UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet’

Common Name
Manzanita ‘Emerald Carpet’
Plant Type
Mature Size
5 ft. wide and 8-14 in. tall
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Hummingbirds
Flower Color
Pink flowers
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

‘Emerald Carpet’ is a slow growing California native manzanita from the coast of Mendocino County. It is a very attractive plant with dark glossy leaves, reddish stems and small flowers in the early spring.

There are many different cultivars of manzanita, ranging from ground covers to small trees. Manzanitas are a good wildlife plant and typically are a hearty plant. They do well in very dry situations. Most manzanitas need superb drainage, or they will struggle and die. Plant on a mound or slope and water weekly for the first summer and less after that. By the third summer, stop watering. Avoid fertilizing the plant.

These plants rarely need pruning. Remove the odd branch that dies back in the late summer and the plant will fill in. Some gardeners will remove the lower branches on some of the larger manzanitas to highlight the interesting branching structure and reddish bark. Some Santa Clara Master Gardeners have had success using the cultivar ‘Carmel Sur’ as a ground cover in low-water landscapes.

PADG notes: ‘Emerald Carpet’ has not thrived at PADG. It may need more water than most manzanitas.

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