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.
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.
The 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!”
It 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!)
It’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 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.
The 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.
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?