The complete guide for forest pansy redbud (cercis canadensis ‘forest pansy’) care

The Forest Pansy Redbud, otherwise known as the Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ is a pretty well-known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its purple-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Forest Pansy Redbud is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Forest Pansy Redbud Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

In order to take proper care of your Forest Pansy Redbud you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Forest Pansy Redbud needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Forest Pansy Redbud in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Forest Pansy Redbud is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Forest Pansy Redbud belongs to the Fabaceae family, the genus Cercis and the species Canadensis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (SER-sis kan-a-DEN-sis).

The Fabaceae family also includes other plants like Avondale Redbud, Cercis Canadensis, Decadence® Cherries Jubilee False Indigo, Wine & Roses® Weigela, Ombrella™ Mimosa Tree, Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud and False Lupine.

As with other Cercis’s, the Forest Pansy Redbud is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Forest Pansy Redbud is native to eastern and central North America.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Forest Pansy Redbud is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 2 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

How tall does Cercis Forest Pansy grow?

The Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ can grow up to 20′ – 30′ (6m – 9m) in 20′ – 30′ (6m – 9m) and 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m) in 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m). 

These dimensions make the Forest Pansy Redbud a relatively large tree compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 48″ (120cm) free so the Forest Pansy Redbud can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Forest Pansy Redbud is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Forest Pansy Redbud in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and very dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Forest Pansy Redbud then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Forest Pansy Redbud needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Forest Pansy Redbud prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and very dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Forest Pansy Redbud requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ in 


Being a deciduous plant, the Forest Pansy Redbud will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your Forest Pansy Redbud to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

In particular, this tree is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Forest Pansy Redbud produces some beautiful pink, pink, gold/yellow and purple/lavender flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Forest Pansy Redbud have a beautiful purple color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Forest Pansy Redbud is well known for being able to attract butterflies and birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for clay soil, and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ will be fine.


Does your Forest Pansy Redbud have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Forest Pansy Redbud’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, others use it for landscaping in a mass planting, firescaping/fire wise, or a specimen.

Companion Plants

Forest Pansy Redbud’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Hamamelis, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Symphoricarpos will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you prune a Cercis Canadensis?

Yes, you can prune Cercis Canadensis. The best time to do so is in early spring, before new growth begins. Doing it at this time will ensure that your plant has a strong growing season and blooms well.

Why does my Forest Pansy have green leaves?

The most common reason a forest Pansy has green leaves is that it isn’t getting enough sunlight. If the tree receives less sunlight than it needs, it will produce more chlorophyll to compensate. This can happen if the tree grows in an area with high cloud periods or if other trees or buildings shade it.

How many years does it take for a Redbud tree to bloom?

It typically takes a redbud tree four years to bloom. The flowers are usually a rosy pink color. Once the tree blooms, it will continue to produce flowers for many years to come.


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Forest Pansy Redbud in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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