Merlot Redbud

As low as $59.99 was $99.99
Availability: In stock

Delicious Purple Leaves Merlot Redbud

  • Wonderful Ornamental Tree
  • Beautiful Spring Bloom
  • Dark Burgundy Foliage Won't Fade
  • Heat Tolerant
  • Tolerant of Low Humidity and Higher pH
  • Easy Care
  • Fewer Seeds than Eastern Redbud
  • Butterfly Magnet
  • Beautiful Focal Point in the Yard

This is a perfect small tree for the hot, arid summers of Western states. This richly-colored selection of the beloved native Redbud tree really stands up to heat, low humidity and higher pH soil levels.

Merlot Redbud (Cercis x 'Merlot') is a gorgeous, small tree with thick, glossy - and dark purple! - leaves. They won't discolor or burn.

In early spring, you and your neighbors will love seeing the awesome floral display. Each beautiful bare branch is liberally frosted in bright lavender-pink flowers. This blooms really showcase the arching, upright branch structure and provide a beautiful, fountain-like effect.

The flower display can last for weeks long for you to enjoy. Think of it! Weeks of blooms to welcome spring. Early butterflies really appreciate this native nectar source.

Following this intense bloom, brilliant red leaf buds start to unfold from within the flowers. You'll be entranced watching this show each year. Tiny new foliage grows into shiny, leathery, purple, heart-shaped leaves.

Rich, wine-red foliage emerges and hold its color all season long - even in low humidity. They will not burn along their margin edges in areas with higher soil pH.

The reason this improved hybrid tree is so durable is due to its parentage. Developed at North Carolina State University, 'Merlot' is a hybrid of 'Texas White' Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) and 'Forest Pansy' (Cercis canadensis).

This is the Redbud for Western landscapes. Although the foliage is similar to Forest Pansy, Merlot was carefully selected for its tolerance to heat and periodic drought. It will perform beautifully from Zones 6 - 9.

We sell out of this hot tree almost as fast as we can grow them. Order right now, so you won't miss out.

How to Use Merlot Redbud in the Landscape

This tree is a fabulous focal point for your landscape. Use as a single specimen near your front door, by your patio, near a fountain or small pond, or as a special small tree in a Meditation Garden. You'll never grow tired of it.

Give them room to grow to their full mature size. You won't want to miss a minute of the pretty display.

For foundation plantings, site the tree 20 feet from your house. This will give you plenty of room to access your home exterior as needed.

To extend the height of existing fences and gain more privacy, plant several as a continuous hedgerow. This dark color creates a dramatic backdrop and can make small lots appear larger. Plant them 10 feet apart (measuring from the trunk of one to the trunk of the next) so the branches grow together. For faster results, plant your trees in a slight zig-zag.

Add smaller shrubs and perennials in front and you'll be thrilled how the bright colors "pop" against that contrasting dark foliage. Try pairing it with red Roses, pink Breath of Heaven, Goldflame Spirea, or sculptural plants like Mad About Mangave or Adam's Needle Yucca.

For a modern look around your pool deck, use a single variety of an easy-care edging plant in front of Merlot. Try Fortnight Lily to pull the maroon foliage color together. It will establish itself in high-style but require very little maintenance.

You'll love the charming presentation of a vase-shaped form and dense, semi-upright habit. Perfect for smaller landscapes, this tree can also be grouped together to add a punch of color in a mixed tree or large shrub planting. Try it as an effective understory tree placed in front of larger native trees.

Because it will need regular watering to perform at its best, why not add it to the edge of a Rain Garden? Try a placement near a pond to double your enjoyment with its fabulous reflection in the water.

Honestly, we can't think of a single plant or spot in your yard that this tree wouldn't complement. It's literally that versatile.

#ProPlantTips for Care

Fall clean-up is easy because Merlot features larger leaves, which make fast work of raking. With far fewer seed pods, the Merlot Redbud is a nice, clean tree.

When planting, give it well-drained soil. If you have drainage issues, simply create a mound of soil 18 - 24 inches above your native soil line. Plant directly into that mound to improve drainage.

To establish your new tree during the first few growing seasons, water deeply and regularly. This means weekly or more often in extreme heat.

As your tree develops an established root system, it will tolerate periodic drought. For desert conditions, give it afternoon shade and provide supplemental water.

Prune to shape in summer after the flowering is finished. You can feed an organic, all-purpose fertilizer in late winter before new growth starts.

Order yours today, this improved variety is in high demand.

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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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

Deep, Heat Tolerant Color

To achieve great color without sun burning or discoloration, Cercis x Merlot was a hybrid cross of a heat tolerant Texas redbud called the 'Texas White' with the popular Cercis Canadensis 'Forest Pansy'.

The result is the Merlot Redbud, a burgundy leafed selection that has a wider range of adaptability than the Forest Pansy. It will hold its great color throughout the summer in the hotter, drier regions.

The popularity of the beautiful Forest Pansy Redbud has been increasing for many years. The spring bloom along with the brilliant red foliage have long been a landscape favorite. The Merlot Redbud is an improvement of the Forest Pansy for those that live in hot, dry climates.


Merlot Redbud Is Suited to Grow in Zones 6-9
Growing Zones 6-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Cercis x 'Merlot'
Mature Height 12 - 15 feet
Mature Spread 12 - 15 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Deciduous
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Purple
Fall Color Burgundy / Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes