Alley Cat Redbud

Availability: Out of stock

Astounding Look, Variegated Alley Cat Redbud

  • Excellent Small Ornamental Tree
  • Unusual Variegated Leaves
  • Electric Purple-Pink Blooms in Very Early Spring
  • New Leaves Emerge Dark Pink
  • Mature Leaves Mellow to Marbled Green and White Variegation
  • Heat-Tolerant, Heart-Shaped Leaves Will Not Scorch
  • Winter Interest
  • Natural Sport of Native Trees Found in an Alley!
  • Compact Tree that Spreads So Nicely
  • Disease-Resistant
  • Widely Adapted
  • Easy-Care

For a compact tree that is long on ornamental style, grow Alley Cat Redbud (Cercis canadensis 'Alley Cat'). You'll love the incredible flower display in early spring and the wonderfully variegated foliage all season long.

Make your neighborhood swoon with clusters of brilliant purple-pink, pea-shaped blooms in very early spring. You'll kick off your growing season with this dynamic display, as the flowers are held on bare branches.

The flower power lasts for weeks in the spring! Let this tree play the starring role in your Spring Garden design. Underplant it with hundreds of spring-flowering bulbs and gift yourself a truly joyous experience.

You'll be so pleased to see the new growth of foliage emerge. It's dark pink!

Alley Cat Redbud brings a whole new level to the concept of summer shade. The leaves mellow to a gorgeous, mottled green and white marbled effect over the course of the spring.

Each heart-shaped leaf looks like it was splashed with white paint. They hang from long petioles and flutter in the breeze to provide a restful oasis in the heat of summer.

Don't worry, variegated Redbuds are rugged, and their pretty leaves don't scorch in the hot sun. Alley Cats are tough, and make a great choice for Western landscapes.

You'll love the bold foliage and sculptural shape that spreads a bit wider than it grows tall. They'll grow into a marvelous focal point in your landscape.

This special variety is a natural sport of the beloved native Redbud. Keep your eyes open on your walks, as easy-care Alley Cat was literally found growing in an alley!

The adaptable species Redbud is an understory tree that grows in woodlands and along creeks and rivers, so it can tolerate partial shade. It puts up with freezing cold, high heat and is adaptable to many well-drained soil types.

This is an excellent, small-scale landscape tree that delivers big. Order Alley Cat Redbud trees now!

How to Use Alley Cat Redbud in the Landscape

Study your landscape to find a good spot for these small accent trees. Use one at the side of a pond or water feature to capture the reflection in the water.

Add a series of them in an informal grouping along the edge of a woodland. For a natural look, create an irregular row, varying the spacing between the trees. Or, add three in a loose triangular planting pattern.

They make a fabulous grouping for a raised berm planting. Use one at the corner of your house to anchor your foundation planting.

These small trees are easy to love, and easy to use throughout your landscape. Create an amazing backdrop for your perennial beds. Run three of them behind your entertainment area in a mulched garden bed for a perfect conversation starter.

They'll thrill you with their easy care nature, and lovely looks. Use them in commercial property or anywhere in your home landscape.

For a close planting where the canopies touch, plant them 12 feet apart on center. You'll measure from the center of one to the center of the next. Expand that spacing to 35 feet apart to establish the look of individual trees.

Play around with your planting technique. Many garden designers prefer the look of a slightly tilted trunk, so that the canopy gracefully drapes in a truly evocative way.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Rugged Redbud trees do best when planted in well-drained soil. Add a packet of Nature Hills Root Booster to boost your soil ecosystem with beneficial microbes. It will help your tree access water and micronutrients for its entire lifespan.

Provide plenty of regular water, especially when the tree is young and if you live in a dry climate. In the warmest zones, provide morning sun and protection from the hot afternoon sun.

Mulch helps keep the root system nice and cool. Spread a three-inch layer all around the trunk, but pull it away from touching the trunk.

Redbuds are notoriously slow to send out leaves in spring, so please be patient with your young trees. Alley Cat will more than reward you with those magnificent variegated leaves!

This variety is very popular. Please, don't delay and risk missing out. Order your Alley Cat Redbud today!

Single Stem, Multi Stem, Shrub Form, Oh My!

Before you buy, make sure you know what you’re getting! Single stem, multi stem and shrub forms are different so read a bit about which we’re currently offering below.

Single Stem: 

These are plants that have one stem coming from the ground. Plants can also be considered single stem when lower branches are removed to raise the height of the branching. Sometimes, you will hear a single stem referred to as Tree Form.

Multi Stem:

These are plants with 3, 4, and sometimes 5 or more stems planted together in the ground in close proximity to form a clump. There are times multi stems are formed by a tree that branches at the soil line with more than one main stem. 

Shrub Form:

These are bushy plants with many stems and branchings close to the ground. They are referred to as shrubs or bushes and are often shorter than their tree forms.

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Alley Cat Redbud Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Cercis canadensis 'Alley Cat'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 20 feet
Mature Spread 30 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering
Fragrant No