Mimosa pudica is a tropical annual or short-lived perennial commonly called sensitive plant. It gets its common name from its leaves which fold inward at night or when touched. Mimosa pudica is grown as a houseplant in temperate regions.
Mimosa pudica has bright green to grayish leaves; the leave grow to 4 inches long and each has 4 radiating linear leaflets that are further divided into 10 to 25 pairs of narrow, oblong segments that fold up when touched.
Mimosa is a genus of about 400 herbs, shrubs, trees, and vines. Only one species, Mimosa pudica, is grown as a houseplant. Mimosa is native to dry savannahs in tropical regions worldwide.
Get to Know Mimosa
- Plant type: Annual or short-lived perennial
- Growing zones and range: Zones 14-15
- Hardiness: Tender
- Height and width: Grows 12 to 30 inches (30-75cm) tall and 16 to 36 inches (40-90cm) wide
- Foliage: Bright green to grayish gree leaves to 4 inches long, each has 4 radiating linear leaflets divied into 10 to 25 pairs of narrow, oblong segemnts; leaves fold up at night and when touched.
- Flowers: Spherical, light pink to lilac flowerheads to 3/4 inch across
- Bloom time: Summer
- Uses: Shrub border in tropical regions, houseplant
- Common name: Sensitive plant, humble plant
- Botanical name: Mimosa pudica
- Family name: Fabaceae
Where to Plant Mimosa
- Light outdoors: Plant Mimosa in full sun.
- Light indoors: Grow Mimosa in bright to direct light.
- Soil outdoors: Grow Mimosa in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
- Soil indoors: Plant Mimosa in an all-purpose potting mix.
When to Plant Mimosa
- Set container-grown Mimosa outdoors any time of the year in tropical regions.
Planting and Spacing Mimosa
- Space Mimosa 16 to 36 inches (40-90cm) apart.
How to Water and Feed Mimosa
- Keep the soil moderately moist and allow it to dry only slightly between waterings.
- Fertilize Mimosa with a liquid balanced fertilizer regularly in spring and summer.
- Repot Mimosa when roots protrude through the drainage holes.
Mimosa Pests and Diseases
- Mimosa is susceptible to attack by mealybugs and scale insects.
- Propagate Mimosa by seed or by stem cuttings.
- Root softwood cuttings with bottom heat in spring.
Mimosa Varieties to Grow
- Mimosa pudica, sensitive plant, humble plant. Mat-forming annual or short-lived perennial with slender prickly branching stems; bright green to grayish green leaves consistes of leaflets with numerous segments; segments fold at night and when touched; spherical, light pink to lilac flowerheads.