How to Grow Mimosa — Sensitive Plant

Sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica
Sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica

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
Sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica
Sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica

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.

Mimosa Care

  • Repot Mimosa when roots protrude through the drainage holes.

Mimosa Pests and Diseases

  • Mimosa is susceptible to attack by mealybugs and scale insects.

Mimosa Propagation

  • 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.


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