Sky Pencil Holly | Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' | Quart Plant | Free Shipping

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March 2024

Sky Pencil Holly | Ixex crenata 'Sky Pencil'

Why The Plant Factory, Inc is a good choice?

Our plants are grown at our nursery, not staged in a holding yard unattended. Our experienced staff use the best horticultural practices to ensure our plants are of the utmost health and quality. We select your plants as if we were buying them ourselves. Our standard goals are to exceed our customers’ expectations. We pride ourselves for great “out of the box” experiences with hassle-free customer service and quick resolutions.

 Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil,' commonly known as Sky Pencil Holly, is a captivating evergreen shrub that adds vertical sophistication to any landscape. With its striking, columnar growth habit and glossy deep green foliage, this holly variety offers a unique and elegant presence that stands out in both formal and contemporary garden designs.

Growing Characteristics: Sky Pencil Holly is revered for its upright growth, reaching heights of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) while maintaining a narrow width of only 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters). Its densely packed leaves create a dense and visually appealing column, making it an ideal choice for framing entrances, lining pathways, or adding a touch of height to garden beds. The small, inconspicuous white flowers that bloom in spring give way to tiny black berries in fall, providing subtle seasonal interest.

Care: Caring for Sky Pencil Holly is relatively straightforward, as it is a hardy and low-maintenance shrub. It thrives in well-draining soil and prefers full to partial sun exposure. Ensure adequate spacing when planting to allow for proper air circulation around the slender form.

Watering Needs: While Sky Pencil Holly is moderately drought-tolerant once established, it benefits from regular watering during its initial growth period. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, and mulch around the base to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Use Moisture Maxx non-ionic wetting agent to help get your plant off to the right gorwth and health, the same wetting agent we ue every day in our nursery.

Pruning Needs: Pruning is essential to maintain the desired columnar shape of the Sky Pencil Holly. Light and strategic pruning can be done throughout the growing season to remove any dead or wayward branches. Major pruning is typically performed during late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Thinning out the interior branches will help improve air circulation and sunlight penetration.

Fertilizing Needs: Fertilize Sky Pencil Holly annually in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilization, as this can lead to excessive growth that may compromise the shrub's elegant form. A layer of organic compost applied around the base can also provide essential nutrients. Use HI-COTE 360 day timed relese fetilizer, the same fertilizer we use everyday in our nursery. 

Companion Plants: When planning a landscape featuring Sky Pencil Holly, consider pairing it with companion plants that enhance its vertical allure and complement its refined appearance. Some suitable options include:

  1. Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra): This low-growing ornamental grass contrasts beautifully with the holly's vertical form, adding a soft, flowing texture to the landscape.

  2. Dwarf Conifers: Compact conifer varieties like Thuja occidentalis 'Tiny Tim' or Pinus mugo 'Sherwood Compact' create a harmonious blend of shapes and sizes.

  3. Variegated Plants: Hostas or variegated ornamental grasses can provide a delightful contrast to the deep green foliage of the holly.

  4. Low-Growing Perennials: Plants like sedums, creeping phlox, or ajuga can spill over the base of the Sky Pencil Holly, creating a visually appealing layering effect.

Incorporating Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' Holly into your landscape design not only adds a touch of refinement but also showcases nature's artistic mastery in its captivating vertical growth. With proper care and thoughtful companion planting, this unique holly variety can become a focal point that draws admiration year-round.


Our processing time is usually 1-3 days after receiving your order. Orders taken after 4:00 pm on Wednesday through Sunday will be shipped the following Monday.


The Plant Factory, Inc. offers the very best shipping processes to ensure quick, safe, and near-perfect results every time. Cold and heat may deter your order temporarily until it is safe to receive and plant your plants/trees in your area. At our discretion, we will hold order till the threat is gone ensuring you with the healthiest-viable product ordered.

Summer - Above 95 degrees | Winter - Below 34 degrees

Plant Highlights

  • Growing zone: 7-10
  • Botanical name: Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' Holly
  • Foliage color: Green
  • Flowers: Creamy white
  • Fragrance: N/A
  • Plant type: Evergreen shrub
  • Plant height: 8-10' Feet
  • Plant width: 2-3 Feet
  • Growth rate: medium growth rate
  • Environment needs: Sun to part shade
  • Soil needs: Well-drained
  • Water needs: More to establish, moderate after established 
  • Pruning needs: Occasional yearly shaping
  • Resistance: Deer, rabbit, and most insects
  • Grown by: The Plant Factory
  • Pollinator Friendly: Yes
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Pet Friendly: No
  • Reblooming: No
  • Cold and Heat Tolerant: Yes

Note: We put pictures and videos on our site to best represent our products as an example of our quality as a grower.  You may, however, receive a smaller or larger plant than pictured depending on the season you buy. You may or may not get a plant blooming as shown on our site.  We usually trim off blooms because they do not ship well. Your purchase of our plants should be considered an investment in your future garden to enjoy the process of growing it to its full potential.

Limited Conditional Warranty: Warranty is limited to guaranteeing plants will arrive safely and in good and healthy condition, and is conditioned on Seller receiving prompt notice (within 24 hours of delivery) of any problem with the condition accompanied by photo validation. No other additional, extended or long-term Warranty is expressed or implied. Minor broken branches and some leaf discoloration is considered cosmetic and normal for shipping plants through the mail. Keep in mind when if this happens these minor issues will not affect the health of your plants and trees. Loose soil does not qualify for any warranty replacement. Simply put back in container and water thoroughly, let rest for a few days and then replant.