About Mimosa Sensitive Plant
Mimosa pudica, also known as the "sensitive plant," is a creeping shrub or short-lived perennial that originates from the tropics of Central and South America. Its leaves are lined with tiny hairs that are highly sensitive to touch, temperature, and motion, causing them to fold inward when triggered, which has led to its intriguing nickname. The plant also closes its leaves at night as part of its natural defense mechanism. In addition to its unique leaf movement, the sensitive plant is characterized by delicate, fern-like leaves and light purple flowers that resemble small pom-poms.
When to Plant Mimosa Seeds
For earliest blooms, begin Sensitive Plant Mimosa Seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the final frost date in your area. Alternatively, you can sow the seeds directly outdoors once the frost has passed.
Where to Plant Mimosa Seeds
Sensitive plant starts growing upwards as young plants, but soon develops a creeping habit and spreads outward. While it is hardy in zones 7 to 13 and can be grown outdoors in those regions, it is typically preferred as a low-maintenance houseplant. When growing outdoors, exercise caution as it can quickly escape and naturalize.
Because Mimosa Sensitive Plant is a fast grower, choose your planting site wisely. Once the danger of frost has passed and the seedlings have been hardened off, plant them outdoors in a location with full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil, and plenty of room.
How to Plant Mimosa Seeds
Before planting, we recommend soaking seeds for 24 hours to encourage germination. Learn more about soaking seeds here. This will help to soften the seed coat and improve germination rates.
Fill a seed-starting tray or pot with a well-draining potting mix. Moisten the soil before planting to ensure that the seeds have enough moisture to germinate. Press the seeds lightly into the soil, about ⅛ inch deep. Space the seeds at least one to two inches apart to give them room to grow. Cover the seeds lightly with soil. Place the seed tray or pot in a location with full lighting, such as a sunny windowsill or under fluorescent grow lights. Seeds will quickly germinate in five to ten days with full lighting. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged until the seeds germinate. A good way to do this is to mist the soil with a spray bottle. Covering the pot with clear plastic can help to hold in moisture but remove the plastic as soon a sprout is visible.
Once the seedlings have developed two sets of true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted into a larger container or pot. Use a well-draining potting mix and make sure to water the seedlings after transplanting.
If you plan to transplant the seedlings outdoors, it is important to harden them off first. Gradually expose the plants to outdoor conditions by placing them outside for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the amount of time each day.
How to Care for Mimosa Sensitive Plant
To prevent Mimosa Sensitive Plant from becoming leggy, we advise pruning it regularly to promote a full and bushy appearance. Trimming can be done at any time of the year. As Mimosa pudica is a creeping plant, it is important to trim any trailing stems or train them to climb a trellis to maintain an attractive appearance.
Mimosa Sensitive Plant is commonly used as a ground cover in sunny landscapes, but it requires monitoring to prevent unchecked spreading. Although individual plants have a short lifespan, they can easily self-seed, and new plants can achieve full size in a single growing season.
As a houseplant, sensitive plant tends to deteriorate rapidly after flowering and is often grown as an annual, with fresh seeds planted each year. Potted plants lose their attractiveness after around two years.