The Touch-Sensitive Plants Known as Mimosa Pudica or Touch-Me-Not

Updated on May 2, 2019
VioletteRose profile image

I love my family. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, photography, painting, cooking, gardening, listening to music, and movies.

Mimosa Pudica the touch sensitive plant with flowers
Mimosa Pudica the touch sensitive plant with flowers | Source

Also Popularly Known as Tickle Me Plants

The touch sensitive plants known as mimosa pudica have small and beautiful pink flowers. The leaves of this very small plant fold up on a gentle touch and remain like that for few minutes. If you touch the plant stems, the plant itself will look like it has slept, because it will fold all the leaves and even bend and collapse a little. The leaves also remain folded after sunset and they actually look like they are sleeping at night.

Mimosa Pudica plants are actually sensitive to physical parameters like touch, temperature, and light, which means the plants fold and shrink their leaves and even look like they are dead when someone touches them or when there is a sudden variation in temperature or light. This also explains why the leaves of the plants fold upon after sunset. However, it appears that they react more to a touch compared to a variation in temperature or light.

The touch me not plants used to grow like weeds around my home garden once, and we didn't care because we loved the small beautiful flowers. When I was a child, I was actually very fond of this plant, mainly because I was very curious to see them folding their leaves when I touched them. Many times I have felt that, in the moment I bring my hand near to a leaf, it would start shrinking even before I touched it. Sometimes, even the nearby leaves also shrunk by themselves.

The other popular names of these plants are 'tickle me', sensitive plant', 'sleeping plant', 'shy plant', 'humble plant', 'chuimui', 'ant plant' etc.

The name touch me not is also used for another species, but here we are discussing about the species Mimosa Pudica.

Close up of a mimosa pudica flower
Close up of a mimosa pudica flower | Source

Why You Should Grow Mimosa Pudica Plants in Your Garden?

Growing the mimosa pudica plants in your garden has both positive and negative outcomes. These plants propagate quite fast, so you need to control the propagation. If not, they may affect the growth of certain plants and crops nearby.

The small plants that grow near the ground will have thorns in them. So if you are walking in your garden without slippers, you may hurt your feet. It is not something to worry about, as the cut will be really small. Actually I have cut my feet many times in this way when I was small.

If you are growing them indoors or inside pots in your garden, you don't have to worry about the propagation of the plants and also their thorns.

You might wonder why you have to grow this plant in your garden, if they grow like weeds and become quite invasive causing problem to other plants.

So here is why you should grow them in your garden.

The reason for growing mimosa pudica plants is that once they start flowering, you have a container full of beautiful and soft pink flowers and they can look great in even very small gardens.

Also, if you have kids I am sure they would enjoy the 'touch me not' characteristic of this plant, which would add to their childhood curiosity and fun. Most people actually grow them not just for their flowers, but also out of curiosity. Just make sure you grow them in containers!

You can see the close up photos of the mimosa pudica flowers and leaves here.

Close up of mimosa pudica plant leaves
Close up of mimosa pudica plant leaves | Source

Do They Have Medicinal Uses?

The plants are said to have some medicinal uses despite the fact that they have some toxicity and so they are not edible for consumption. The leaves, flowers and roots have medicinal uses, especially for treatments related to skin and inflammations. The home treatments for inflammations and several skin problems include the grinding of leaves, flowers and the roots to a paste and applying it on the affected area. The plant is also said to be effective against cobra venom and also the headaches from migraines.

However, these traditional treatments are not scientifically proved and so if you want to try it out, there should be proper guidance and understanding. I have heard a lot about the medicinal use of this plant while I was growing up, but frankly, I have no experience using them even once.

The medicinal uses of mimosa pudica may be a subject with scopes for more studies.

The shrinking leaves of a mimosa pudica plant
The shrinking leaves of a mimosa pudica plant | Source

Growing the Mimosa Pudica Plants

Mimosa pudica plants are rather easy to grow as they don't require much care.

The plants are grown from seeds, which can be sown to a container of medium size. You can use a knife to gently nick the seeds to make the germination process more faster. Just make sure that you nick the seeds gently without damaging them. Alternatively, you can also soak the seeds in water for about 24 hours.

The soil in the pot should be well drained and watered, but it should not become soggy. Water the plants regularly once the seeds germinate, just make sure watering does not make the soil soggy.

Place the pots where they can get good exposure to sun, but if they are kept indoors you can use artificial light or just use the window light.

The ideal temperature suitabl for the growth of these plants is 70 to 85 degree Fahrenheit, but they can manage on slightly colder conditions too. You can move the plants indoors during wintertime and also if the outdoor temperatures become too cold or hot.

Mimosa pudica plants are shrubs that usually reach about 30 to 40 cm in height, but some bigger plants can also reach up to 60cm. They are perennials.

The Science Behind

It is believed that the physical reactions the plants show in response to the external factors is actually an attempt to protect themselves from outside dangers. The many experiments done on the mimosa pudica plants have actually led to the conclusion that they have a signalling system within their body which helps them to respond to the external triggers.

And the most amazing finding is that the plant develops learnt behaviours on continuous application of external triggers. In one experiment, scientists sprinkled water over the mimosa pudica plants for several times. The plants responded for the first few times by folding the leaves and shrinking, but they stopped doing so after the experiment was repeated for few more times. This led to the conclusion that the plant develops learnt behaviours. The interesting thing is that the plants which underwent the experiment didn't respond to the sprinkling of water, even when the test was repeated after a gap of one month.

In short words, it is found that if the plants learn that the external trigger is not dangerous to them in anyway, they stop responding to the particular trigger.

Maybe they have a really great signalling system which gives good memory and intelligence to the plants!

Watch the Movements of the Plant Here!

Have You Ever Heard About the Touch Sensitive Plant Mimosa Pudica?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 days ago

      Thanks for the great content. Best regards.

    • profile image

      Sheila Agona 

      10 months ago

      We have these plants nearly everywhere growing at road sides back yards .

      I just started to boil leaves and drink.

    • profile image

      Louise Childs 

      15 months ago

      I live in Florida and we have them growing in trees. Here they are called the resarection plant. The are covering branches in live oak trees

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Just search TickleMe Plant on amazon to grow your own indoors in one of the TIckleMe Plant kits. It is amazing.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      How can I safely get rid of them. They have completely taken over my yard.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow! Very interesting! We have a type of mimosa growing wild here, but I did not know these facts. It is considered an invasive species. Thanks for sharing this.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Atlanta

      Thank you all for stopping by :) I really appreciate all the feedback on my hub about the lovely mimosa pudica plant!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Mimisa pudica are mesmerizing to watch as they close their leaves. Great hub and information about them.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This strikes a bell but I didn't recall any key facts. I learned so much from your hub and enjoyed your description and the description of the study. That is quite some plant. Voted up and so interesting! Sharing too.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      5 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I have not heard about this variety but I love Mimosa trees. Your details on growing this as a houseplant make it sound very easy and I might try that. Voted up and interesting.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Our entire school grows TickleMe Plants and our kids and parents love them. Thanks for the article, we will include it with the classroom kits we buy and give to each teacher.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have the mimosa growing on the outside of our property and it does have a lovely flower. A beautiful hub about a unique tree.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an enjoyable hub. I love Mimosa pudica. It's such an interesting plant!

    • profile image


      5 years ago


      I've seen this plant is a small area in front of Salt Lake Public Library and we call it locally sleeping grass. I like it for as a child like you I was fascinated that a plant closes up when you touch it-I'd put my footwear near it and it closes or goes to sleep like mode. Thanks for a very interesting hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)