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The Pacific Mist manzanita is a low growing shrub that develops a rambling and spreading habit comprised of twisting and arching branches, maturing to 2-3 ft. tall and spreading 6-10 ft. wide. Evergreen foliage is distinctively gray-green; 1-2 in. long leaves are pointed and attached to purple-red stems. Small clusters of white flowers develop sporadically during late winter and are mostly inconspicuous.

Pacific Mist manzanita is a hybrid seedling introduced in the trade by the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. In contrast to many other species and cultivars of manzanita, Pacific Mist is noted for its rapid growth, grayish foliage color and prostrate habit. It has shown good adaptation to the Inland Empire when grown in full sun to partial shade and with with low amounts of summer irrigation. It needs good drainage and does not respond well to alkaline conditions or clay soils.

When the Pacific Mist manzanita is planted 5-6 ft. apart, it will grow into a spreading mat-type plant and can perform well as a ground cover. This habit makes it useful on banks and slopes in combination with other California native plants. It is also planted above garden walls and allowed to cascade over the edge for a pleasing border treatment.

Water Needs

The Pacific Mist 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 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, Ground cover, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Trailing, Spreading, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Gray green
Flower Color: Pink, White
Flower Season: Winter
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Acidic soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Slopes, Hummingbird plant, Foundations, California native, Borders


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. 'Pacific Mist' is generally grown as a ground cover. If a dense groundcover is desired, pinch new growth to develop a denser form (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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