Growing the Mighty Texas Redbud - The Bend Magazine

Growing the Mighty Texas Redbud

Spring flowers, summer shade and fall colors, all in one tree—growing the Texas Redbud in the Coastal Bend.

The Texas Redbud makes a magnificent specimen tree in your landscape. This small, deciduous tree offers a stunning splash of magenta blooms to usher in spring in the Coastal Bend.

A native to Texas, the redbud tree typically flowers in February or March to create a brilliant show that lasts around two weeks. These blooms serve as much-needed nectar sources for pollinators. May is a great month to plant the redbud so it can establish its roots during the warm weather.

Heart-shaped leaves emerge as the second act of the redbud show, and offer shade during the hot summer months. These leaves often turn yellow in the fall and add lovely autumn colors to your landscape before falling for winter. A purple seed pod, around four inches long, remains on the tree during winter to provide sustenance to numerous bird species.

Redbud Varieties:

Texas Redbud: The leaves are rounder, thicker and glossier than other varieties. They are highly drought- and heat-tolerant.

Eastern Redbud: As the least adapted variety to the heat and drought conditions of the Coastal Bend, the Eastern redbud is better planted in East Texas.

Mexican Redbud: Offering the most drought and heat tolerance, this is the most native variety to the Coastal Bend.

Although more difficult to grow in our area, the “Traveler” Redbud: is a weeping variety, and the Texas (aka Royal) White Redbud offers beautiful, white blooms.

Growing Up

Spacing, 10’ to 20’. Height, 15’ to 20’. Requires a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Enjoys partial shade, especially as an understory tree. Rich, well-drained soil with plenty of organic compost. Dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter of the container it comes in. Plant to the depth of the soil line on the trunk. Add a 5-inch layer of native mulch around the base to the drip line. Water as needed until established.


Prune gently after flowering; remove any damaged or diseased limbs. Can shape into multi-trunked shrub or tree shape. Disease resistant; caterpillars can be a problem. Hand-pick caterpillars and remove, or spray Bt over and beneath leaves at dusk until caterpillars are gone. Add organic fertilizer and soil amendments each spring and fall by broadcasting pastured poultry manure and homemade wood ash around the base of the tree to the drip line.

Fun Facts

The blossoms of redbuds are edible and delicious. Toss fresh redbud flowers into salads or use as a garnish. To make Texas redbud tea, boil the flower petals in water and let sit overnight before straining. To make redbud jelly, boil this tea with sugar, lemon juice and pectin, then pour into jars and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Redbud jelly makes a great gift to share the flavor of the Coastal Bend!   

Looking for more Gardening? Check out Growing Jasmine Blooms in Your Coastal Bend Garden or Growing Melons in the Coastal Bend.