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The Howard McMinn manzanita grows into medium to large mounding shrub 8-10 ft. tall with an equal spread. Long and pointed medium green leaves are held upright on mahogany colored stems. Flowers are among the showiest of all manzanitas; large clusters of light pink to white flowers can cover the plant during late winter.

Howard McMinn manzanita has been grown in California gardens for more than 50 years and has proven to be one of the most garden tolerant and popular shrub manzanitas. It is well adapted to the Inland Empire when grown in areas shaded from hot afternoon sun. It shows greater tolerance to traditional garden care and watering than most manzanitas, but soils must still be well-drained and only low amounts of summer watering is advised. Mature plants can be pruned to reveal elegant and colorful branching character that provides excellent value for specimen and feature plantings near patios, in raised planters and in containers. This is one of the few species of manzanita that shows tolerance of regular clipping to shape into hedges.

Water Needs

The Howard McMinn 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 produces 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 understory of the plant to dry out between irrigation applications.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  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 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 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" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

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

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Pink, White
Flower Season: Winter, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay, Acidic soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Hummingbird plant, Foundations, California native, Borders, Hedge


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). Howard McMinn Manzantia is often used as an informal hedge. In this situation, prune, hedge, or pinch back branch tips after winter-spring flowering to encourage denser foliage (5). 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).



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