Spring's small pink blooms give way to heart-shape leaves that fill the canopy with a beautiful, coarse texture. Seedpods hold onto the branches into the fall, adding winter interest. Colored foliage varieties add even more appeal to this wonderful small tree.
Redbuds make a lovely addition to any garden. Their pink or white blooms emerge directly on the stems and branches of the trees, creating a unique look in early spring. After flowers are done blooming, foliage shades range from burgundy to gold to orange, making it a tree that works well with a variety of plants.
Redbud Care Must-Knows
Redbuds are easy-to-grow trees that don't need a lot of care. Give them well-drained soils with even moisture and they will be pretty happy. Redbuds do not like to stay too wet and can take some drought once established. For the best display of flowers, plant these small trees in full sun. This will also result in the best foliage color for the varieties that come in different shades, especially the ones with burgundy foliage. These trees are pretty tough and can handle part shade as well. Although growth will tend to be a little sparse when in the shade, redbuds will stay healthy.
Come fall, redbud trees sport beautiful golden color. The deciduous tree's seedpods hold on through the winter. Because of the large amounts of seeds they produce, redbuds can seed about the garden but luckily, they are fairly easy to remove from where they aren't wanted.
Redbuds are fairly disease- and pest-resistant. One thing you may notice is that redbuds are sensitive to herbicides, which cause new growth to look puckered, contorted, or even tattered. When someone, whether it be you, a neighbor, or even a farmer miles away, sprays an herbicide to kill weeds, it can be carried on the wind and affect your redbud's growth.
There have been lots o f exciting new redbud introductions recently. The latest breeding work has focused on dwarf varieties, which are ideal for small garden settings. Many novelty varieties have also been introduced, like new weeping forms with burgundy foliage.
Related: Our Favorite Small Trees
More Varieties of Redbud
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' offers pink flowers and rich purple foliage in spring that fades to deep green in summer. It grows 30 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Cercis siliquastrum, a 15- to 25-foot-tall tree, has heart-shape leaves that emerge a rich bronze color and turn reddish purple and finally dark green with age. It is adorned with breathtaking clusters of maroon flowers in spring. Zones 6-10
Cercis canadensis bears pink flowers before it leafs out in spring. It grows 30 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Cercis canadensis 'JN2' is an exciting dwarf selection that offers pink springtime flowers and marmalade-orange new growth that fades to chartreuse before maturing to blue-green. It grows 12 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9