Mimosa Species, Humble Plant, Sensitive Plant, Sleepy Plant, Touch-Me-Not

Mimosa pudica

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mimosa (mim-MOH-suh) (Info)
Species: pudica (pud-EE-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Mimosa hispidula



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Camarillo, California

Elk Grove, California

Glendale, California

Huntington Beach, California

Pittsburg, California

San Diego, California(2 reports)

Wasco, California

Woodcrest, California

Boca Raton, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Perry, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Buford, Georgia

Hoboken, Georgia

Jesup, Georgia

Honolulu, Hawaii(2 reports)

Kailua, Hawaii

Kaneohe Station, Hawaii

Kapaa, Hawaii

Maunawili, Hawaii

Wailua Homesteads, Hawaii

Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Norco, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Battle Creek, Michigan

Sewell, New Jersey

Deposit, New York

Forest Hills, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Eugene, Oregon

Stewartstown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Corpus Christi, Texas

Cypress, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Lynchburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 7, 2019, markdeutsch from Pass Christian, MS wrote:

Please change the zone rating to zone 8. This plant grows wild on my land, and after two winters that dipped to 13 degrees F, the plants bloomed again in summer. Have not determined if they regrew from roots, or seeds, or both.


On Aug 1, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Native to North, Central, and South America, it is now a pantropical weed. It's considered an invasive species in Australia, Tanzania, South Asia and South East Asia and many Pacific Islands. It is naturalized in Ohio and the southeastern US from Texas to Maryland.


On Jul 31, 2016, smeggy from Cherry Hill, NJ wrote:

I loved these plants until a few weeks ago. I think these are really fun & cool plants-as a houseplant. I actually almost ordered one recently....But it is supposedly a tropical plant so I am baffled as to why I found a 3 ft. tall one growing wild on my property. It is along the fence near my garden. I live in Southern NJ (Zone 7). It has a very thick stalk and looks like it has been there for a while. I know it is invasive plant but never imagined it would survive around here so I was never worried about it. Now i am. It is right next to a spot where we had three old ivy covered oak trees taken down a few weeks ago. They chipped and mulched up a lot of the wood and it spewed out several feet. My garden plots happened to be in the line of fire. Found three mini ones that popped up in the ... read more


On Dec 23, 2013, mimosalurver from Male',
Maldives wrote:

Mimosa Pudica is a plant which amazes the Scientists which leads us to believe in a creator. These plants just don't come out of nowhere but its nicely planned. I hope to give my plants to every member of my family. Glad to see all you Mimosa lovers out there ,


On May 23, 2013, PupillaCharites from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This endemic to tropical Central America (the same as the US variety, Mimosa pudica var. pudica) is always a hit with children who are amazed that the Sensitive Plant reacts to their touch. It also has a circadian rythm in that the leaves open during the day and fold to sleep at night.

Very pretty lavender colored delicate flower heads (match the delicacy of the leaves) which to inquiring minds can look other-worldly, starting with the football shaped compound bud on a relatively substantial stalk (I uploaded a macro image of the bud's detail).

Don't plant it near your garden since the runners proliferate just below the surface, nor in the yard if you have one of those chemical monoculture lawns and are in the South (US). On the flip side, the roots fix nitr... read more


On Apr 16, 2012, imelyod from Perry, FL wrote:

I'm not sure how this plant invaded my front lawn but it has almost completely taken over. I smile here... for it used to be a conversation piece that was "cute". With the combination of annual seeds that mature between mowings and the viney growth that allows it to creep, it has become an intolerable nuisance. I have a sandy soil here in this Big Bend area of Florida. In our proximity to the Gulf, for the past 4 to 5 years we have had considerably less rain in this area than most other areas even within our county.

I've been down on hands and knees for three springs and into the summers pulling it up, along with spraying different types herbicide on it. Yet, it still is almost totally covering 1/2 of my entire front lawn. And... I live in a rural area so my front law... read more


On Feb 20, 2012, nedbenson from Cypress, TX wrote:

Nasty, nasty, nasty invasive weed in St. Augustine lawns in the Houston area. Terribly difficult to get rid of, as any herbicide that kills it will also kill St. Augustine. Only solution is to waint until the soil is deeply saturated and then pull or dig to get the thick, flesh tap-root totally removed. It took me 3 years to get rid of it in my lawn!


On Jan 3, 2012, chele61636 from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

Ok, as many have stated these are everywhere here. Also, as many have also said, I too played with these as a child. I never thought about them being "special or cool" because I grew up with them. I do see where that would play in for people who have not seen this.

Anyway, My daughter got an "exotic plant" present thingy for Christmas. One of the seeds were this plant. The other 3 were "Pitcher plant" (Sarracenia Mix?) "Brain Plant" (Ceosia Amigo) and "Eyeball Plant" (Spilanthes Oleracea). I also picked up a plant from the local college and planted it in the center of the container just so she could have some sort of plant as a reminder that something is growing in there (since you can't see the seeds!)

Ok now that that long explanation is out of the way, I ... read more


On Jun 4, 2010, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

At home in northern Burma (Myanmar), this grew wild as a weed. Goats loved it and us kids used to chase our goats towards these so that they could help themselves to all they can eat buffet. They were not considered anything special, although I do see a resemblance to the mimosa trees, both in their leaves and their flowers. You could touch the first two leaves of its frig and watch them close down their leaves one by one (yawn, we were bored out of our minds with nothing to do). We had to walk through fields of these while chasing goats and believe me, the thorns got us everywhere on our legs. We bled quite a lot with these, but we were children. I am not going to give this plant a negative just because it grew wild at home and was considered a weed (and have some unpleasant memories ass... read more


On May 21, 2010, angedawn47 from Lake Charles, LA wrote:

Considered a weed here.


On Apr 28, 2010, Haloparc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

As a child, I was one to bypass the typical bike riding and playing outside in leu of reading encyclopidias. I first saw this plant in there and have always wanted to find one. 35 years later, I see them at a local store and purchase them. Be carefull of buying these 'kits' from places like Hobby Lobby as unless they have sold many, they could contain 'old' seed and be useless. I contacted the company and they sent replacement seeds and I have been growing my mimosa for about 3 weeks now! Out of the 20 seeds, 8 of them sprouted. (much less than the 80% germination rate they advertize.) I had a wonderful moment when I touched the very first set (3 pairs) of leaves and watched them react.
To answer the question from a previous post, the seedling (on the variety I am growing.. and ther... read more


On Dec 27, 2009, Jesusvp from Ensenada,
Mexico wrote:

Hi, i would like to buy some seeds for this wonderful plant. Do you know where i can buy?



On Jul 2, 2009, hollyhocklady from Shepherdsville, KY wrote:

This is a fun houseplant. Touch its leaves and watch them curl right before your eyes!
My seeds were up in 5 days... I love this plat.


On Jan 7, 2009, Snug_As_Bug_Rug from Sterling, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Thomas Jefferson planted Sensitive Plant seeds at Monticello in 1811, and it has been know to have been listed on many early nineteenth-century seed lists.


On Jun 10, 2008, CurtisJones from Broomfield, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Although you may have read some negative comments about Sensitive Plant when it is grown in the wild, it is a fantastic houseplant. Kids love to touch its leaves and watch them curl right before their eyes! If the plant is agitated further, an entire branch will droop down (a temporary condition). It has fern-like leaves with reddish-brown prickly stems and 1" globe-shaped pale lilac pink flowers that appear in mid-summer. You can grow it in a container outside or as a houseplant. Since it is only a perennial in the tropics, it should be brought indoors for the winter. Sensitive Plant is not carnivorous, and it should be grown in containers only, since it is naturalized in some parts of the United States.


On Jan 3, 2008, delphenuse from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

Planted seeds after soaking in two bouts of hot water in some houseplant soil targetted for seed starting.
The seeds sprouted in 2 days and have been growing visibly by the hour.

Great plant for discouraged hobbyists who have not had much success. Plus its fun to play with!

How old does the plant need to get before the leaves will become sensitive?


On Oct 15, 2006, passiflorakid from cardiff,
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

this plant is very fun!! i grew it from seed about 2 months ago and it has already set buds and is making new leaves every day!!!!
i cant beleive there are negative posts on this!


On Apr 13, 2006, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Sensitive Plant, Sowing Instructions: Soak the seed in hot water (140F) for 2 hours before sowing. Sow late winter to mid spring at (70-75F) on the surface of a good well drained seed compost and gently firm down. Keep soil damp but not wet. Do not exclude light, sealing in a polythene bag after sowing is helpful. Germination usually takes 21-30 days. Mine germinated fast by pouring the hot water on top of them & leaving them overnight. Some sources recommend soaking the seeds for 10-20 minutes in either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol instead.

Some mimosoids are difficult to germinate, owing to tough shells.
Once established, mimosoid plants are quite easy to grow.

Mimosoids are legumes, distantly related to peas and beans. The important thing abo... read more


On Nov 3, 2005, KorgBoy from Townsville,
Australia wrote:

They're definitely very interesting plants, and it's fun to watch their leaves fold up and then slowly open up again. I live in the tropics (Townsville, Australia), and these plants can really do well here. The well-known method of soaking the seed pods in very hot 'tap' water for 20 minutes, followed by very shallow planting of the seed pods in moist soil under bright conditions should have them germinate in 5 days or so. Once a seed germinates, the pair of embryonic leaves (cotyledons) grow really fast, within 1 to 2 days. The first leaflets develop really quickly as well. After the very first set of leaflets open up, it takes maybe half a day before they seem to become sensitive to touch. The new leaflets continue to increase in size, taking a couple of days or so to get to their full l... read more


On Sep 19, 2005, dannyrobertson from leven,
United Kingdom wrote:

i have one on my window in scotland and have little seed pods at the base of the flower stem. my plant is 2 foot tall and the its only 3 mouth old. i get 3 to 4 flowers a day. they only last one day. my child loves it we can spend a long time tuoching its leaves.


On Dec 30, 2004, klaude from Cairns,
Australia (Zone 11) wrote:

A very annoying weed in Northern Australia where it spreads in lawns - very 'ouch' if you walk on them barefooted. Any disturbed ground will become infested with them. Known here in Cairns as "Sensitive weed" - control in lawns is best achieved by being vigilant when mowing and pulling the plants out whenever you see them.


On Jul 17, 2004, ariodlove from Louisville, KY wrote:

Each time my mimosa gets a new leaves, they get spots on them and die. Now all except the very top part of my plant has leaves and has never flowered. Also I read somewhere that the more you touch them, the faster they will die because this plant is not long lived in the first place.


On Jul 7, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

About 20 years ago I acquired a few seeds of this plant. One sprouted and grew in my garden for several years to about 2 feet tall and wide. It was amazing how quickly the leaves closed when you touched them. The San Diego climate seemed well-suited to this plant but it died after about 5 years... It did produce flowers but I don't recall any seed resulting therefrom. The common name hereabouts is Sensitive Plant.


On Jul 5, 2004, hekdek from Columbus, OH wrote:

This plant is very fun! Evenyone loves to 'play' with it. Here in Ohio I will treat it as an house plant. My husband remembers his Grandmother having one when he was growing up!


On Aug 19, 2002, cmb wrote:

Grown from seed sown late May. Now August and plants are approx. 6ins high.
Leaves close when touched or wafted by breeze and also stems collapse at night so that plant looks dead! Fascinating plant for Children. Here in Middle England plants are treated as Houseplants.