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How to Plant Redbud Tree Seeds

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

A redbud tree is a beautiful thing to have in your yard or garden, as it produces a large spread of bright blossoms each spring. It grows sturdy and strong and requires little care and attention. You can plant a redbud tree by collecting pods from a redbud tree you see growing anywhere, and plant those seeds in your own yard. They grow to about 30 feet tall and live for 35-40 years. They are best planted in USDA zones 4-9, and the leaves turn brightly colored in the fall season.

Use your hands or a putty knife to remove the seeds from the surrounding soft casing. The seeds are hard and are related to peas. Discard the redbud seed cases.

Use sandpaper to smooth the outside of the seeds to get rid of the hard, wood coating. This will take some time as you have to do them individually. Make sure not to rub the seeds raw--you just want to get rid of the tough shell.

Fill a container with warm water and set the redbud seeds in it, soaking them for about 12 hours.

Set out the plastic cups or coffee cans. You will need one container for each redbud seed. Use a knife to poke some holes in the bottom of the cans or cups. Then fill them each with one seed, and fill with fresh, potted soil.

Decide where you want to plant each redbud tree in your yard. Dig a hole in this place as large as the container. Pack the dirt in around the cup or can up to the edges, then smooth dirt over the top. This will help them germinate through the cold weather.

Leave the seeds there through the winter and spring. In the early spring, look for sprouts. Once you see a sprout, dig out the cup, carefully remove the dirt shape with the sprout, and plant in the ground wherever you like, making sure the soil is well-drained and in a sunny spot.

Monitor the growth of your redbud tree. In optimum conditions, it will grow about a foot in the first year but will not flower during this time. It will start to flower in the second and third years, and on average will grow under a foot each year. When it reaches ten feet tall, the growth rate will slow down a bit.


Things You Will Need

  • Redbud seeds
  • Sandpaper
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Plastic cups or coffee cans