Ilex Gem Box® Holly

A Native Plant | Deer Resistant & Salt Tolerant
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Features to Note


5 - 9

Mature Height

3 Feet

Mature Width

3 Feet

Light Requirements

Full Sun

Moisture Requirements

Moist, well-drained

Soil Tolerance

Normal, loamy

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range
5 - 9
My Hardiness Zone

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The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatibility range of this variety before ordering.


A Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Shrubs variety, Ilex Gem Box® Holly.

A dwarf variety, Ilex Gem Box® is a broadleaf evergreen shrub offering year-round interest. Grown for its foliage, the plant looks more like a boxwood than an inkberry holly and grows as a small, dense globe of attractive dainty dark green leaves with red tips in spring. This bush requires little shaping to maintain its natural spherical form.

An Ilex glabra, also known as inkberry or gallberry, Ilex Gem Box® has a compact, upright, mounded habit and a slow growth rate. The ball-shaped shrub has good branching to the ground and will not appear "leggy." Stoloniferous, it can spread by root suckers. Ilex Gem Box® is a female variety that can produce pea-sized berries if a compatible male is planted within pollination range. Great for small garden spaces, it is also a nice container plant in milder climates. Massed, it makes a fine small, informal hedge or shrub border.

Easy to grow, Ilex Gem Box grows best in sunny to partly sunny locations with rich, consistently moist soils having an acidic pH. It grows naturally around swamps and bogs, so it tolerates wet soils and a fair amount of shade, but neutral to alkaline soils should be avoided. Although little to no pruning is required, any desired pruning should be done in spring just before new growth emerges. It is deer resistant and salt tolerant.

A native plant, Gem Box is indigenous to North America. Native plants are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly. Naturally adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the region, they thrive without fertilizers or extra watering, once established. They also act as natural pest controls, reducing the need for pesticides in the garden. Landscaping with native plants promotes biodiversity and provides shelter and quality food for wildlife and pollinators, bringing gardens to life.


Genus: Ilex
Species: glabra
Variety: 'SMNIGAB17'
Item Form: 1-Quart
Category: Perennials, Shrubs
Bloom Season Start: Early Summer
Bloom Season End: Late Summer
Bloom Color: Pink, White
Habit: Dwarf
USDA Zone Low: 5
USDA Zone High: 9
Uses: Containers, Foliage Interest, Hedge
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
State Shipping Restrictions: AZ, GU, HI, ID, PR, VI
Shipping Method Restrictions: none
Discount Exempt: No



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