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Miss Mimosa, my Mimosa pudica ‘Sensitive Plant,’ has been outside all summer. And thriving.
People in other parts of the world curse Mimosas for being an invasive species.
I can see what they mean.
Miss Mimosa is in no danger of taking over the yard, because she’s still in a container, but she’s an enthusiastic grower nonetheless.
And now all those summer blooms are producing seeds like crazy:
Here’s a closer look at the seed pods, the seeds are tucked inside:
With that many seeds, it’s easy to see why this plant has earned the wrath of people around the globe. But as a houseplant, Mimosas are great. They grow fast, they have adorable blossoms, and their leaves move when you touch them. You won’t find a more interactive houseplant.
Anyone want some seeds? I have plenty to share!
Mimosa plants are especially fun in classrooms, because kids love how the leaves open and close. So if you’re a teacher and want some seeds, just holler.
I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.
Recently I was contacted by a gentleman named Larry about my Mimosa pudica plant, (I call her Miss Mimosa). Mimosas are nicknamed Sensitive plants because their leaves close when you touch them, and they close at night, too. Larry saw one of my posts about Miss Mimosa and thought I’d be interested in a product, a Mimosa growing kit, that he and his brother created. They call their Mimosas “TickleMe Plants.”
Larry at TickleMePlant.com wrote, “As a science teacher for over 30 years my brother has been sharing his love of the plant each year in the classroom. I have been growing the plant since I was a child and later joined forces with my brother and created the TickleMe Plant brand with the goal of exciting children and those young at heart about nature, gardening, plants and science.”
Excellent work, Larry. If it were up to me, there would be a Mimosa in every classroom across the country.
Larry was kind enough to send me a sample, so let me walk you through how easy it is to grow these cute little plants. The kit came with seeds, instructions, a tiny pot and a mini greenhouse.
The first step was to soak the seeds in hot or boiling water for at least 24 hours. I ended up leaving these soaking for several days:
I filled the pot with soil, watered it, then placed the seeds in the wet soil. Then I put the pot in its new home, the greenhouse.
Next I put the greenhouse on my kitchen windowsill so I could watch the action. There were sprouts within a day.
They started growing like crazy:
In only a few weeks, it was time to repot them into roomier digs. I planned to use these little plants as gifts, so I sealed and painted some more clay pots so they’d look nicer.
Of course, as soon as I moved the pot of Mimosas, they collapsed from all the drama:
Cracks me up every time they move.
The little baby plants had grown some sturdy roots in a short amount of time. Good job babies!
I separated the roots gently:
And put a few plants into each pot (three total). You can see they are still collapsed immediately after planting:
But they were fine 20 minutes later:
So thanks, Larry. I think TickleMe Plants are a great name, great idea. I wish you continued success. Readers, if you have questions for Larry or would like to order classroom kits for your school, you can reach him at email@example.com or by calling 845-350-4800.
I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.
Hi pies, happy Monday. I’m not sure why I said I would be back today, seeing that it’s Labor Day and all. I don’t have a special holiday blog post lined up for you or anything like that. I do have lots of houseplant maintenance planned for this morning that will translate into posts in the future, though.
For now, just some photos of Miss Mimosa (Mimosa pudica). She hasn’t stopped blooming in months…usually one bloom a day, sometimes two or three at a time. Each bloom lasts one day. Adorable, right?
I don’t want you feeling sorry for me or anything – I’m not working the whole day. Just a little work before pool and grill time this afternoon.
I hope you’re making the most of your last day of the long weekend. If you have a moment, leave a comment and let me know what you’re doing today. I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.
I’m pretty sure Miss Mimosa is the most photographed Sensitive Plant in the world. Well, in New Mexico, anyway.
I’ve been trying to capture the silliness of her blooms, the way she uncrinkles each one. It’s so stinkin’ cute. Not necessarily easy to photograph, but I’ve been trying anyway.
Each bud will become pink at the base the night before it’s set to open. Then as soon as morning light begins to appear, it starts unraveling:
See? Cute, right? All disheveled and messy.
The hard part about photographing her blooms is that there’s so much interference, from her leaves, from the backgrounds. If I move her to a more photogenic spot, she of course, collapses all her leaves and generally pouts about it. So I don’t do that. (Except when I do.)
I did manage to capture this bloom opening, beginning in the early morning:
The bloom straightens itself out by mid-morning, then shines all day, dying as the sun goes down.
This is what a bloom looks like in the evening, after its spent:
Back to crinkly and silly in the evenings.
Miss Mimosa has had at least one bloom per day for over six months now, usually two or three, up to as many as five per day. It’s not just the fertilizer getting her to bloom (although she does receive regular doses), it’s her enthusiasm for life.
It may also be a defense mechanism. I think she knows I’m less inclined to prune her when there are buds everywhere.
Do the blooms remind you of a disco ball?
I read somewhere that Mimosa plants only live for about a year as houseplants. Miss Mimosa is probably right around one year old…I got her last September when she was just a little thang.
I decided to celebrate her “birthday” by giving her a bigger pot and her very own trellis. Hopefully that’ll keep her from climbing on the other houseplants.
She looks like she’s on her deathbed, doesn’t she?
I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.
Hello Rolos, and happy Wednesday!
You know, I’ve heard that “You can roll a Rolo to your friend,” but don’t expect me to do that. I want to eat every last one. Mmmm, chocolately caramelly goodness!
One thing about me, I am easily sidetracked. I see something delicious, or shiny, and I’m off. Candy, gadgets…hey, look:
Miss Mimosa, my Mimosa pudica houseplant, not only knows my weakness, she exploits it.
You see, for months now, she’s been the busiest houseplant I’ve ever seen. She’s constantly sprouting out new leaves and new flowers. I know I’m supposed to pinch back her new leaves so she stays bushy, but I get distracted from that task by her adorable pink flowers:
So she grew and she grew and before I knew it, she reached the ceiling. She knew I wouldn’t prune her as long as she was sprouting new flower buds.
But finally, there was no putting it off anymore – she needed a pruning.
I’ve never grown a Mimosa before, so I’ve never tried to root cuttings. I decided to try a very technical experiment – it was super scientific.
I started by creating three different potting media – water, vermiculite and a soil/sphagnum peat moss mix:
I prepared the media ahead of time because I didn’t want the cuttings to sit out any longer than necessary. She’s such a sensitive plant, I knew the cuttings would start to wilt the moment they were cut.
I chose a cool day because the hot sun would’ve further stressed out the plant. As it turned out, I had to hurry before a storm blew in:
You can see that her vines have gotten out of control. And that she’s still blooming. And that she wants nothing to do with the pole I gave her to climb:
It pained me to have to cut those buds, but she left me no choice.
In the hours after the cuttings were placed in the potting media, “water” had a clear lead:
Sadly, by the next day, they were all dead:
Wanh, wanh, wanh. So much for that experiment.
If you’d like to see a video I shot of some Mimosa pudica babies, please click here.
Except for Fridays, for the next two weeks, I’ll be posting a photo a day so you don’t feel completely gypped coming to my site while I’m on vacation, which starts right now. On Fridays, I’ll have an answer to last week’s plant puzzler as well as a brand new one. You still have time to submit a guess, by leaving a comment, the deadline is midnight MST on Thursday (that’s 2am EST). Remember, the prizes are imaginary but the glory of winning is oh-so-real!
Hey there turtles. Happy Tuesday!
Miss Mimosa, the Mimosa pudica that sits on my kitchen windowsill, is showing off again:
Messy little pink blossoms, each lasts one day.
I’ve been doing some research into Mimosa plants, how to care for them, what they need, and so forth. There is very little information out there. What info is out there is suspect. For example, just about every site I visited said they’re summer bloomers. Which, clearly, they’re not. Yet anyway.
Some of the info out there is just plain weird.
Several sites that said that Mimosas don’t age well, and should be thrown away after a year and replaced with seedlings.
Only a year? I’ve had her since September, and she was a couple of months old already…so if they’re right, Miss Mimosa is at death’s door! The twilight of her life!
So what do you think? Should I tell her?
Hi buttercups, and happy Monday!
Over the winter, I bought some Mimosa pudica ‘Sensitive Plant’ seeds. Then the search began to find a greenhouse in which to grow them.
Who would’ve thought I’d find exactly what I was looking for at the grocery store? Check out these awesome egg cartons:
You may see ordinary plastic egg cartons. I see a way to leverage over-packaging to my advantage, by turning one of the cartons into a mini greenhouse.
I’m not sure what possessed me to buy Mimosa seeds, given how temperamental Miss Mimosa, who sits on my kitchen windowsill, is. But I did anyway. I guess I’m just a sucker for plants that move – so adorable!
For those of you not familiar, Mimosa plants are called Sensitive plants because they move when touched, and they also close and “wilt” at night. Since houseplants can’t talk, or bark, it’s easy for some people to forget they’re alive. When Mimosa plants move, they make it abundantly clear that they are living, breathing creatures – I love it!
Starting them was easy. A little potting mixture went into the “greenhouse.”
The seeds, not surprisingly for the delicate plants, were tiny!
I’m not very diligent about placing seeds – I figure they’re going to move all around once I water, so why bother trying to plant them methodically and in equal distance to each other? I prefer to just throw them in there and let them fend for themselves:
Once planted and watered, I found a home for them in a sunny southern exposure window:
The egg carton leaked a bit, so I put a tray underneath to catch the excess water. Then I watched as the seeds took off, starting just a few days after planting:
Less than a month after planting, the sprouts are healthy and moving around. Every time I open the carton to check on them, they all collapse. Which makes me laugh every time.
I captured their silliness on video, but I’m having a little trouble figuring out how to post the video. WordPress will let me post video, but it’s easiest if I use an outside source, in this case, flickr.
So if you’d like to see them collapse when I open the carton, please click here and you’ll be directed to the flickr page. It’s pretty funny. I held back on laughing on the video so I wouldn’t be even more of a dork than I already am (believe me, I’m laughing on the inside – they’re like fainting goats!).
I’ll keep trying to see if there’s a better way to embed the video right here in this post, but in the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy meeting the babies. Even if they are nearly frightened to death to meet you, haha! Enjoy!
I’ll be back manana with a special St. Patrick’s Day post. Hope to see you here.
Look! An interloper in Miss Mimosa’s pot!
A pretty intruder, who began blooming a few weeks ago.
When the seedling first sprouted, I thought, oh, it’s a weed, but since it’s pretty, I’ll watch it grow. Then I wondered if it wasn’t a weed – the Mimosa (Mimosa pudica) started out in the greenhouse, maybe this was a volunteer from another plant that Kathi was growing.
It began to grow fast.
When it got to be about half as big as Miss Mimosa, I decided it had to go.
About that same time, I got an email from Kathi confirming that it was a weed. She said to make sure I get all the roots so it couldn’t return.
I thought Miss Mimosa’s root growth was pretty impressive for a youngster. She didn’t get a bigger pot this time, but she did get new soil and now stands upright.
Here she is on a recent morning:
Aaaahhhhh, much better.
I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.