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Description

Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Carmel Sur' is one of the best manzanita ground covers for southern California where it shows good tolerance of heat, sun and periodic summer irrigation. This low spreading cultivar can reach 18 in. high and eventually spread 7-10 ft. across.

The Carmel Sur manzanita is best suited to California native gardens where it can be with other natives that adapt to monthly deep watering schedules. Avoid planting in areas of hot summer afternoon sun; good drainage is essential. This handsome foliage plant provides dense and uniform character on banks and for cascading over walls.

Water Needs

The Carmel Sur manzanita grow best on well drained soils with normal winter rains and low amounts of supplemental water during summer. Young plants will grow faster with moderate amounts of water during dry winter spells; established plants grow well with periodic deep irrigation in the summer. Manzanitas are vulnerable to disease problems when summer irrigation produce moist soil and leaf litter conditions that enable active fungi and bacteria growth.

The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; it is desirable to have leaf litter and the top layer of soil beneath the stems to dry out between irrigation applications.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Slow, Moderate
Height: 18 in.
Width: 7 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Winter
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Acidic soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Hummingbird plant, California native

Maintenance

In general Manzanitas do not need much pruning. Carefully select the right species or cultivar for a fully mature size that fits your space well. Carefully thin or "skirt up" manzanitas to expose beautiful branches in November, after risk of sunburn from long summer days has passed (1). Manzanitas occasionally get bright red growths on the edges of leaves. This is manzanita leaf gall aphid, a small insect that causes the plant to create this reaction. It is generally not threatening in healthy plants, but can spread. Growth affected by leaf gall aphid may be pruned out after winter-spring flowering (4).

References

Associations

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