What is Mimosa Tree?
The mimosa tree is believed to have originated in China, although it is also common in Middle East, East Africa, Australia, and the rest of Asia. In 1749, Filippo degi Albizzia brought the tree out of Asia to introduce it to other countries. Today, you can find mimosa tree in many parts of the world since it can adapt to different external environments.
A part of the legume family, it is also known as the sleeping tree in Japan. Its Persian name, meanwhile, literally translates to night sleeper in English. This is basically because its leaves close at night or when there is a rainstorm.
More than just being beautiful, mimosa tree also comes with a distinct fragrance. With this, it is attractive to birds, bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. This will help to encourage natural pollination in the garden.
Physical Characteristics of Mimosa Tree
In general, mimosa is a fast-growing tree that can easily reach a height of 20 to 40 feet. With the right external conditions and proper care of the plant, its lifespan can reach up to 20 years.
One of the distinguishable characteristics of mimosa is the bipinnate leaves. The latter means that instead of having a single leaf without a division, the leaves are separate, similar to a fern. They are soft and green. The typical length of the leaf is five to eight inches, while the width is anywhere from three to four inches. Again, as mentioned earlier, the leaves are unique because they fold at night.
Mimosa tree is also known for its beautiful flowers, with colors that range from deep to light pink. They are showy, but this is not because of their petals, but because of the stamens that look like delicate threads. More than the explosion of bright colors that they can add in the yard, the blooms are also popular because of their intense fragrance.
Varieties of Mimosa Tree
Before planting a mimosa tree, you have to be familiar with the different types that are available. Here are some of the choices that will confront you:
A bushy and short cultivar, the average height of this tree is only ten to 15 feet. It also tends to have a longer lifespan than other types. If you live in a place with a dry climate, this can prove to be a perfect choice.
Its flowers are creamy white, which makes it quite unique compared to the other types of mimosa tree.
It has bright pink and showy blooms, making your landscape more beautiful. In most cases, the tree can be as tall as 25 feet.
If you are looking for a rare variety, this will make a good choice. It is unique because of the burgundy foliage, as against others that are bright green.
If you want to have a mimosa that can provide shade in the garden, choose this variety. It has an approximate height of 40 feet and has a wide canopy.
How to Plant Mimosa Trees
While it is possible to grow a mimosa tree from seeds, this is one thing that we do not recommend, especially if you are an impatient gardener. With this, a better choice is to transplant. You can purchase a young plant from the nursery and transfer it to the garden.
After purchasing a seedling, the next thing that you have to do is to find the right location for the tree. It should be in an area that receives full sun. Also, take note that most varieties can be tall and wide, which is why you need to take into account space considerations.
As a part of evaluating the location, you need to analyze the soil. It prefers a soil that is well-draining and moist. It should not be salty. The good news is that it can survive whether the soil is highly acidic or slightly alkaline.
Dig a hole on the spot where you will grow the tree. Make sure that it is deep enough to cover the root ball. This will also allow you to aerate and loosen the soil, which will provide the roots with the room to breathe and grow through the years.
Before burying the root ball, you have to amend the soil to make it nutrient-rich. In this case, you can add sphagnum peat moss to improve fertility and drainage of the soil. Place the mimosa tree in the hole, spread the roots, and cover it with soil. Water from the ground and press firmly.
Common Pests and Diseases
One of the many things that you will love about mimosa tree is that it is hardy and disease-resistant. Nonetheless, this does not mean that it is completely free from problems. It can suffer from vascular fungal disease, which, at its worst, can kill the plant. Mimosa wilt can also be a significant problem. When it comes to pests, on the other hand, the most common source of the problem is webworm caterpillar.
How to Take Care of Mimosa Trees
You do not have to do a lot to keep the mimosa tree in its best shape. Nonetheless, here are some care and maintenance tips that will be essential:
- There is no need to water the plant frequently, especially after the initial stage of growth. Water the plant only once in a couple of weeks. If it is dry season, you need to water more, but still, you do not have to do this daily.
- Regular pruning is a must. This does not only make the tree more compact and appealing, but this can also prevent wilt. You have to take out any dead or damaged parts as soon as possible before the problem spreads to the healthy parts of the plant.
- Fertilizing is essential to feed the plant with the nutrients that are necessary for its survival. The best time to fertilize is early in spring, a time when the tree is in its dormant stage. It is best to use a water-soluble fertilizer.
Mimosa tree will indeed make a nice addition to your lawn. With its colorful and fragrant flowers, it will enhance the appeal of your garden. Lucky for you, growing this tree is not labor-intensive. Plus, it can resist many external conditions, such as drought.