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Mimosa pudica 'sensitive plant' never grows

Posted by kujen TX (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 23, 11 at 15:39

I've been trying for years now to grow Mimosa pudica from seed. They germinate but the seedlings only get an inch or two big and they just don't grow anymore. They don't have damping off, but they just stop growing, turn yellow, and eventually die.

I'm thinking the problem is that they need Nitrogen fixing bacteria, but I'm not sure how to inoculate them without going out and buying some. I want to grow these plants in pots. Thought about growing them in some of the backyard soil with perlite added, but I'm not sure if our soil has that bacteria. I dug up some clover and didn't see any nodules on the roots.

Has anyone had luck just growing these in a potting mix, or do you inoculate them somehow? I know in some places it's considered a weed but I can't get it to grow at all.

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RE: Mimosa pudica 'sensitive plant' never grows

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 24, 11 at 10:46

Some other ideas...need evenly moist but not soggy soil. In pots, fertilize weekly with a diluted fertilizer solution (begin at 1/4 strength and work up to max of 1/2). Also - temperatures should not fall below 65F; if they do get chilled, the plants respond with yellowing of leaves and stems.

RE: Mimosa pudica 'sensitive plant' never grows

Hi Kujen,
I have grown Mimosa pudica, more commonly known by my students and educators as the TickleMe Plant for over 30 years. You won't need to buy Nitrogen fixing bacteria as the Rhizobia live in nodules in the plant's roots and are usually found in the soil. We have grown our TickleMe Plants in peatmoss, potting soil and coir all with excellent results and no leaf fall. Your potting mix will work fine. I agree with morz8 that the key to growing healthy plants is to keep the temperatures high and I suggest an even higher temperature range starting at 70 degrees to 90 degrees.When the plants get older they are more tolerant to lower temperatures. Too much water (never let them sit in water) will also cause yellowing and dropping of the leaves.

If you want to get your plants to flower even in the middle of winter, I highly suggest, for all Mimosa pudica growers, the book called "The Sensitive Plant-Growing the Mimosa-That MOVES When You Tickle It!-The TickleMe Plant Book-Your Complete FUN Guide." It's the authorative source on growing this plant and my students have used the book to conduct over twenty controlled studies on everything from germination rates to using flourescent lights to stimulate flower production. If you have any additional questions about this plant, contact the as he has helped my students with their questions and to set up science projects. I hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: TickleMe Plant Seeds Products and Videos

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