3 Surprising Facts About Mimosa Pudica

Mimosa pudica is also known as the sensitive plant or sleeping grass. Here are 3 surprising facts about the increasingly popular mimosa pudica.

TUT Staff

The mimosa pudica may sound like a fancy drink that you would have with Sunday afternoon brunch, but it’s actually a plant that responds to touch.

Have you heard of this plant before and want to learn more about it? It has many fascinating properties that you may not know!

Keep reading to learn more about this interesting plant.

What Is the Mimosa Pudica?

If you’ve heard the term “mimosa pudica” before, you might wonder what it is. This fascinating weed is a creeping vine plant. The name “pudica” derives from Latin, meaning “shy, bashful or shrinking.”

It’s also known as the sensitive plant, the action plant, the sleepy plant, the touch-me-not, and the zombie plant.

This fascinating piece of botany is unique because it is one of the few plants that can quickly respond to stimuli. Plants don’t feel pain because they don’t have a central nervous system or a brain to interpret, but they can respond to stimuli.

Sunflowers, for example, are known for turning themselves towards the sun. However, this process takes several hours. The mimosa pudica is unique in that it can respond quickly.

Just as the Venus flytrap can quickly close its “mouth” when insects touch the small hairs inside, the mimosa pudica closes its leaves when touched. The plant also has sleeping behaviors. Shortly before sunset the plant will close its leaves and open them again a few hours before sunrise. 

1. Invasive Species

One surprising fact is that the mimosa pudica is actually invasive to many tropical areas. 

Because of its low and creeping nature, it increases the risk of fires. It has also been listed as a noxious weed in parts of Australia and can be poisonous to cattle. If you decide to grow this plant, keep a careful eye on it as it can overtake other plants and be dangerous to grazing animals. 

2. Grow It at Home

The mimosa pudica is a popular plant to grow at home. Because of its unique responsive nature, many amateur horticulturists find this plant to be a lot of fun.

If you do want to grow it at home, you’ll want to start from a seed.

Soak the seeds in warm water overnight until they become swollen and then plant immediately in a special seed-starting soil mix. Cover the seeds with at least an inch or two of soil and although the soil should be kept moist, you must not overwater them.

Place the plant in an area with bright light and wait for the seed to germinate which should take two to three weeks when kept at a warm 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once the seedlings have emerged and are about four inches tall, you can transplant them into larger pots and you continue to care for and grow the plant. 

3. Choose Your Size

The mimosa pudica is closely related to the Mimosa pigra which is the giant sensitive plant. While the mimosa pudica does well as a smaller houseplant, this larger plant can grow to the size of a large shrub. 

Additionally, the Mimosa diplotricha var. diplotricha is another variety that is a climbing plant with branching limbs. 

Are You Looking for More Information?

If you liked learning these interesting facts about the mimosa pudica and want to keep learning about household plants and gardening, keep reading!

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