With its frond-like foliage the Mimosa can make an attractive feature plant, but is grown mainly for its novelty value. When touched or even subjected to a strong draught of air, the leaves will immediately fold and wilt, usually recovering again within about half an hour. This unusual characteristic makes the plant particularly appealing to children, although continual teasing can make the foliage tired and less responsive, and too vigorous stimulation will damage it. The Mimosa can be grown for quite a reasonable period as an indoor plant but it does tend to become rather straggly and untidy quite quickly. For this reason, it is better to grow the plant fresh from seed each year or to obtain new young plants.

Plant type : Foliage plant with sparse, erect habit
Season of interest : Spring and summer mostly, but can live longer
Size : 20-30cm (8-12in)
Flower : Fluffy, pink, globular, produced in summer
Leaf : Tiny leaflets on frond-like leaf stalk, 5-7.5cm (2—3in), which fold together in pairs, with the leaf stalk drooping, when disturbed or touched
Temperature : 18-21’C (65-70°F)
Aspect/Light : Well-lit situation with some exposure to sunlight
Humidity : High
Watering : Evenly moisten compost throughout year, but never make too wet
Feeding : Once every two to four weeks with houseolant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Sow seeds in early spring in seed and cutting compost at 18-21°C (65-70°F)
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Children - who cannot stop teasing the plant!
Availability : Infrequently available in spring and summer
Uses indoors : Windowsill novelty plant or close to window on table or furniture