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How to Plant an Oklahoma Redbud Tree From Seed

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Oklahoma Redbud is an attractive, hardy tree that landscapers love for its beautiful purple blossoms and low-maintenance lifestyle. In fact, you are likely to find that preparing and planting the Oklahoma redbud seed is the most difficult aspect of growing this otherwise self-sufficient tree. Few of the seeds collected from an adult redbud will be viable, and amongst those, not all will survive the scarification and stratification processes required to germinate them successfully.

Prepare the Oklahoma Redbud Tree Seeds

Allow the pods to air dry for a few days. Then remove the seeds from the pods you have collected.

Place all of the seeds into a bucket of water. The quality seeds will sink to the bottom. Compost any floating seeds. They will not germinate.

Submerge the seeds in a pot of boiling water for one minute. Then remove them from the water and lay them out on a paper towel.

Lay a 2-inch layer of moistened peat moss in the bottom of a plastic freezer bag. Lay the Oklahoma redbud seeds on the layer of peat moss. Then cover them with another 2 inch layer of moistened peat moss. If you must add a second layer of seeds, insert another 2 inch layer of moistened peat moss between the layers.

Place the bagged seeds in your refrigerator's vegetable crisper for 5 to 8 weeks. Do not remove them until you are ready to plant them immediately.

Plant the Oklahoma Redbud Seeds

Dig a hole that is 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep.

Mix half of the excavated soil with an equal amount of aged compost.

Refill the hole with your soil mix, then tamp the soil down with your feet to remove any air pockets.

Plant three of your prepared Oklahoma redbud tree seeds 1/4 inch beneath the soil and 2 inches apart.

Water the soil so that it is quite moist, but do not flood the soil.

Wait roughly 1 month for your seeds to germinate. If more than one seed germinates, wait one more month and then cut all but the strongest sapling at the ground level. If none of the seeds germinate, plant three more.


Things You Will Need

  • Pot
  • Bucket
  • Freezer bag
  • Peat moss
  • Aged compost
  • Shovel
  • Refrigerator
  • Paper towel


  • Oklahoma redbud tree pods should be harvested in the fall as soon as they are ripe. Collect many more than you think you will need. Not all of them will be viable.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.