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Mimosa Trees Are Rampant Seeders

Mimosa trees are one of those trees that you either love or hate.  They are considered by some to be “trash trees” because of their short lifespan.

They also have weak wood which breaks easily in high winds, and are vulnerable to disease.

To make it worse, they are a rampant spreader, sending out hitchhiker trees everywhere in the neighborhood that is near the host tree. 

But they are also very beautiful too, so whether to grow them is a matter of personal choice.

Pink flowers on a mimosa tree.

 

Mimosa Trees – Love them or Hate them?

My neighbor has a full grown tree that is just lovely.  It is about 14 feet high and is always covered in lovely flowers in the summer months.

It draws hummingbirds like crazy and I love the look of it.

Mimosa tree behind a fenceThe flowers are so pretty. Fluffy and pink and the hummingbirds just can’t resist them!

When I planted my Test garden, a small seedling appeared in it just under the canopy of the neighbor’s tree.  I thought “How lovely!”

Mimosa seedling on pine bark mulchIt had rooted quite close to the fence line and pretty close to the neighbor’s tree, so I decided to move it, and it died.  I was heartbroken.  At first…

Then about a month later I as I did more plantings in the test garden, I kept finding more and more of these seedlings.

Dozens and dozens of them.  I decided I did not need one after all!  So I kept pulling them up when I discovered them. 

The other day I went down to the far end of the garden and low and behold found this (at least 30 feet from the neighbor’s tree!)

Big mimosa tree and bag of brown mulchIt’s about 2 feet tall and in a great place in the garden so I guess I will grow one, since it insisted and hid from me until it got that size.  I am going to move it to the lawn though. I have enough seedlings in that bed to keep me busy pulling them up.

So…as far as how to grow them.  Nothing to it at all!

How to grow mimosa trees

Should you decide you want one, this is an overview of how to grow it.

Soil and watering needs

As is evidenced by my tree, any well drained soil will do. The seedlings grow in lush garden soil as readily as nutrient free soil.

Watering is not an issue.  It tolerates even drought well.

They are best planted in a lawn, so that you can mow around it and keep the seedlings at a minimum.

Propagation

Propagation is well…not an issue.  It’ll take care of that for you, but basically after flowering the tree has long pods with seeds in them.

If they break open, your whole neighborhood will all have two or three of the trees.

Flowers and leaves of mimosa trees

The flowers are large and beautiful. They Attract hummingbirds and butterflies and bees like crazy.

New trees take four years to bloom from seed.

Mimosa trees have leaves that close up at night and in response to touch – a trait called Nyctinasty.  This protects the pollen and reduces moisture loss.

Invasiveness of mimosa trees

This tree is as invasive as all get out and can choke out native plants. It is a good idea to remove seedlings as they appear and keep it to just one tree.

Problems with mimosa trees

Mimosas can easily die from vascular wilt.

Hardiness of mimosa trees

The tree is hardy in zones 6-9

For more gardening information, please visit The Gardening Cook on Facebook.

Update on the tree I planted.  Man alive, that thing just won’t stop growing. It is no more than 6 weeks old and it is at LEAST 10 feet tall right now. 

It seems to grow about 1 foot every few days. 

Mimosa tree in a gardenThe only thing that has me concerned is that the flowers are yellow, not pink like the host tree has.    They also look nothing like the host tree flowers.

Yellow mimosa flowers.The small plants are still dropping into my garden  bed and I keep pulling them up. There is another HUGE mimosa tree behind my shed and I have not ever noticed what color those flowers are. Perhaps my tree came from that host!

What do you think about mimosa trees? Do you consider them a weed, or do you like them?

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rick

Saturday 15th of May 2021

i think this is a locust or sesbania of some form. so maybe there's one of those hanging around your neighborhood as well. :)

Michelle Howell

Thursday 31st of May 2018

Your plant with yellow flowers is sesbania.

jim

Wednesday 16th of September 2015

Well, I think I have on of these volunteering as my father would put it. Started out with furn like leafs, then stared growing what I thought was a different leave, long waxy leaf. but to my amazement at the tip of the new leaf stared sprouting out the furn like leafs. looking closer I found all the steams had that leaf like structure, I just had not noticed it sooner because the plant was small. I have not been able to find anything about it. Does anyone know what this plant is? Has one central trunk, loves heat, full sun, little water and is growing fast.

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