Various species of Manzanita will appear on a variety of recommended lists of drought-tolerant suggestions, and still they are missing from many landscapes. It is hard to imagine this is the case with more than forty species, not including the subspecies and hybrids. Many local nurseries grow close to 60 to 70 different types of Manzanita.
Manzanitas are varied, and grow from two inches, representing many of the coastal species, to twenty feel tall; for more interior species. Manzanitas are extremely popular and they are known for their shiny red or deep mahogany colored bark. The flowers have an urn shape that vary from white to pink. The blooms are extremely popular with hummingbirds and butterflies and the plants are very drought tolerant and yet evergreen, always looking green and healthy even in the hottest, driest part of the summer. Manzanitas do not like summer watering or fertilizer, so they must be planted with other California native or drought-tolerant plants with the same requirements to ensure overall success.
They are a perfect choice for a variety of California micro-climates, as some grow best in sandy soil, while other species thrive best in clay. Since this plant has adapted so well to various regions within California, some species grow best in coastal regions while others can only grow in the more warmer, inland regions.
Manzanitas can be utilized to replace plants like Rhaphiolepis, Ivy and Abelia to name a few. Mix with Ceanothus and monkey flowers for added color to create a sustainable and colorful landscape.