Sky Pencil Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’) Zone 5 to 9
Sky Pencil Holly(Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)is an upright shrub that is shaped like a column that grows to about 6 to 8 feet tall and 2 to feet tall if you don’t do any trimming. The branches grow in a vertical fashion and the foliage is very dense and thick. The small white flowers are not that noticeable but it will produce a lot of small blueish purple seeds late in the year. Sky Pencil holly is a female shrub and will need a male shrub to pollinate them.The dark green oval shaped leaves almost look like a boxwood leaf and measure under a half inch.
Sky Pencil Holly Landscape Use
Sky Pencil Holly is the perfect shrub for a small space that most other shrubs wont fit, like in between a sidewalk and a house. They also look good having one planted on either side of a door to create a formal look. A privacy hedge is another good use, blocking out wind and view, but if you do that you will need quite a few because they stay so thin. When using them as a hedge, plant them 1 and a half feet apart so they grow together in a couple of years. They also makes a good plant to keep in a container on the porch because of the low maintenance and the hardiness. If you live in a colder climate I would recommend taking Sky Pencil Holly out of the pot late in the fall and planting them so they don’t freeze out. They will very rarely need trimmed. When trimming it you just need to shear the sides and the top if you want to control the size, otherwise they never need trimmed.
Mature height: The average mature height is 6 to 8 feet tall but have been seen bigger. If you want to keep Sky Pencil trimmed into a smaller size it wont be much of a problem.
Mature width: 2 to 3 feet on average but can be trimmed even thiner is desired.
Soil type: They like soil that is slightly acidic.
Growth rate: The average growth rate is about 8 inches per year but can grow faster if you give them some Holly Tone.
Sun Exposure: They grow best in full sun but will handle some shade.
Moisture: Average. Then like will drained soil. Water Sky Pencil Holly when first planted until roots are established and extreme heat. If you use one as a container shrub it will need watered once every 2 to 3 days in summer and once every 4 to 5 days in spring. Sky Pencil Holly can not take standing water.
Flower: The small white flower appears in summer and is small and inconspicuous
Seed: The seed is very small and is a blueish purple color that appear in fall to winter.
Winter color: The color turns a little darker in the winter.
Maintenance: Sky Pencil Holly will only require trimming if you want to control the size. When trimming, just shear the sides and top to the desired height and width. If you see any dead branches they will need cut out too.