It moves! This amazing little shrub, commonly known as the sensitive plant, is a wonder of nature and reacts to your touch. Sweep your hand along its feathery leaves and watch them jump together! It blooms pretty little pink puffy pom-pom flowers and caring for this botanical marvel is also super easy - there really is SO much to love.
Where's it from?
Mimosa pudica is native to tropical South and Central America and belongs to the Fabaceae family of plants, which means it’s related to peas, beans, and legumes.
An east-facing window that gets morning sunlight is ideal for Mimosa pudica houseplants.
Sensitive plants need plenty of bright light so set your new plant baby in a sunny window that receives some direct sunlight but not all day long! If your only option is a south-facing windowsill then place your Mimosa pudica a couple of feet back from it.
Mimosa pudica likes it cosy, but anywhere between 16-30C is fine - the typical temperature range of most people’s homes!
Moist and humid is the mantra with Mimosa pudica! It thrives in high humidity and likes its soil to be constantly damp (but not soggy!). Place your plant near a humidifier if you have one, or mist regularly with a spray bottle and make sure you water regularly to prevent the soil drying out.
Annual or perennial?
Mimosa pudica often grows as a perennial in nature but it’s usually treated as an annual when grown as a houseplant.
Did you know?
Mimosa pudica gets its name from the way it moves! It’s derived from the Greek word for “mime” and the Latin word for “bashful,” in reference to the way the leaves react light and touch - as if the plant has the consciousness to be shy and physically retract when upset.
And here’s a quick (and basic) science lesson for the curious…
The remarkable leaf motions of your new Mimosa pudica are called “nastic” movements. Nastic movement is the plants response to things like touch, heat, air motion, and shaking. And, since the leaves close up fast enough to observe in real-time, this ability is also referred to as “rapid plant movement.” The other plant besides Mimosa pudica that’s famous for its ability to move rapidly is the carnivorous Venus flytrap.