Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Emerald Carpet'

Common Name
Emerald Carpet Manzanita
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
Ground Cover
1' x 6' - 8'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Bright Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Erosion Control
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

The Emerald Carpet Manzanita makes a great ground cover in both full sun and part shade. It forms a dense. mounding  carpet of bright green leaves and pale pink flowers in spring that turn into tiny brick-red berry-like drupes in summer.The slender branches root when in contact with soil and can extend approximately  8' out from the trunk of the plant.

Plant slightly above grade in well-drained soils. Prefers a sandy, loamy,  loose soil that drains quickly but will tolerate clay if drainage is corrected. No amendments or fertizers needed. Does best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. In the hotter parts of Marin, water deeply every 2 - 3 weeks in the summer. In coastal Marin water once a month.No overhead watering!

Bees and hummingbirds are attracted to these plants.

No significant diseases or pests as long as drainage is good. Can develop fungal diseases where drainage is not good and there is too much water around roots.

Master Gardener Comments

This is my choice for a hillside groundcover. It stays bright green all summer even in my southwest hillside.


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