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Strongbox® Inkberry holly Ilex glabra

Exposure
  • Part Sun to Sun
  • Sun

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter
Mature Size
3' 3'
Height
2' - 3'
Spread
2' - 3'
  • Details

    Features

    Native alternative to boxwood.

    Love boxwood but struggle with disease or winter damage? Plant Strongbox® inkberry holly instead. This native evergreen naturally grows as a broadly rounded mound, and keeps its leaves all the way to the ground for the lush, dense look you love. It can be pruned or shaped as you desire, or left to attain its neat natural shape. It's also much faster growing than boxwood, and offers good deer resistance, too. Available in better garden centers in spring 2019.

    Top reasons to grow Strongbox® inkberry holly:

    • Native to North America.
    • Naturally mounded shape and evergreen.
    • Resistant to disease, pests, and winter burn.
    Foliage Interest
    Winter Interest
    Native to North America

    Characteristics

    Plant Type: 
    Shrub
    Shrub Type: 
    Evergreen
    Height Category: 
    Short
    Garden Height: 
    24 - 36 Inches
    Spacing: 
    24 - 36 Inches
    Spread: 
    24 - 36 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    White
    Foliage Colors: 
    Green
    Foliage Shade: 
    Green
    Habit: 
    Mounded
    Container Role: 
    Filler

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Light Requirement: 
    Sun
    Maintenance Category: 
    Easy
    Blooms On: 
    Old Wood
    Bloom Time: 
    Spring
    Hardiness Zones: 
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
    Water Category: 
    Average
    Uses: 
    Border Plant
    Uses: 
    Container
    Uses: 
    Edging Plant
    Uses: 
    Landscape
    Uses: 
    Mass Planting
    Uses: 
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses Notes: 

    Plant Strongbox inkberry holly anywhere you'd use boxwood - as a hedge, edging, or specimen. Strongbox inkberry holly is a bit broader and less rounded than our other inkberry holly, Gem Box®.

    Maintenance Notes: 

    Little care is needed to enjoy Strongbox inkberry holly in your landscape. It has shallow roots, so a 2-3" layer of mulch is a good idea. If you wish to trim or prune it, do so in mid-late spring, after the new growth has emerged. 

    Strongbox is a female variety and will develop black berries if a compatible male pollinator is planted in the vicinity. 

    Fun Facts: 

    The berries of inkberry holly were used by Civil War soldiers to make ink for their personal correspondance. 

    Strongbox® Ilex glabra 'ILEXFARROWTRACEY' USPP 30,147, Can PBRAF
  • 6 Reviews

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    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • bought 30 ilex glabra strongbox and carefully watered winter protection and now watering . I am disappointed as they all seem to have dissected to some degree. Will need to remove and go back to boxwoods. So much work time and money wasted. Disappointed

      Dawn Clermont
      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 18 weeks ago
    • Awful, awful, awful. Purchased this as a replacement option for boxwood. Every year loses most—if not all—of its leaves. Epic fail.

      Scott
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 19 weeks ago
    • Awful, awful, awful. Purchased this as a replacement option for boxwood. Every year loses most—if not all—of its leaves. Epic fail.

      Scott
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 19 weeks ago
    • I was able to pick up several of these inkberry plants from my local nursery to use as a hedge up against my porch - They like sun & I have found them to be easy to care for - drought tolerant. Last year I saw some Whitefly on the woody stems & was able to eradicate them by spraying with 'Sevin' - I shape & cut them back quite a bit each Spring as they fill in very quickly & provide a really good looking hedge - I love the year around Greenery - All in all I am very happy with my purchase & I am looking to do another border hedge in my yard with these shrubs planted up against 'open' aluminum fence panels.

      Karen Basso
      , New Jersey
      , United States
      , 28 weeks ago
    • I purchased 8 plants. Five got black spots and died within 3 months. I assumed this was due to our humid zone 6B summer but fungicide spray treatments did not help. The final three suddenly have black spots now during our dry winter. These were advertised to be lower maintenance than boxwoods so thought they would be a safe bet since my boxwoods have never had issues. I will be sticking to boxwoods from now on.

      Alena
      , 36 weeks ago
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