Growing wild in parts of the Caribbean and South America, Mimosa pudica is most often cultivated as an ornamental plant in our northern, Canadian climate. Prized for the curiosity value of its rapid defensive movements, Mimosa pudica is a special plant that reacts by curling up inwards when touched or shaken, only to reopen a few minutes later. The foliage also retracts on itself during darkness and then reopens at sunrise.
Tolerant to partial shade and adaptable to poor soils, Mimosa Sensitive Plant is an easy-to-grow tender perennial, meaning it will need protection from frost to overwinter and will not spread in the garden. Mimosa plants are short-lived and will decline every year, so they are most often cultivated as annuals.
Mimosa pudica will reward you with pom-pom like rosé-purple flowers that grow atop of bushy fern-like sensitive leaves. The plants usually reach one to two feet tall or even more if started early and grown in the right conditions. Adapts well to containers, so they can be left outdoors in planters, in hanging baskets or planted directly in the garden. A truly fascinating plant, Mimosa Sensitive Plant is a great attraction for children, and it also makes a remarkable one-of-a-kind low-maintenance houseplant.
- Life Cycle: Annual ( Biennal zone 9)
- Days to Maturity: Second-year
- Planting Depth: 2-3 seeds 5 mm deep
- Plant Spacing: 40 cm
- Growth Habit: 30-60 cm tall
Mimosa pudica, more commonly known as sensitive plant, is a shrubby, creeping plant native to Central and South America. It gets its common name for a peculiar response it has to temperature, motion and touch. Leaves fold in towards the plant when its fine hairs detect a change in the environment. The tropical plant, displaying dainty fern-like foliage and pretty purple flowers, is usually grown as an annual or kept as an easy to care for houseplant. Otherwise, sensitive plant will grow vigorously outdoors, where it can become invasive in warm climates until it is killed by frost.
Starting sensitive plants from seed is reliable and simple. Seeds should be scarified early in the spring. Nick them with a knife or rub with sandpaper. They can also be soaked overnight in water to aid germination. Plant seeds in small containers and lightly cover with soil. Place the containers in a warm and bright location, keeping the soil moist. Seeds should germinate within a week.
As plants grow and roots begin to emerge from the bottom of the container, pot them up into larger containers. Sensitive plants require full sun, but they can tolerate partial shade. If the leaves remain closed during the day, the plant needs more light.
A well-drained, loamy soil works best for sensitive plants. The soil doesn’t have to be particularly rich or fertilized often, a standard potting mix works fine for houseplants. Keep the soil evenly moist but not too damp. Root rot can become a problem in damp soils. Water less frequently during the winter months. Temperatures of 18-24 degrees are ideal for sensitive plants.
The shape and vigor of the plant can be improved by pruning at any time of the year. Trailing stems can be clipped off or supported with a trellis to tame the sensitive plant’s quick, creeping growth.
- Mimosa pudica is also sometimes referred to as Sleepy Plant, Action Plant, Touch-Me-Not or Shameplant.
- Mimosa pudica seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!