Grumpy Gardener's Guide to Redbuds

Grumpy Gardener Steve Bender shares tips and tricks on how to plant and care for one of the South's favorite plants.


And now, the Grumpy Gardener. Hi, I'm Steve Bender. I'm Southern Living's Grumpy Gardener. [SOUND] One of our essential southern plants is the redbud. Because it's native. It's easy to grow. And it's one of the most beautiful plants that we have to tell us that spring has arrived. It blooms really early in the spring time. And the reason they call it redbud is because it blooms before the leaves come on. And the flowers come out on, not only on the twigs, but they come out, they emerge from the large branches right out of the bark. And sometimes they'll bloom right on the trunk. And there will be these little pink buds will come out and then the flowers will open. And it's a kind of an unusual color. It's most often a lavender pink. And these flowers will line every single branch. And it's absolutely a beautiful, beautiful tree. If you like to force branches of trees and shrubs indoors for early blooms, redbud is really good to do that with. You need to go out maybe, In late winter. Clip a branch, and just bring it inside. Put it in water, and it's one of those trees that's really easy to bring, into bloom indoors. So you can enjoy spring, before it's really spring. Now here's some things you need to know about growing redbuds. Number one, they need at least a half a day of sun. If they get a full day of sun you'll get more flowers. The more sun you get the more flowers. They need well drained soil but nothing special. They really don't need any kind of special fertilizer, any kind of care like that. pruning. If you're gonna prune these plants what you wanna do is prune them immediately after they finish blooming, because they form flower buds on the previous year's growth. So if you prune them in winter if you prune them in fall, you're gonna cut off all the flower buds for next year. Other than that it's a really easy plant to grow. It grows rather quickly. It's a great tree for putting out in your yard cuz it's easy to grow grass underneath it and it's also a good patio tree because it doesn't get to be too big. So, at, you know, 25 feet tall you can grow it in a patio or you can grow it in a courtyard, and in the springtime when that thing is in bloom it's just electric, it's beautiful and that's why I think. It's an essential plant for every Southern garden. For more tips on essential Southern plants pick up a copy of Southern Living and go to [SOUND]
Experience our exclusive vacation collection.