Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’)

Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree, Love Tree, Ruby Falls Redbud

The description of the Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ is of a beautiful small weeping tree that offers velvety purple- or ruby-colored heart-shaped leaves that turn to green-bronze in the fall. Purple-rose flowers emerge in spring. It was bred by Dr. Dennis Werner of NCSU and named by 5-year-old Porter Neubauer of Tennessee. You can plant this beautiful ornamental tree to use as a focal point in your garden to attract butterflies and bees.

I. Appearance and Characteristics 

The Ruby Falls Redbud is a dwarf cascading beauty with tons of purple power.

With maroon to deep green to purple leaves from spring to fall and lavender spring blooms that sit atop bold red stems, you will be excited for spring to arrive! But this distinctive weeping redbud is even beautiful in winter with its flowing branches and distinctive habit. At a mere 6-8 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide at maturity this compact tree fits just about anywhere and can even be grown in containers!

The Ruby Falls Redbud is surprisingly easy to care for, grows in full sun to part shade, and tolerates most soil conditions! It is even pest and disease resistant.

This is a truly breathtaking tree, and we are so happy to share it with our customers. The Ruby Falls Redbud is perfect for almost anyone and any space

II. How to Grow and Care

Sunlight

Eastern Redbud responds well to direct sunlight and does best in partial shade, whereas Western Redbud thrives in full sun. That’s why eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ is found in a variety of moist, well-drained soils, and grows more densely on sunny slopes where it enjoys more intense sunlight with less plant competition.

Temperature 

Eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ adapts to wide fluctuations in temperature and growing environment, ranging from -28 ℃ in the winter to 32 ℃ during summer. To induce flowering, eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ needs temperatures below -2 ℃. Some research reports it can withstand 40 ℃. Eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ grows in areas with an annual rainfall of 51 to 127 cm. It needs sufficient water for its growth and is somewhat resistant to drought.

Watering

Eastern Redbud trees planted in full sun respond well to watering. Keep the soil moist during the summer. Apply a little watering to young plants initially; their watering need will increase as they grow. For better moisture preservation, polythene mulch can be spread on the beds, making holes in the mulch at the point of plant emergence.

Western Redbud is more tolerant of prolonged periods of drought but responds well to watering during dry conditions. For more vigorous, lush green sprouting, water regularly if planted in direct sunlight.

Soil

Eastern Redbud can well grow outdoors in moist, loamy, or sandy soils. Its occurrence on slopes with more sunlight is prevalent. It is acclimatized to a wide range of pH; however, it thrives best with a pH range of 6.6-7.8 or above. It doesn’t tolerate inundated sites, poorly aerated soils, or sandy soils.

Western Redbud is adapted to grow in a wide variety of soils, including course and nutrient-deficient soils that are well-drained. It grows as an understory cover tree and is fairly tolerable to lime and acidic soils. It also tolerates alkaline soil and clay; its best pH range is 5.5-7.8.

Fertilizing

Being a member of the pea or Leguminosae family, eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ can fix nitrogen, so there is no need to add nitrogen fertilizer to these plants because excessive nitrogen application invites caterpillars and sucking pests to your plants. Add some compost in the soil before planting to help extend moisture retention.

At the time of planting, mix phosphorus supplementation with planting soil to help roots develop. As eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ is primarily planted due to its clustering flowering patterns, boost flowering by applying fertilizer rich in boron to leaves at the start of the spring.

Planting Instructions

Eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ is fairly easy to propagate by direct sowing. It can also be grown in a container during spring or fall.

Collect seeds from pods with a dark brown or reddish-brown color, as this indicates the maturity of the seed pods. Preserve seeds in an airtight container at 3 ℃. The hard outer seed covering requires seed scarification and stratification to break dormancy. Put seeds in steaming hot water for 30 minutes and follow moist sand stratification for 6-8 weeks at 5 ℃. Seeds are now ready to be planted during the current fall or upcoming spring.

Dig the soil to a depth of 30 cm; make a fine tilth that allows the young roots to easily penetrate it. Eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ has a tap root system that grows quickly during the first year. Bed size can be adjusted depending on the available space. During late spring, put your seeds in the bed to a depth of 4 to 5 cm and cover gently with garden soil. Seedlings or already growing plants can also be planted in prepared beds adopting the “balled and burlapped” method.

Pruning

Eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ requires regular pruning for pedestrian clearance beneath the canopy, as it usually branches low on the trunk. The tree grows in a multi-trunk fashion that can be trained to continue with a single dominating trunk. Trees must be pruned to remove overcrowded branches, weak branches, forks, and dead limbs to give its canopy a rounded, vase shape that adds value to your garden landscape.

Prune at the appearance of new leaves or in the late fall. Reduce the number of lateral branches and maintain a reasonable distance between them.

Seasonal Precautions

Inspect your plants regularly for signs of the common diseases. Remove plant debris, fallen and broken branches, and dead leaves from your garden. Focus on irrigating your redbud plants during a severe drought in summer.

It’s best to grow eastern redbud ‘Ruby Falls’ with locally harvested seed due to its adaptability to local conditions. Such plants are more resistant to the local environment and perform better than seeds from other sources. Focus on plant health by adding essential nutrients and fertilizers recommended for your area.

III. How to Use Ruby Falls Redbud in the Landscape 

This isn’t a tree to tuck in a forgotten corner. Rather, you’ll want to create a special destination spot to showcase its charm.

Place one by your front door,or add a pair to flank either side. You’ll have an amazing conversation starter and easy icebreaker for guests to comment on.

Add to accentuate a special architectural feature of your home. They can even be used as a “strategic” privacy plants to block an unsightly view.

Include a series of them in a curved planting behind your patio seating. Keep the planting pattern even and uniform, or vary the spacing for an informal grouping.

Allow everyone to see this tree, or…keep it for yourself as a personal piece of living garden sculpture. Allow it to decorate your outdoor Yoga Studio, or Zen Meditation Garden.

Kids will be fascinated with this weeping Redbud. They’ll want to decorate it for Holidays!

It’s funny how dear these little trees become to the whole family. They’ll be almost like a plant pet.

Count on these marvelous trees as a special feature tree in your landscape design. Choose companion plants that coordinate with the deeply pigmented hues.

Or, create a dynamic contrast with strongly vertical plants like Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass. Underplant their sunny side with groundcover Roses for a perfectly easy display that looks amazing for months.

When your tree arrives, water it well. Then, take the time to study it and move the potted tree around in your landscape to decide exactly where you’ll use it.

It will look great in a million places, we’re sure! Before planting, turn the tree around in a circle to study all angles. Decide which aspect works best in your chosen spot.

Don’t overanalyze it, but do enjoy the process of planting your very special Ruby Falls. Invite an opinionated friend or two over to help!

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’) Details

Common name Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree, Love Tree, Ruby Falls Redbud
Botanical name Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls'
Plant type Shrub
Hardiness zone 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Fall
Height 5 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
Width 5 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
Sunlight Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
Soil condition Clay
Flower color Purple/Lavender
Leaf color Green