Mimosa Deciduous???

Mike423

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Hey everyone I recent acquired two Mimosa seedlings from a local nursery and upon doing some research I found that in colder climates (down to zone 6) this tree takes on a deciduous growth pattern. My main question is does this tree need to have a dormant period or benefit from one when grown in a cold climate?? I would assume not, seeing as this tree grows in up to zone 10 but have no experience with the species. Secondly does anyone have any species specific advice on any individualistic care or needs for this plant (or any concerning growing it in a older climate as a tropical)?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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They are deciduous here, and considered invasive. They're everywhere on the roadsides in this area. There may be several different types of mimosa, but if it's the same as what we have down here, I suspect you could treat it like a Chinese elm; cold but not frozen all winter.
 
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coh

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Assume you're referring to Albizia julibrissin, which is often called mimosa in the U.S.? Not sure about growing it without a cold dormant period, but since you have 2 seedlings, why not experiment? Try one without the dormant period and the other with a dormant period. I am growing one in a pot for eventual bonsai use, and I can say that in order to get a decent size trunk, you have to let the top grow quite large - so unless you have a greenhouse or large well-lit winter space, it might be tough to grow the plant without a dormant period.

Chris
 

jk_lewis

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Dirr says A. julibrissin is hardy in zones 6-9. Those numbers are for plants in the ground. Plants in pots will be a different story.
 

Mike423

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is this the mimosa aka the sensitive plant?

Yes, Jessf it said sensitive plant on the container and didn't have any specific species name come with it. I was unsure as to what Latin name it has after some online research since there seems to be a few variations in the species.

I actually had three of these in one pot that where growing in a clump style. I separated their roots and potted each separately. Unfortunately one didn't have a sufficient root system after they were separated and died. So now I have two.
 
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coh

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The label "sensitive plant" makes me think it's not albizia. Do the leaves "close up" almost immediately after you touch them? If so, it sounds like it's one of the true mimosa (maybe mimosa pudica, which I found when googling "sensitive plant"). I'm pretty sure those are not ground hardy in most of the U.S. (certainly not Chicago) and would have to be grown as tropicals. If the leaves only close up at night, then I think it could be the albizia - but it wouldn't make sense for that to be labeled sensitive plant.

A photo might help.

In what section of the nursery did you find these? Where they with the outdoor/hardy plants or in a greenhouse or with other tropicals/house plants?

That pretty much exhausts what I know about these plants...good luck!

Chris
 

Mike423

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The leaves close up immediately upon being touched and the leaf drops as well. I really didn't need more trees but I just loved how the tree reacts to being touched and found it really unique. They had these sitting in their greenhouse section where the nursery sell's their tropical plants as well as some tropical Bonsai.

I know there would be now way these would survive the winter if I put them in the ground but I have some crape myrtles and other trees that are more winter sensitive I overwinter in my garage where I monitor the temperature. That's why I asked if this tree would benefit a cold dormancy or if is just an adaptation that allows them to stay alive in colder climates. I was actually surprised when I found out that they could live in anything other than a tropical climate.
 

Jessf

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I ask because I bought a small "Mimosa" plant (labelled as such) and as Coh said it closes in low light and if you touch it.
 

coh

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I know there would be now way these would survive the winter if I put them in the ground but I have some crape myrtles and other trees that are more winter sensitive I overwinter in my garage where I monitor the temperature. That's why I asked if this tree would benefit a cold dormancy or if is just an adaptation that allows them to stay alive in colder climates. I was actually surprised when I found out that they could live in anything other than a tropical climate.
I'm doing the same thing with some plants that are not really hardy here - also a crape myrtle, a couple of coast redwoods among others. I let them get some frost in the autumn, then keep them in a location that's generally between 35-40 F most of the winter. Not sure how the "sensitive plant" would like those conditions - it would probably do better indoors but I can't say that based on experience. Now that we've established what it is, maybe others will have comments.

Chris
 

Mike423

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yeah, I'm basically doing the same thing with trees that are not as hardy.
 

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