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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - July 11, 2016

From: Healdsburg, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Manzanita Not Growing Well
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I have a four native Dr. Hurd manzanitas growing in my yard, which I planted three years ago. Three seem quite happy with lots of foliage. The fourth has foliage only on this year's new growth and no leaves otherwise - strange! The leaves it does have on the top of the plant do look quite healthy. What is this a sign of - not enough water or too much, etc? Too much sun or shade? It is on a slight slope in a fence corner and receives very strong, hot sun all afternoon until late in the day. It is in the shade in the morning.

ANSWER:

Sorry for the delay in answering your question! The California Native Plant Society - San Diego Chapter posted the following information on their website ...

Arctostaphylos 'Dr. Hurd' is a horticultural selection from A. manzanita from inner coast ranges, Sierra Nevada foothills.

tall shrub, tree-like - evergreen.
To 15' high, as wide or wider.
Bark purplish red.
Leaves large, light green.
Flowers white - January to March.
Horticultural selection from A. manzanita from inner coast ranges, Sierra Nevada foothills.
Full sun.
Periodic deep water.
More tolerant of garden conditions than species.

The Prescott Water Smart website says that this is a large shrub that has a tree-like shape,reaching 8-20' tall and wide. It has dark red bark with multi-branched form, large pale green leaves, and white to pink flower clusters that bloom in winter. This shrub can be grown near the ocean but also in warm inland valleys. It prefers full sun and is drought tolerant once it's established.

 

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