The species is native to South America and Central America, but is now a pantropical weed. It grows mostly in shady areas, under trees or shrubs.
The leaves also close under various other stimuli, such as touching, warming, blowing, or shaking. These types of movements have been termed seismonastic movements. The movement occurs when specific regions of cells lose turgor pressure, which is the force that is applied onto the cell wall by water within the cell vacuoles and other cell contents.
When the plant is disturbed, specific regions on the stems are stimulated to release chemicals including potassium ions which force water out of the cell vacuoles and the water diffuses out of the cells, producing a loss of cell pressure and cell collapse; this differential turgidity between different regions of cells results in the closing of the leaflets and the collapse of the leaf petiole. This characteristic is quite common within the Mimosoideae subfamily of the legume family, Fabaceae. Common name:
sensitive plant, humble plant, shameplant, touch-me-not, chuimuiColor:
pink globular flowersBloom time:
from mid- to late summerHeight:
Mimosa pudica can grow up to 5 feet high and 3 feet wide, although it will normally only grow 1 foot to 3 feet tall in the garden.Difficulty level:
EasyPlanting & Care
Touch Me Not is a wonderful and curious plant which is found growing wild throughout the tropical world. It native origin is unclear. Its fern-like leaves close up and droop when touched, usually re-opening within minutes. It has prickly stems and small, fluffy, ball shaped pink flowers in summer. It grows to a height of 50 cm with a spread of 30 cm.
In some areas this plant is becoming a noxious weed. The stem is erect, slender and branching. The leaves are bipinnate, fern like and pale green- closing when disturbed. Stalked pale pink or purple flower-heads arise from the leaf axils. The round to ovoid heads are 8-10 mm in diameter (excluding the stamens). On close examination, it is seen that the floret petals are red in their upper part and the filaments are pink to lavender. The fruit consists of clusters of 2-8 pods from 1-2 cm long each, these prickly on the margins.
The pods break into 2-5 segments and contain pale brown seeds some 2.5 mm long. The flowers are pollinated by the wind and insects. The seeds have hard seed coats which restricts germination.Sunlight:
Partial shade to full sun for at least eight hours each day. The sensitive plant s leaves will close if it does not receive enough light (leaves will also close at night).Soil:
Plant your sensitive plant in peat moss and perlite (ratio of 1:1 or 2:1). You can also use loam and sand, respectively, in your container garden.Water:
When it comes to watering, provide consistently moist potting soil but never let it get soggy.Temprature:
70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 C)Fertilizer:
Give the sensitive plant half-strength fertilizer weekly during the growing season.Care:
- Propagation: The sensitive plant is most often grown from seeds.
- Pink flowers produce seeds.
- Sow the seeds in moist peat moss and perlite, and place clear plastic above the planting medium, as seeds need a lot of moisture to sprout.
- Expect the seeds to sprout in 14 to 21 days.
- You can also propagate Mimosa pudica by taking cuttings.
- Cut a branch that has one leaf node and plant it in the peat moss and perlite planting medium.
- Place a plastic bag or plastic wrap over the top of the sensitive plant and the plant container in order to keep the air around the plant humid.
- This hardy plant should not be bothered by garden pests or disease.