Monday, March 25, 2019

Success With a Native Plant - Western Redbud

Isn't it beautiful?

This western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is blooming in our north-facing front yard. Our success with native plants has been sporadic. Planting this redbud was part of a long-term plan to replace an ornamental plum tree that was declining. We loved the spring blooms, but the increasing summer heat in the San Fernando Valley had become too intense for the plum.

Five years ago I planted a 5 gallon redbud in the dappled shade of the older tree. Gradually the plum was thinned to provide the redbud with more light. I wasn't sure that the plan was working. The redbud was still small and didn't flower much.

Just over a year ago, the plum became precarious. We were sad to see the old tree go, but it was dying and riddled with termites. The tree trimmers carefully removed the old tree without harming the four-foot redbud.

Over the summer and fall, the redbud grew several feet and really came into its own. With the winter rains, it has burst into brilliant purpley blooms. The redbud hasn't completely filled into the spot in the yard vacated by the ornamental plum, but it will. Finally, a real native plant success.

other natives doing well:
white ceanothus
Douglas iris
Douglas iris and gophers 

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