Plants

Potted cultivation of mimosa

Information on the species

Mimosa is an arboreal plant belonging to the Mimosaceae family. Its scientific name is Acacia dealbata and it can reach considerable heights, often exceeding 15 meters. It is native to Australia, but is currently widespread, even as a spontaneous plant, in much of the world thanks to its beauty and resistance. The trunk is greyish in color, tapered and generally not very large in diameter. The leaves develop in number of about 20 pairs along the apical twigs of the main branches and are in turn made up of another 30 pairs of small leaves, of a silvery green color. The flowers are small, spherical and exceptionally fragrant, composed of very small filaments soaked in pollen, collected in dense inflorescences. They appear from February to March,

Potted cultivation of mimosa


the reproduction of mimosa occurs mainly by sowing, since the cuttings hardly root, or, for the more experienced, by grafting. Once the seeds have been taken, they can be germinated in a small pot with universal soil and fine peat. Within a few weeks, once germination has taken place, it is already possible to see the plant outside. After a height of about 15 centimeters, the plant can be transferred to a larger pot, since the mimosa still needs ample space to root. The species is acidophilic, therefore a suitable and well-drained soil must be obtained by applying fine pozzolan. In cold climate areas the mimosa should be sheltered in greenhouses or closed verandas, since it fears temperatures below zero, while in summer, or in places with a temperate climate, it easily resists in the garden or on the terrace: it should be placed in direct sunlight and watering must be frequent and constant especially in summer (mimosa fears drought). Every 2-3 years we will take care to transfer them into bigger and bigger pots, being careful not to damage or cut the roots.

Pruning


Especially in the first years of the plant’s life, pruning is essential to control the growth of mimosa in potsand avoid that the basal part is bare; in fact it tends to grow a lot, developing branches of considerable length. After flowering, then in April, pruning is carried out using small scissors. The cuts must be clean and about 5-6 centimeters away from the base of the branches. It is also advisable to eliminate dry apical twigs which, in addition to being not very aesthetic, compromise the growth of new ones. It is often necessary to treat the cut areas with special products, to prevent any attack by pathogenic microorganisms or insects attracted to the lymph. Pruning must be annual during the initial stages of growth, after which it can be reduced to every two to three years.

Pathologies and parasites


Although it is also very resistant to pathogens, mimosa must be monitored to avoid the attack of diseases and parasites. It is not uncommon, in fact, that mimosa plants (especially those grown in pots in the first years of life) are attacked by diseases affecting the roots. The most common is root rot caused by Phytopthora bacteria. The symptoms of this infection manifest themselves externally with yellowing of the leaves and branches, while the roots are rotten and smelly. Prevention lies in keeping the soil well drained and never soggy, avoiding dangerous stagnation of water. As for parasites, on the other hand, aphids and scale insects are very common and often infest branches and leaves with substantial colonies. Preventing these attacks is difficult,

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