'Rising Sun' Redbud in FL questions

(Jay/Jax FL/Zone 9a)

Hello I live near the coast (like a few miles) in NE Florida, zone 9a but more like 9b now. I recently got a Rising Sun redbud to go in this spot that needed a small tree (no more than 14 feet) where we replaced a sago palm in an area of full sun and no shade during the afternoon at all.

The tree is mostly doing fine and was planted in June, has new growth and no new leaf damage (any damage was because it was shipped here from Georgia). It does however look kind of droopy when there's no afternoon rain. Other true deciduous trees look like this in the summer here (Red mulberry and Red maple) and have lived a long time so maybe it's just the "healthy" response to the heat by plants with thin leaves.

I know the wild type are generally understory trees and I'm worried I doomed mine.

Perhaps I'm just overeacting, especially since it's only been here for a month, but I don't want it to die or be unhealthy, I really like this plant. Does anyone think I have to move it? Pic is what it looks like in afternoon, is this droopy or am I just not used to deciduous trees lol?


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cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)

I have Rising Suns in shade, in part sun, and in mostly sun and the one in mostly sun definitely droops when hot and dry. I know they write "Full sun" on the label but IMO that is marketing and Cercis remain fully in the "understory" category. I have a Forest Pansy that insists on sagging every afternoon- it's in full sun and if I could do it over I'd move it but it's far too large now.

Now that said, the one in mostly sun definitely has the best color on new growth. So I see it as a balancing act between enough light to give you good color but enough shade that you don't have to water it every afternoon- Cercis don't always appreciate wet feet.

I lived in zone 10b for decades so I understand your sun, and it is quite punishing. I think in this case I would move the tree while it is still small enough to do so easily. There are too many front yard type showstopper trees available to you that it's a shame to force this one to suffer less than ideal conditions. I'm a soft heart, lol.

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(Jay/Jax FL/Zone 9a)

Thanks for your comment! Glad someone with experience with zone 9/10
sun responded. And yeah.. I've heard of the Pansy one being the most
finicky before, sorry yours is so sad.

I'll definitely take all that into consideration and if I'm still
worried I'll move it in Early October. And if I keep it here and it's
still doing it a lot next year I'll move it next October (if I can handle 2 20+
year old sagos I can handle this guy).

[And it's funny you say there's plenty of front yard type showstoppers, I
had such a hard time finding one that was small enough for this spot,
treeish in form, and is a nativar or at least has high wildlife value..
perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough. (The height limit is so it's
shorter than the pineapple guava my parents planted and because they
think anything else would be too big and ultimately, they have the say
in this since I'm just a college kid trying to patch up their yard whereas they actually own the property.)]

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(Jay/Jax FL/Zone 9a)



Was wrong about no shade, it does get some but not until 5ish pm in June.

(Pineapple guava my mom planted usually doesn't look that off-center, think it was just me taking this pic from an angle and then cropping it that did it)


Here it is again, not watered today and it was partially cloudy (still got plenty of afternoon full sun, though).


Googling around basically all the leaves I see droop slightly because they are large+thin, they naturally just hang that way but there's a clear difference between the two pictures so I guess I'll keep monitoring it like I said.


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cearbhaill (zone 6b Eastern Kentucky)

"[And it's funny you say there's plenty of front yard type showstoppers, I
had such a hard time finding one that was small enough for this spot,
treeish in form, and is a nativar or at least has high wildlife value..
perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough."

Well, I didn't say native :)

And while I think I recall that 'The Rising Sun' was a naturally occurring sport I don't consider it a native plant really. To me it is still a named cultivar. Wonder what is correct technically? Hmm.


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