Slow
Height 2 - 3 ft.
Width 2 - 3 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly No
Pruning time Early Spring