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Sky Pencil Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

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Sky Pencil Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Boxleaf Holly

Description:

A most unique and aptly-named evergreen shrub with an extremely upright and narrow habit of growth, superb choice for small-scale articulation in the garden creation, adds a level of dynamic interest; small leaves further add aesthetic value

Ornamental Features

Sky Pencil Japanese Holly has dark green foliage. The small glossy oval leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. It produces black berries from mid fall to late winter.

Landscape Attributes

Sky Pencil Japanese Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Sky Pencil Japanese Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Sky Pencil Japanese Holly will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Articulation  Screening  Garden 
Applications
Fruit  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features