Lavender Twist Redbud Care: Growing Weeping Lavender Twist Redbuds
By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
Throughout the Southeastern United States, the small purple-rose flowers of the redbud announce the arrival of spring. The eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is native to North America, where it can be found growing from parts of Canada down into northern regions of Mexico. It is most common, though, throughout the Southeastern U.S.
These redbuds have become popular ornamental trees for the home landscape. Many new unique varieties of eastern redbuds have been introduced by plant breeders. This article will discuss the weeping tree variety of eastern redbud known as ‘Lavender Twist.’ Read on for weeping redbud info and tips on how to grow a Lavender Twist redbud.
About Lavender Twist Redbud Trees
Lavender Twist redbud was first discovered in the Westfield, NY private garden of Connie Covey in 1991. Cuttings were taken for propagation by plant breeders, and the plant was patented in 1998. It is also known as the ‘Covey’ eastern redbud. Lavender Twist redbud is a dwarf variety, slowly growing 5-15 feet (2-5 m.) tall and wide. Its unique attributes include the pendulous, weeping habit and contorted trunk and branches.
Like the common eastern redbud, Lavender Twist redbud trees bear small, pea-like pink-purple flowers in early spring, before the tree leafs out. These flowers form all along the tree’s cascading, twisted branches and its trunk. The blooms last about three to four weeks.
Once the blooms fade, the plant produces bright green heart-shaped foliage. This foliage turns yellow in autumn and drops earlier than most trees. Because Lavender Twist goes dormant earlier than other varieties, it is considered more cold hardy. Their contorted branches and trunk add winter interest to the garden.
Growing Weeping Lavender Twist Redbuds
Weeping Lavender Twist redbuds are hardy in U.S. zones 5-9. They grow best in moist, but well-draining soil, in full sun to part shade. In warmer climates, Lavender Twist redbud trees should be given some shade from the afternoon sun.
In spring, feed them with a general purpose fertilizer before blooms appear. They are deer resistant and black walnut tolerant. Lavender Twist redbuds also attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden.
Lavender Twist redbud trees can be pruned to shape while dormant. If you wish to have a straight trunk and taller tree, weeping Lavender Twist redbud’s trunk can be staked when the tree is young. When left to grow naturally, the trunk will be contorted and the tree will grow shorter.
Once established, Lavender Twist redbud trees do not transplant well, so select a site where this beautiful specimen tree can shine in the landscape for many years.
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Small or Dwarf Weeping Trees for Landscaping
If you want to landscape a small front or backyard, small weeping trees are excellent choices. Apart from their small height, weeping trees are very compact. Because their branches hang down rather than spread out, they don’t take up as much room.
Most dwarf and small weeping trees are best used as a specimen tree. These trees can add a focal point and drama to small yards without imposing on other plants.
It is also important to take into consideration if the trees flower, the color of foliage, when they shed their leaves, and their light requirements.
Answer #2 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Sorry to hear about your tree. A few years ago I lost a very nice elm tree to high winds. It was several years old and had developed a very nice canopy. The high winds just twisted the trunk off right at the ground level.
Without seeing a closeup picture of where the break occurred on your weeping redbud my guess is that it broke at or just below the graft. If this is the case, chances are that the Lavender Twist will not re-emerge and, as Brooks mentioned, the shoot that is emerging from the ground will most likely be a standard upright redbud. If this shoot is left alone you might be surprised at how quickly it will grow. I had an upright redbud that was broke of at about 12 inches above ground level. It quickly sent up thee shoots this spring that are now over 6 feet in height.)
The Lavender Twist Redbud is a grafted tree. This means that the roots and a small amount of trunk at the bottom are probably a non-weeping variety of Redbud. The Lavender Twist is grafted, or spliced, to the short trunk near the bottom. In other words Lavender twist will not grow from seed or rooting a cutting. It has to be grafted.
If the new stems coming out of the trunk are from above the graft you will probably have a Lavender Twist. If the stems are coming from below the graft you will have whatever the Redbud is below the graft. Probably an Eastern Redbud. You mentioned that the new stems are coming from the ground. Sounds like your gonna have a non-weeping Redbud.
If the tree broke off below the graft there is no hope. If it broke off above the graft I would immediately put some pruning sealer on the top of the trunk where it split off. Maybe in time you will get a new stem to appear from above the graft.
You will notice a buldged out area, usually near the ground. This is where the graft is. The bark will not be smooth where there is a graft. It's usually quite noticeable.
Lavender Twist® Redbud in bloom
Lavender Twist® Redbud in bloom
Lavender Twist® Redbud flowers
Lavender Twist® Redbud flowers
Other Names: Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree, Love Tree
A stunning accent shrub with gracefully arching and weeping branches, a twisted trunk and very showy pink to purple flowers held tightly on bare branches in early spring, curious heart-shaped leaves an incredible garden accent, especially when in bloom
Lavender Twist® Redbud has rose pea-like flowers along the branches from early to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds before the leaves. It has forest green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The heart-shaped leaves turn buttery yellow in fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The twisted dark brown bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.
Lavender Twist® Redbud is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration
Lavender Twist® Redbud is recommended for the following landscape applications
- General Garden Use
Lavender Twist® Redbud will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.