Strongbox® Inkberry Holly

As low as $104.49 was $109.99
Availability: In stock

Native Boxwood Substitute Strongbox® Inkberry Holly

  • Compact and Carefree
  • Native to North America
  • Beautiful Blue-Green Foliage Without Spines or Prickles
  • Tiny White Flowers in Springtime Support Beneficial Pollinators
  • Sophisticated Choice for Outdoor Containers
  • Great for Foundation Plantings and as a Low Hedge Edging
  • Broadly Rounded Form Never Needs Pruning, But Can Be Sheared If You Like
  • Female Cultivar That May Develop Black Berries in Fall With a Pollinator Nearby
  • These Historical Berries Were Used by Civil War Soldiers to Write Letters Home
  • Can Tolerate Periodically Soggy Soils
  • Grows Faster Than Boxwood
  • Resists Winter Burn
  • Pest and Disease-Resistant
  • Widely Adaptable
  • Sun Or Shade
  • Great Structure Plant and Winter Interest
  • Rabbit and Deer Resistant

For a well-balanced landscape, it's advised to ensure that at least one-third of your plants are evergreen. These rock-steady plants help set the lines of your design; giving structure and year-round color for interest in all seasons.

For those who prefer native plants, or need to limit the pruning requirements, we highly recommend Strongbox® Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra 'ILEXFARROWTRACEY' PP 30,147) is an excellent, elegant broad-leaved evergreen.

It resembles a Boxwood, but grows faster. This premium selection is quite adaptable to a wide variety of different garden sites, acidic soils and conditions.

Strongbox Inkberry Holly stays small and grows into a broadly rounded shape. Use it as a formal low hedging plant that needs little pruning.

This native shrub maintains its blue-green foliage all the way to the ground. The pretty, round leaves do not have rough-edged prickles. They make a handsome green accent plant all season.

Strongbox is a female plant, and may produce tiny black berries if you have a male Inkberry Holly nearby. History buffs can try their hand at recreating the Civil War experience of homesick soldiers writing with homespun ink.

This is a great plant to include in a Pollinator Garden, as the tiny white spring flowers support honey bees. If the blooms get pollinated, local songbirds will certainly enjoy feasting on their berries in fall!

It's no matter if you are renting, or if you own your property. You can always grow Strongbox Inkberry Holly in large outdoor containers to gain a wonderfully formal feeling, for little more effort than regular watering.

This hardy evergreen is just about maintenance free, not needing any coddling and still able to look great. Strongbox is very disease and pest resistant.

No wonder the popularity of these charming small evergreens is skyrocketing! Order your Strongbox today!

How to Use Strongbox® Inkberry Holly in the Landscape

You'll find so many ways to use these tidy, architectural plants to spice up the looks of your landscape. Repeat them in a mixed garden border to give a constant evergreen presence, even in winter.

Pop them into containers for your patio. You might love the look of a curated collection of shapes, colors, and styles with a consistent Strongbox Inkberry Holly plant used in each pot!

Really, you can style these small shrubs any way you like. Their versatility is one of the reasons people adore them so much.

Let them grow out without any pruning to provide a natural, evergreen outline to a rustic Butterfly Garden. Or, shape them to add to your foundation, or in patio plantings.

Create a low, solid hedge by planting them two feet apart. You'll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Massed plantings of Strongbox Inkberry Holly act just like the right setting to set off a jewel. Rely on their year-round visual impact to ground the effect of an informal grouping of flowering deciduous trees.

Use a sweet edging row to corral an airy-fairy Cottage Garden. Strongbox also shores up the look of free-range sculptural shrubs like Fothergilla and Buttonbush.

They won't mind wet feet once in a while. Try at the edge of a pond. Weave them into the mesic zone of a planned Rain Garden.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Plant them in either full sun or partial shade. Give them at least four hours of morning sunshine. In very warm climates, they'll appreciate a little afternoon shade.

Strongbox Inkberry Holly is tolerant, but performs best in moist, acidic soils. Apply a medium amount of supplemental water regularly, in the absence of rainfall.

Pruning is not really needed. However, you may want to shorten or even up growth after the first flush of growth in late spring.

These ericaceous plants need a lower pH soil. Add a three-inch layer of pine straw or pine bark mulch, and fertilize with acid-loving plant formulas following label directions.

Create a stunning style with this carefree native broad-leaved evergreen. Place your order for Strongbox Inkberry Holly today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 18.99
20 - 49.99 21.99
50 - 69.99 24.99
70 - 99.99 29.99
100 - 129.99 34.99
130 - 149.99 41.99
150 - 150+ Approx 27%

Click here to see our full rates


Strongbox® Inkberry Holly Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Proven Winners ColorChoice
Botanical Name Ilex glabra 'ILEXFARROWTRACEY'
Type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 2 - 3 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Adaptable to Most Soils
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Evergreen
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring
Fragrant No
Photos courtesy of Proven Winners, Inc -