How to Grow a Sensitive Plant
The sensitive plant,Mimosa pudica, also known as the TickleMe Plant, the Humble plant, Shame plant, Shy plant, Sleeping grass, Prayer Plant, and Touch-me-not, is a weedy plant that is native to Central and South America. Known for its leaves that respond to touch, the sensitive plant is commonly grown in greenhouses or as an exotic houseplant.
Planting Mimosa Pudica
Obtain your seeds.Get your sensitive plant seeds from a trusted online vendor such as an eBay seller with good feedback.
Soak the seeds in water.Soak the Mimosa pudica seeds in a container of warm tap water for 24 to 48 hours before you plant your seeds. This will help them to sprout faster.
Plant the seeds.Plant the seeds one-eighth inch deep in a flower pot or cup of soil.
- Use a good potting mix with added perlite to allow good drainage and air circulation between the roots.
- Cover the flower pot or cup with clear plastic wrap and wait for the plants to sprout. This should take about a week.
Place the sensitive plant in a warm location.Remove the clear wrap or greenhouse cover and place the young Mimosa pudica in a warm and mostly sunny location once they have popped above the soil.
Propagating a Mimosa Pudica
Cut a 4 inch (10 cm) shoot from a mature sensitive plant.You can plant the shoot and grow a new sensitive plant from it. Make sure the shoot you cut has at least one leaf node on it.
Plant the shoot in a pot using a peat moss and perlite potting mixture.To plant the shoot, dig a small hole in the potting mixture and place the root-end of the shoot in it. Then, fill in the hole.
- If you want the shoot to grow roots before you pot it, put it in a glass of water after you cut it and set it in a sunny location. Once the roots start to form, transfer the shoot to a pot.
Cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap.The plastic wrap will create a humid environment for the shoot to get established in.
Keep the soil moist until the shoot gets established.Check on the soil daily to make sure it isn't dry. If it is, water it thoroughly until the soil is moist, but not soaked.
Caring For Mimosa Pudica
Maintain the correct temperature.Mimosa pudica or sensitive plants prefer warm, sunny, indoor locations (like in a window) with temperatures between 65 to 70 °F (18 to 21 °C).
- The sensitive plant can survive outdoors in the summer (in hardiness zones 9 to 11) but it has a tendency to spread and become weedy.
Water and fertilize the plant.The sensitive plant should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Try to use loamy soil for improved drainage, as this can prevent root rot.
- During growing season, fertilize the sensitive plant approximately every two weeks with a diluted high-potassium fertilizer.
Prevent disease.The sensitive plant is not particularly prone to disease, but it may become infested with some common pests, such as red spider mites, mealy bugs, and thrips. These can be removed by spraying the plant with a direct stream of water or neem oil every few days.
- Avoid using insecticidal soaps, as these can turn the leaves of the plant black.
QuestionDoes the flower itself germinate or just the seeds?
HorticulturistHorticulturistExpert AnswerThe seeds are contained within the flower. They will have higher germination rates if they're left on the plant to mature until the seed pod is completely dried out.Thanks!
QuestionWill pests and diseases still occur if I place my sensitive plant outdoors?
HorticulturistHorticulturistExpert AnswerYes, pests and diseases can still occur outdoors. However, this plant doesn’t suffer from many pest problems in general.Thanks!
QuestionDoes every flower have a seed in it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe flowers turn into seed pods once they are fertilized. They start green, but wait until the cluster turns brown then carefully harvest.Thanks!
QuestionCan a mimosa fern survive North American winters?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but don't put it outside. Remember, they like warm temperatures, and they are a tropical plant. Too much snow, and it will die, so keep it indoors when temperatures cool.Thanks!
QuestionDo the leaves close at night?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, I have one my daughter started from a seed pack she got for Easter. I wasn't sure what it was until I noticed the leaves closing at night and checked her seed package to see what it was.Thanks!
QuestionCan I start a plant from a cutting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, many plants can be started from cuttings.Thanks!
QuestionCan I grow a sensitive plant in regular soil?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but loamy soil is best.Thanks!
QuestionWhy are my plant leaves nearest the ground turning yellow?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey are likely not getting enough sun. If possible, move the plant to a sunnier location.Thanks!
QuestionHow much space do the plants need?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot very much, they just need to be able to get enough sun. If it seems like it isn't getting enough, move it to a place that is less shaded.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is wrong if my plant has lost all of its leaves and come back twice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it is not a evergreen plant, it generally may be due to the change of season or climate.Thanks!
My mimosa pudica has started to grow long, vine-like tendrils, with new growth at the ends of these tendrils but no leaves within a foot+ of the base. It also hasn't bloomed in 3 months. Any ideas?
The bottom leaves on mine are turning yellow! I set it outside during the day where it is in direct sunlight. I water regularly and fertilize. Any ideas?
What is wrong if my sensitive plant doesn't fold its leaves and they are looking unhealthy?
Can I plant a sensitive plant on black soil with higher temperature?
Can sensitive plants adapt to a new environment?
- Do not over-water or allow the soil to dry out.
- If temperatures are kept between 70 °F (21 °C) and 85 °F (29 °C), youngMimosa pudicacan sprout in less than 7 days. However, if temperatures are lower, it may take 21 to 30 days forMimosa pudicato sprout.
- If you cover any of your containers with clear wrap, do not put them in direct sunlight until you remove the plastic wrap.
- Instead soaking seeds in warm tap water, try soaking in 5 parts boiling to 1 part cold water. Let the water cool for a few hours before removing. The intense heat quickly makes the seed viable. You will most likely get 13/25 to germinate within a week. With this species, 13/25 is great.
- Cool temperatures will prevent your sensitive plant orMimosa pudicafrom starting to grow leaves. Put them in a room with temperatures between 70° and 85 °F (29 °C).
- Alternative to soaking is to gently score (or chip) the seed coat by rubbing a few (gently!) between fine sandpaper before planting.
- Using a spray bottle to give the plant water Is a good idea, as it’s easy to overwater it.
Video: How To Grow Sensitive Plants from Seed
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