Image by Elsa Spezio
By Anne Baley
Inkberry holly shrubs, also known as gallberry shrubs, are native to the southeastern United States. These attractive plants fill a number of landscaping uses, from shorter hedges to tall specimen plantings. While the berries aren’t edible for humans, many birds and small animals are fond of them in the winter. Growing inkberry holly in your yard is a simple project, as these plants are almost carefree. Find inkberry plant information to ensure the healthiest plants possible.
Inkberry Plant Information
Inkberry is a type of holly bush that is found wild in many southern bogs and damp woodlands. Its round, dense shape forms a thick hedge when it’s grown in a row. Inkberry holly varieties vary from thick 4-foot versions to the almost tree-like 8-foot tall giants. As the plant grows, the bottom branches tend to lose their leaves, giving the bottom of the plant a bare look.
Birds are very fond of inkberries and mammals such as raccoons, squirrels and black bears will eat them when short on food. The creature that enjoys this plant the most may be the honeybee. Southern bees are known for making gallberry honey, an amber-colored liquid that’s prized by many gourmets.
How to Care for Inkberry Holly Shrubs
Taking care of inkberries is relatively simple and well within the talents of novice gardeners. Choose a planting spot with acidic soil and full sunlight. Inkberry plants love moist soil with good drainage. Keep the soil moist at all times for the best results.
These plants have both male and female flowers, so plant both varieties if you want the plants to produce berries.
Inkberry spreads by vigorous root suckers and can take over a corner of the garden within a couple of years. Remove suckers each year if you want to keep it in check. Trim the plant each spring to keep it in shape and not too tall.