The Alameda plant (Arctostaphylos pallida) is a perennial shrub. Native to, and only found in, California this evergreen plant blooms with a profusion of small white flowers from December to March along with green and red fruit in the summer. The Almeda plant is listed as an endangered species in California, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The Alameda plant, which can grow up to 13 feet tall, is also known as Pallid manzanita or Oakland Hills manzanita. The care requirements of this hardy and versatile plant are very simple.
Plant Alameda during the wet season to allow the roots to become established before the advent of the hot summer suns. Fall is best, as that gives the plant the entire winter and spring to become established.
Provide plenty of sun for your Alameda plant. Like many plants native to California, these shrubs thrive in full sunlight, which is defined as a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. Eight to 10 hours of sunlight is preferable.
Water your manzanita when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil is dry. These plants are very drought-resistant, but they do prefer to be watered occasionally. A slow, deep watering is best, which can be achieved with a drip hose. Arctostaphylos pallida has deep roots, so watering slowly allows the water to reach those roots before it runs off the soil. Do not saturate the ground, as this can lead to root rot.
- Alameda plants will grow in almost any type of soil: rocky, sandy, loamy and even salty, as long as the ground is not constantly wet.
- Alameda plants usually do not require any care at all after about three to five years, although they can benefit from water during a long drought.
- Fire and fire suppression efforts are the shrub's worst enemy in the wild and are the reason they are endangered.
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