Manzanitas of California, (Arctostaphylos species)
You can grow a manzanita if you live in the Western United States.
Manzanita is the
common name for the genus
Arctostaphylos. There are more than forty species of Arctostaphylos in
California not to mention all the, cultivars, subspecies and hybrids.
We are commonly growing 70 different types in the nursery. Manzanita
from two inches (some of the coastal species) to twenty feet tall (many
interior species). Manzanitas are popular for their shiny red or
mahogany colored bark. Manzanitas have urn-shaped flowers that vary
from pink to white and are popular with hummingbirds. They are very
drought tolerant and evergreen, always looking green and healthy even
in the hottest, driest part of the summer. Manzanita (Arctostaphylos
spp) is of the family Ericaceae. Plants in this
(associated with symbiotic fungi). This allows them to survive in many
harsh environments; however, it also makes them very susceptible to over
watering and fertilizing. They really do not like to be summer watered nor
fertilized. If grown correctly these plants, especially the larger
forms, will grow for more than 100 years.
easy in most of California and missing from most landscapes.
Let's see, they like to be washed off once a week, they hate drip and fertilizer, and look good for decades. Sounds like my bio.
problem areas are the desert areas(use Arctostaphylos
pungens or Arctostaphylos
glauca) and the areas of beach sand or adobe clay.
areas need to use the sand lovers, the clay areas the clay lovers.
Manzanitas are great wildlife plants. Providing nectar for butterflies,
native insects (they're cool!). Many of the manzanitas regulate their
nectar to attract different insects, butterflies and hummingbirds
during the day. See Arctostaphylos otayensis, Otay Manzanita for more.
Use manzanitas to replace plants like Rhaphiolepis (Arctostaphylos
'Howard McMinn'), Privet (Arctostaphylos
'Mama Bear'), Honeysuckle as a ground cover and
franciscana), Ivy, (Arctostaphylos
'Wayside' ) Escallonia, (Arctostaphylos
'Howard McMinn' or 'Seninel'
), Abelia (Arctostaphylos
'Sonoma') to name a few.
Mix with Ceanothus
for more color!