Flowering time (month)
Ornamental or utility value
fresh to moderately moist
moderately nutritious to nutritious
Mimosa pudica is one of about 500 mimosa species. The plant, which is also called the “Shameful Sense Plant”, is a mimosa plant (Mimosoideae) from the family of leguminous plants (Fabaceae) and originally occurs in tropical areas in South America. It inspires with its extraordinary and fine flowers and its leaves, which often behave “mimosa-like” and collapse when touched.
The mimosa is a small, woody semi-shrub and grows to a height of between 30 and 50 centimeters.
The leaves of the mimosa are long stemmed, hand-shaped and double pinnate. A peculiarity of the leaves: In the case of mechanical stimuli, such as contact, vibration or a breath of air, the affected region folds together leaf by leaf, the stalk sinks downwards with the narrowly folded leaf. After 20 to 30 minutes, as soon as the stimulus has completely subsided, the leaves of the mimosa return to their original position. The folding of the leaves can also be observed during the night due to a lack of light intensity (“sleeping position”). Due to this peculiarity, the expression “mimosa-like” and the comparison “… like a mimosa” have established themselves in linguistic usage, which transfer this behavior to humans.
The flowers, pink to purple, spherical and fluffy heads, are reminiscent of dandelions in form. They appear from May to September at the branch ends. The flowers wither after one to two days, but new ones are constantly being formed.
Small, light green pulses appear after flowering.
Keep your mimosa in a bright location without direct sunlight at room temperatures of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. Choose a protected place in the house, so that it does not often come to folding the leaves, because this process is always an enormous feat for the mimosa. In summer the plant can also be placed outside in the pot, but not in the blazing sun.
Commercially available indoor plant soil is ideally suited for mimosa.
Keep the mimosa evenly moist, but avoid waterlogging. Before the next watering, you should always allow the top layer of earth to dry. The classic finger test is an excellent way to check whether your mimosa needs watering. Occasionally you can spray the houseplant. Use soft and slightly stale water for this purpose.
Supply the mimosa with low-dose green plant fertilizer every two to three weeks, especially in early summer and summer.
Usually mimosa are grown for one year and therefore repotting is not necessary. In perennially cultivated mimosa, spring is a good time to place the plants in a larger pot with new potting soil. However, newly purchased mimosa are usually planted in pots that are too small and should therefore quickly be moved to a larger container at home.
The low-growing mimosa do not actually require pruning. Especially young plants should not be pruned back. Instead, new mimosa should be grown from seeds in spring.
They can multiply mimosa by sowing. In February or March, place six to eight grains in the growing soil, put foil over the pots and pierce a few air holes. Pre-swelling in hot water increases the germination capacity. Keep the pots warm and moist at 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, but not wet. It takes a week to germinate. Prick the strongest seedlings and place about three young plants in a twelve-centimeter pot.
Diseases and pests
Mimosa is rarely attacked by diseases or pests. At low humidity, spider mites and aphids may occur. Check the houseplant frequently and spray the mimosa regularly to increase the humidity.
Whether fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants in the garden or indoor plants in the house: spider mites can infest and damage many different plants. Here René Wadas, a herbalist, will tell you his tips on how you can effectively fight the arachnids.Credits: Production: Folkert Siemens; Camera: Fabian Primsch; Editing: Dennis Fuhro, Photos: Flora Press/FLPA, GWI
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