The Touch Me Not plant (Mimosa Pudica) gets its name from how it reacts when touched. The leaves will close up and droop in response to contact with anything or anyone. This characteristic has earned them the nickname “Sensitive plant” among horticulturalists and gardeners. In addition, it is a permanent fixture of many science classes because of this unique ability.
The plant is native to Central and South America. But over time, it has been introduced to parts of North America, Asia, and Australia. The leaves are delicate, with a feathery fern-like appearance. Leaves are pinnately arranged on both sides, primarily green in color. The plant can measure up to 5 feet when fully grown. The flowers are light pink or purple and about an inch in diameter.
- Touch Me Not Plant Main Characteristics
- Touch Me Not Plant Care
- Propagating Mimosa pudica
- Potting and Repotting Mimosa Touch Me Not Plant
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Best Way to Care for a Touch Me Not Plant (Mimosa Pudica) (Video)
Touch Me Not Plant Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Sensitive plant, Sleepy plant, Action plant, Touch-me-not Plant, Shameplant, Humble Plant|
|Botanical Name||Mimosa pudica|
|Native Range||Caribbean, South and Central America|
|Mature Size||Up to 5 feet tall|
|Propagation methods||by seed, by cuttings|
|Sun||Full Sun to Partial shade|
Touch Me Not Plant Care
Mimosa pudica is often grown in the living room and offers bright, attractive flowers. In addition, it has a quick germination rate and forgiving growth conditions, making the plant relatively easy to grow. Coupled with the uniqueness factor, it’s a novelty any gardener would be glad to have around the house to show off to their friends.
Light and Location
The Touch me not plant requires bright light to grow. Therefore, try to place it in an area where it will receive direct sunlight from the early morning sun. Avoid exposing it to harsh sunlight and put it somewhere that’s shaded in the afternoon.
It is best to water the plant regularly, keeping the soil moist at all times (but not soggy!). Ensure proper drainage channels if you don’t want your plant getting root rot. Lessen the watering frequency in winter when it starts to go dormant.
Mimosa pudica is a tropical plant that thrives in warm climates. The optimal temperature range is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit can stunt the plant’s growth.
The Touch me not Plant wants high humidity levels to thrive, but it can make do with moderate levels (around 50%). Maintaining this moisture level is not an issue in most places, but if you live somewhere particularly dry, you will need to create a high humidity environment. You can place it near a humidifier or regularly use a spray bottle to mist the leaves.
In many regions, the Touch me not plant is considered a weed due to its ability to grow practically anywhere without nutrient-rich soil. Therefore, fertilization is definitely not needed for this plant. But to promote better, healthier growth, you can use a diluted liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks during the growing season.
Propagating Mimosa pudica
The Mimosa pudica can be propagated either by seed or cuttings. To grow it from seeds:
- It would be best if you sowed the seeds in clean pots with nutrient-rich soil after being soaked overnight.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet at all times. It will take about 15 days for the seeds to germinate.
- Once they do so, make sure to water them about once every three days.
- The plant needs to be kept in a warm environment with light until it becomes mature enough for transplanting.
- Also, make sure that no direct sunlight hits the plants during their infancy because this will burn them.
- Once the seedling has become mature enough for relocation, move the plant to a fresh pot and treat it as a mature plant.
You can also propagate this plant via cuttings:
- Pick a stem with a couple of nodes.
- Cut it off from just below a node using a sterile knife.
- Plant the cutting in moist soil and secure it by packing in the soil.
- Cover the pot with plastic to increase humidity and wait for the cutting to take root.
Potting and Repotting Mimosa Touch Me Not Plant
This plant’s only requirement is that the potting soil needs to be well-drained. Peaty potting mixes work best, but other mixes can get the job done as well. It doesn’t care if the soil has rich nutrients or not; it’ll grow just as well with and without. Drainage holes are a must in whatever type of pot you pick.
These plants are aggressive growers and usually need repotting every year. Roots will begin to crawl out of the drainage holes when it’s past time for repotting. Try not to jump the gun; however, these plants like to be root bound, so it’s not time yet unless roots are spilling over. When repotting, use a pot two or three inches larger than the current pot. The potting mix needs to be well-drained. If you’re repotting during the spring, it’s the perfect time to get all the cuttings you need.
Mimosa pudica is mildly toxic. Only small amounts of toxins are found in this species of plants. Keep curious pets and children away to be safe.
Red spider mites are frequent visitors. These pests can cause significant damage to the plant’s leaves, leading to reduced growth and flowering. These pests can often be found on the undersides of leaves, which are out of sight. They are most active during hot, dry periods of the year. To deal with the problem, use shorter persistence pesticides.
The plant reacts slowly when touched and is slow to recover?
Overstimulation results in the plant not being as sensitive to touch anymore. Don’t poke it for a couple of weeks to allow it to regain sensitivity. Reacting like this is not without cost and uses up energy.
Is the plant getting large and leggy?
This is part of the natural life cycle. These plants usually get discarded after a year or so as they become progressively less attractive. Germinate new seeds or take cuttings to propagate a new plant with renewed vigor.
Leaves closed, but the plant hasn’t been touched?
Even a stiff breeze can cause the plant to react and close off the leaves. Move the plant to a quieter spot if you want to prevent the leaves from moving. Too much movement isn’t good for them.
Leaves turning yellow and falling off?
Check if the temperature isn’t too low. If below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately move the plant to a warmer spot. Try to keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
Best Way to Care for a Touch Me Not Plant (Mimosa Pudica) (Video)
What to do if touch me not plant is yellow?
Yellow leaves are an indication of low temperature. Move the plant to a warmer spot. 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.
How to propagate Mimosa pudica?
It can be propagated by cuttings and by seeds. Soak the seeds overnight before sowing to increase the chances of germination. Both cuttings and seeds need to be planted in moist soil. After planting, wait a few weeks for the first signs of growth to appear.
How often to water Mimosa pudica?
It should be watered regularly but not overwatered. The soil should be kept moist consistently. It needs less water in the winter when it goes dormant.
“Mimosa pudica” by blumenbiene is licensed under CC BY 2.0