The Avondale redbud (Cercis chinensis), or Chinese redbud, is a small ornamental tree that has the most abundant blooms of all the redbud varieties. In early spring it is covered in clusters of magenta-pink flowers along its branches and even on its trunk. Its leaves are heart-shaped and dark green, turning yellow in the fall. Avondale redbud grows from 6 to 10 feet tall, occasionally reaching up to 15 feet, with an equal spread. It is considered a low-maintenance tree that will add beauty to your landscape for many years if you provide it with the basic requirements it needs to flourish.
The Avondale redbud will thrive in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9. Choose a sunny to partly shady location with well-drained soil, and be sure there is enough room for the tree to grow to its mature size. Avondale redbuds will grow best if they receive 6 or more hours of sunlight a day, but they will also tolerate 4 to 6 hours of daily sunlight. A south-facing site is best, as the sunlight is more intense.
The Avondale redbud grows best in soils ranging from mostly sandy to some clay. Soil should be kept moist but well drained. This tree cannot grow in areas that are consistently wet or that have poorly aerated soils. Avondale redbud is tolerant of a wide soil pH range, from 5 to 8.5, but does best where the pH is 7.5 to 8.5.
Water and Fertilizer Requirements
Water your Avondale redbud regularly when the top 3 inches of soil are dry during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Avoid overwatering. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. Too much fertilizer will cause weak stems that can break in ice storms.
The Avondale redbud does not require any pruning, but if you choose to prune, do so during the dormant season or after the tree has bloomed.