Mimosa pudica

The plants of Mimosa pudica

The main characteristic and particularity of the Mimosa pudica is to respond to vibrations or tactile contacts, literally folding the foliage on itself. Belonging to the Fabaceae family, it is an evergreen shrub plant, native to South America. The stems are delicate and thin, brown in color, with few branches and can be equipped with small sharp thorns. The leaves are bipinnate, light green and recall those of the Ferns. The posture can be, with the passage of time, both erect and drooping, during the late spring the flowering period begins. Mimosa pudica produces single globular inflorescences, very perfumed, of an intense pink color. Subsequently, the pods containing the seeds appear, gathered in light brown clusters.

Cultivation of Mimosa pudica plants

Mimosa pudica adapts well to different kinds of soil but proper drainage must be ensured, to avoid stagnation of water and the onset of rot that affect the delicate root system. They are plants that love the light but fear the direct rays of the sun, a position in partial shade during the warm months is ideal for the growth and development of Mimosa pudica specimens. They grow quickly but they are plants that hardly exceed one meter in height. Irrigation is regular and frequent from spring to autumn. A periodic fertilization during the vegetative period, to be administered diluted together with the watering water, helps the development of the plant and flowering.

Propagation of Mimosa pudica

The multiplication of Mimosa pudica can take place through sowing, during the spring season. It is necessary to place the seeds in containers, filled with peaty soil mixed with sand. Growth is fast and when they are transplanted in pots, attention must be paid to the root system which is initially very delicate. Another propagation technique of Mimosa pudica is by cuttings. At the beginning of the summer season, apical tops, about ten centimeters long, must be removed, eliminating the lower leaves. It is necessary to treat the cuttings obtained, with a rooting powder, before planting them in the appropriate pots. The soil must always be kept moist and is composed of sand, peat and agri-perlite. The cuttings should be placed in places with little light and the ideal temperature is around twenty degrees.

Curiosities of Mimosa pudica

Mimosa pudica is a unique plant of its kind, in fact it is known and cultivated precisely for the characteristic of closing its foliage by flexing on itself. This movement is triggered through tactile contacts, shocks, vibrations or lack of light. If the leaves are stimulated from the outside, they curl up transforming the appearance of the plant which appears withered. Probably this sudden reaction is a form of defense against attacks by insects and predators, the movement arises at the base of the foliar attachment through motor cells, filled with water. Furthermore, the Mimosa pudica tends to close in on itself also as a consequence of the long dry periods. Particular and original plant that for the Chinese tradition is counted as a bearer of happiness.

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