Forest pansy (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’)

Forest pansy or eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’) is one of the best small trees for temperate gardens. It is grown as a small feature tree up to 5m x 5m in size.

It is admired for its pretty heart-shaped leaves that change colour throughout the year. When they appear in spring they are deep velvety red before turning green during summer then gold and yellow in autumn before the leaves fall.

The branches have a distinctive, smooth, dark brown wood with lavender pink pea-shaped flowers that appear on the branches before the new leaves return in spring.

It is native to parts of North America but is grown in gardens around the world. Forest Pansy grows well with camellias, azaleas and spring-flowering bulbs.

Growing conditions

Aspect Forest Pansy needs a bright, sunny location. It will grow in lightly shaded conditions, however, growth is best in a sunny spot.

Soil They are best with moist acidic soil. Before planting add home-made compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost.

Climate Forest Pansy grows in a wide range of temperate climates and is frost tolerant. It does particularly well in cool to mild conditions.

How to grow and look after Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’for stunning foliage and treeincluding soil, planting, and feeding
How to grow and look after Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’for stunning foliage and treeincluding soil, planting, and feeding

General care

Watering Water throughout the growing season to encourage good growth and flowering. Trees will respond to regular deep watering from the trunk to the canopy.

Feeding and mulching Forest Pansy can be fed via your preferred method, either liquid or granular food or a combination of both. Keep plants growing well with a granular fertiliser such as Seasol plus Nutrients All Purpose including Natives every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season. Spread under the drip line of the tree (the area at the edge of the foliage canopy) as this is where the feeder roots are located. Remember to water it in thoroughly after application. If you prefer liquid feeding, apply PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season, around the drip line of the tree’s canopy.

Spread organic mulch such composted bark, sugarcane mulch, pea straw or lucerne under trees to deter weed competition and retain moisture. Mulches are a good option where grass or plants struggle to grow. Don’t build mulch up around the trunk as this can cause fungal problems for the tree.

Pruning Naturally elegant and compact. Little pruning is needed.

Watch out This plant has few pest or disease problems making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance planting.