Mimosa pudica (Sensitive Plant)

Scientific Name

Mimosa pudica L.

Common Names

Sensitive Plant, Common Sensitive Plant, Sleepy Plant, Dormilones, Touch-me-not, Shy Plant, Shame Bush, Shame Face, Shame Lady, Shame Plant, Shame Weed, Sensitive Grass


Mimosa pudica var. pudica, Mimosa hispidula, Eburnax pudica

Scientific Classification

Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Tribe: Mimoseae
Genus: Mimosa


Color: Pale pink or purple
Bloom Time: Midsummer


Mimosa pudica is a creeping annual or perennial herb. The stem is erect in young plants but becomes creeping or trailing with age. It can hang very low and become floppy. The stem is slender, branching, and sparsely to densely prickly, growing up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long. The leaves are bipinnately compound, with one or two pinnae pairs, and 10–26 leaflets per pinna. The petioles are also prickly. Pedunculate (stalked) pale pink or purple flower heads arise from the leaf axils in mid-summer with more and more flowers as the plant gets older. The globose to ovoid heads are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) 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.

Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Photo via philosoplant.lareviewofbooks.org

How to Grow and Care

Mimosa is capable of growing in some hardy zones and can survive in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 degrees Celsius). Although it grows exceptionally well in bright and full sunlight, it can grow in partially shaded areas as well. The plant can grow on a large variety of soil types like clay, loam, and sandy soil. The soil should ideally be acidic, but mildly alkaline soil would suffice too. The plant is known to survive in droughts and hence requires little watering.

The ideal time for planting a Mimosa is during the spring on well-drained soil. As these flowering plants prefer acidic soil, it is advised that you add peat moss and composted leaves at regular intervals to maintain its acidic properties. Water the plant and soil enough, but not so much as to saturate it. Keep the area under the tree clean, by sweeping away the fallen flowers and seed pods. Pruning of the branches should ideally be done during fall. This tree often tends to get infested by pests like webworm caterpillars. If affected, the branches should be removed as soon as possible to prevent any collateral damage to the plant. If not taken care of, the need to spray insecticides might arise. See more at How to Grow and Care for Mimosa.


Native to South America and Central America, but is now a pantropical weed. It can also be found in Asia in countries such as Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, and Sri Lanka.


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