Serious and Urgent Issues With a Mimosa Pudica

Xavier_BonetFebruary 17, 2013

Yesterday I bought a mimosa pudica. I chose at the nursery the lushest and greenest and that which, overall, looked in better shape. The plant was repot right there in the nursery into a pot of somewhat larger size. I brought the mimosa home and placed it in indirect sunlight and watered it so as to moisten the soil. This was around 3 in the afternoon. It's summer over here. The plant spent the day well, seemed not to have been affected by the transplant. The leaves closed at night, as expected.

One thing that I noticed yesterday was this: obviously, in the repotting process the plant was handled all over and it all closed up; now, for the rest of the afternoon, and once the leaves had already been reopened, I noticed that the plant was not as sensitive to touch. Even when stroking them, I noticed that the leaves did not close. I assumed it was because the plant had already spent a lot of energy when it was transplanted.

Then, today in the morning it woke up with some of its leaves yellowing. And thereafter, every five minutes, several of its leaves have become more and more yellow and are even drying up. It's amazing how fast they are drying up!

I searched the Internet, but the recommendations are all contradictory. On the one hand they say the mimosa needs a lot of direct sunlight and, on the other, they say you have to keep it out of direct sunlight. Some say it needs ample moisture and, others, that too much water can be the cause for yellowing leaves. So I do not know what to do.

Today the plant was in full, direct sunlight in the morning, so it could be that. However, I took it away from direct sunlight and it has continued to yellow. Could it be that I watered it too much yesterday? Although what I did was wet the soil, as I saw on the Internet, moistening it without letting it soak or make puddles. One one site it said that leaves may yellow when moisture is low, so I put a little more water. But, though perhaps it's my imagination, the plant seemed to get even yellower with this. So I took it off its plate and left it where it can drain quickly and in the shadow, but the yellow progress was ongoing.

It's now afternoon and the temperature has lowered a little and the wind has picked up and the yellowing progress SEEMS to be slowing down or even stopped. Every now and again a big gust picks up and shakes the plant and it closes all up but then reopens a minute later. Don't know if all this has anything to do, but they are the facts and all I can tell is happening.

(There seems to be no bugs anywhere.)

Thanks for your support!

P.D. I'm uploading a photo so you can see what kind of yellowing is going on.

This post was edited by Xavier_Bonet on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 16:03

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

did the nursery pot it in dirt????

transplant and shipping shock..

water properly.. and ignore it ...

in the mean time.. talk to your seller.. ask if this is normal.. and ask them what they suggest..

i hope they gave you a warranty ...


ps: BTW.. i would not have dug and potted a plant at this time of summer ... whether you were waiving money at me or not ... isnt it the high heat of summer time for you.. a month short of fall or so ????

This post was edited by ken_adrian on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 17:41

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Ken, thanks a bunch for such quick response!

The nursery did pot it in dirt. But they also kept it with the original dirt it had. To answer your P.S., the plant wasn't in the ground but actually in one of those black plastic bag kind of coverings. But it's a good advice you're giving me here. Yes, we are at the top of summer; and though this summer is not too hot as past summers, still I think the sun is showering down twice its radiation down here. So it's good to know if I need to transplant from ground to pot in the future. This time, however, it has been pot to pot. I don't know if that makes a difference.

The plant was rather manhandled during the transplant. (It's not a responsible nursery as you would think, but rather a thoroughfare of plant-selling bodegas.) But during the 2-block walk home and finding it a proper place, I tried to keep it as comfortable and shockless as possible. Still, perhaps the repotting was rather traumatic. The person who did it might as well have strangled the plant!

I'll keep on watering it each time the dirt gets dry. I read somewhere I should just water into the plate. Perhaps that's the best idea.

I have the hunch my seller really doesn't know much about it. I asked them about how to care for it and certain specs of the mimosa and all the person told me was instantly contradicted upon researching the web. But the good news is the plant cost me little over a buck; so I'm not worried about the money, but I do hope the plant gets happy soon and thrives.

I've brought the plant in for the night to see if perhaps it's getting cold just before dawn, though I doubt it should get so cold as to affect it. Perhaps tomorrow I'll keep it out of direct sunlight and see how it progresses.

Well, so thanks again for the good advice and the quick response!


This post was edited by Xavier_Bonet on Sun, Feb 17, 13 at 18:28

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:27PM
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If the plant doesn't make it, these are so quick from seeds.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:47PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it is worth one dollar to 'learn' ... lol ....

i would research if it likes soggy roots ... most tree like .... to NEAR DRY in between waterings .... so keeping it constantly sodden MIGHT NOT be best ... i simply do NOT know ...

i have had trees completely lose all leaves.. life is in the buds ... and if you make the roots happy.. it should releaf ... but if you harm the roots thru too much water... it will probably be a goner .... [and then i learned about PROPER TIMING of planting.. and trees quit losing all their leaves when i moved them.... hint, hint]


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:45AM
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Hi again, Ken,

It's true that a dollar doesn't hurt much if it means learning something valuable. But it does make me sad for the plant! Moreover because it moves, so it's to a dog what other plants are to fish or turtles... if you know what I mean.

Anyway, won't ever transplant during summer; I've learned that.

Today the plant is a little yellower. I don't know if it's yellowing less or if it continues at the same rate. But because most agree that it's an issue with too much water in the roots, I've brought it back out to direct sunlight.

I don't quite understand the last hint, though. Does that mean that, actually, transplanting, but done at the right moment, worked for you in stopping your trees from losing their leaves?

Again, thanks a lot!


P.S. @echinaceamaniac: I've heard that this plant's seeds grow very fast. So that's good info, thanks! But I do hope the plant doesn't die on me!

P.S.S. This is my mimosa today.

This post was edited by Xavier_Bonet on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 13:50

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 1:45PM
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We've had a bad winter in PA. Our recently planted mimosa have died on top. All plants are putting out shoots at the bottom. Will these three trees make a full comeback or should I replace them. Thanks ValKey

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:34AM
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You could have come and dug up our mature mimosa instead. We now only have the stump left. That thing grew a foot a day or so, seriously. I have never heard of a nursery potting something up in dirt. Very wierd. Good luck with your little tree.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:55AM
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