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Mimosa Trees: Exotic, Aromatic, and Potentially Threatening?

Ms. Clark has a solid appreciation for hard science and likes to share interesting things she learns in the course of her research.

Read on to learn Mimosa tree facts and info that can help you as a caretaker. You'll also learn about Mimosa strigillosa, a type of ground cover.

Read on to learn Mimosa tree facts and info that can help you as a caretaker. You'll also learn about Mimosa strigillosa, a type of ground cover.

What Is a Mimosa Tree?

The mimosa tree, sometimes called the Persian silk tree, is a legume that can help enrich the soil where it grows. The Persian name means "night sleeper," and it is known as the sleeping tree in Japan. That is because the bipinnate leaves fold up at night and during rainstorms.

Bipinnate simply means that instead of having undivided leaves, the leaves are separated like a fern's or a palm frond's. The flowers range from pale to deep pink and form clusters like fine silk threads. They form long pods that are 5-7 inches long and enclose the seeds.

The mimosa tree—Albizia julibrissin, according to its scientific name—is native to eastern and southwestern Asia, but it does well in most climates here in the States. It is a fast-growing ornamental tree that can reach up to 30 feet or slightly more in height.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mimosa Trees

While these trees are beautiful and powerful, their effect on the natural environment can be problematic outside of their natural ecosystem. The severity of their impact is debatable, but as environments shift, it's becoming more and more important to study these trees.

Advantages of Mimosa Trees

  • The mimosa tree is cold weather tolerant and has been known to survive temperatures as cold as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Nature Hills Nursery in Omaha, Nebraska, claims the mimosa tree "acts as a natural de-wormer for woodland creatures."
  • From my own experience, in addition to being pretty and smelling wonderful, the mimosa trees that have been in my yard provided lots of great shade from the sun.

Disadvantages of Mimosa Trees

  • Unfortunately, the mimosa tree is considered by many horticulturalists and others to be an ecological threat.
  • Mimosa trees can grow in a variety of soils, produce large seed crops that travel and spread easily by wind and water, and re-sprout when damaged.
  • The mimosa, I am told, is a strong competitor to native trees and shrubs in open areas or forest edges.
  • Dense stands of mimosa severely reduce the sunlight and nutrients available for other plants.

I must confess that as prevalent as mimosa trees are here in North Texas, I have never seen a "dense stand" of them anywhere, and I'm not aware that they've ever gotten out of control. I have never heard anyone complain about them.

A close up look at the Mimosa tree.

A close up look at the Mimosa tree.

How to Care for Mimosa Trees

If you live in an area where mimosa trees are not regarded as invasive and decide to grow these beautiful trees on your property, there are several important steps to consider.

  1. First, plant mimosas in a well-draining, sunny site that provides lots of room for them to grow (mimosa trees grow up to 20 to 35 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide). If you are transplanting a sapling, replant the tree at the same level as its original site. If the soil is hard, incorporate compost or soil conditioner into the planting hole to improve drainage.
  2. Water the sapling when the soil is dry. Keep doing this until its roots are well established. This should take just one season. After doing this, water the tree, but only during severe droughts. Mimosa will die in soggy soil. Mulching conserves water and increases the time between waterings.
  3. Fertilize mimosa sparingly in spring or not at all. This tree is already a fast grower. Don't use too much fertilizer. It speeds up growth but can result in weaker branches. Make sure you use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. I'd recommend using it at half the rate recommended on the label.
  4. Trim out limbs that are crowded. Cut out dead and weak branches with lopping shears. Make sure to disinfect the tool blades after each use, so you don't spread disease to other garden plants.

Important notes: Mimosas will, most likely, not last a lifetime. These trees are prone to damage from disease and insects. They will probably grow quickly, reach their peak, then decline and die in about 15 years. These trees bear long seed pods that cling fast, even through winter.

Mimosas seed freely, so you're likely to find new seedlings in your lawn and garden each spring. Be mindful of mimosa seeds. You may end up with many more trees than you wanted.

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Read More From Dengarden

Tools You'll Need to Care for These Trees

ToolAverage Price

Shovel

$20

Compost

$5/per bag

Mulch

$5-10/per bag

Balanced fertilizer

$10-20

Shears

$20-70 (depends on the size of the shears and the brand)

Frequently Asked Questions About Mimosas

While these trees are beautiful and might make your yard more attractive, their impact on the environment must be considered. It's essential to understand the difficulties these trees can pose before you grow one.

Are All Albizia Julibrissin Trees Invasive in the U.S.?

Simply put, yes. Also called the silk tree, Albizia julibrissin is a beautiful but invasive tree threatening the landscape across the American South (primarily Florida). The tree is originally from China, where it is balanced in the ecosystem. However, in the U.S., this mimosa tree does not help the ecosystem.

Are Mimosa Trees Fast Growing?

The mimosa tree grows quite quickly. Usually, it adds two or more feet of height per year. Therefore, it can reach its maximum height of 20 to 40 feet in just 10 to 20 years. Fast-growing means that its roots spread quickly. The faster things grow, the faster they can reshape a landscape.

Do Mimosa Trees Have Invasive Roots?

The Mimosa tree's canopy creates very pleasing shade. However, its root systems are invasive. Its root systems can lift and crack concrete. The damage that they cause can be expensive to repair.

Can Albizia Julibrissin Get Diseases?

Yes. One common disease these trees contract is Fusarium, which causes wilting. This serious soil-borne fungal disease spreads through a few different routes. A tree defoliated by this disease will produce spores long after the plant has died.

The spores will continue spreading the wilt to healthy host plants through water, air, and insects. Any spores washed into the soil via rain and irrigation will create chlamydospores.

These thick-walled, dark structures allow the fungi to survive inactive in the soil for an extended period. When tree roots from host plants grow close to these fungal spores, the chlamydospores germinate and produce mycelium, which attacks the mimosa roots, infecting the tree.

Mimosa leaves close up.

Mimosa leaves close up.

Warnings About These Trees

  • The seedpods are poisonous, and the seeds within are even more so.
  • Do not allow livestock, pets, or especially children to put the seedpods or seeds in their mouths. They can cause seizures and even death.
  • Be sure to keep the seed pods away from animals and children. Rake them up as soon as they begin to fall, and teach your little ones and all of your children never to put the seedpods in their mouths. Do not assume an older child, or even an adult, who may be unfamiliar with mimosa trees, knows not to do so.
  • The flowers and leaves are not toxic, and some people cook them and eat them like vegetables or make tea from them, but avoid the seedpods and seeds.

Facts About Albizia Julibrissin

  • It's in the Fabaceae family.
  • Its native range runs from Iran to Japan.
  • Its average height is between 20.00 to 40.00 feet.
  • Its average spread is between 20.00 to 50.00 feet.
  • It blooms from June to July.
  • It has been widely planted in the U.S. as an ornamental and has escaped cultivation, naturalizing in many areas of the southeastern U.S. and California.
  • In the wild, it is typically seen growing in vacant lots, waste areas, clearings, wood margins, fields, and along roads.
  • Its genus name honors Filippo degli Albizzia, an 18th-century Italian naturalist who introduced the genus to Italy in 1749.
  • Its specific epithet comes from the Persian word gul-ebruschin, meaning floss silk, in reference to the flowers.

What Is Mimosa Strigillosa?

It has come to my attention that there is a good deal of confusion regarding mimosas. Some information states that the seedpods are often used as livestock feed, while other information says the seedpods and seeds are the most toxic part of the plant and can, at the extreme, cause death.

For that reason, I include information about mimosa strigillosa, also called powderpuff mimosa (because of its soft flowers) or sunshine mimosa (it prefers full sun but can do quite well in the shade).

What Is Mimosa Strigillosa Used For?

Mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff is a ground cover used as food for livestock such as cattle and chickens or turkeys. It is equally utilized by wild fowl, deer, caterpillars, and honeybees. No part of this strain of mimosa was listed as toxic, and its parts are used regularly as food by domestic livestock and wild animals.

What Are the Growing Conditions for the Strigillosa Species?

Mimosa strigillosa is a very hardy plant and can withstand severe conditions. Like the mimosa trees, this ground cover readily adapts to most soil types and can withstand drought very well. While it grows well from the seeds it produces, the stems also spread and form an overlapping vegetative mat, making it an excellent way to control erosion.

Important Notes About This Plant

I include photographs of this type of mimosa so that my readers may learn to recognize it. It does not grow into trees or bushes and remains fairly close to the ground, usually three to four inches high, but rarely as much as 12 inches high. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) says it is not considered an ecological threat or in any way invasive, yet the University of Florida Lee County Extension office says it "is difficult to control in restricted areas and is best grown with definite boundaries, such as pavement or sidewalks, where it can be more easily edged."

Note: Please see my list of references below, and by all means, check them out for more information on this plant and any questions you may have about it. Whenever you have questions about plants, gardening, lawn care, animals (either domestic or wild), pesticides or other chemicals, food, food additives or preservatives, recipes, or a huge variety of different issues and subjects relating to plants or animals, consult your local county agricultural extension office. They provide a free service provided by the county's tax dollars. Every state and most counties have one.

Facts About Mimosa Strigillosa

  • Alternate names include powderpuff, herbaceous mimosa and sunshine mimosa.
  • Powderpuff is utilized by both domestic livestock and wildlife. It serves as a food source for cattle, goats, sheep, and deer.
  • Powderpuff is a native, warm season, perennial legume which may reach up to eight inches in height.
  • Powderpuff is also an important plant for pollinator habitat. Bees utilize powderpuff as a pollen source while little sulphur butterfly caterpillars (Pyristia lisa) feed on the foliage.

Different Mimosa Species and Origins

SpeciesOrigin

Mimosa pudica

East Asia

Mimosa hamanta

India/East Asia

Mimosa aculeaticarpa

American Southwest

Mimosa borealis

American Southwest

Mimosa disperma

Ecuador

Mimosa hamata

Thar desert of the Indian subcontinent

Mimosa nuttallii

the central United States

Mimosa rubicaulis

India/East Asia

Clouds of Profuse Soft Pink Blossoms: My Experience With Mimosas

Hummingbirds, butterflies, deer, birds, and bees all love mimosa trees. They smell lovely, and they are my favorite trees in Texas, which is the first place I am aware of having seen them. I always look forward to their blossoms, which usually appear in late spring and last several weeks.

Some of the places I have lived in Texas have had mimosa trees right near my front door. One evening, about dusk, I was going out to run an errand, and I just happened to look up for some reason.

There seemed to be a fairytale-like cloud of pink cotton candy above me due to the folding of the mimosa tree’s leaves, making them invisible in the low light. The limited light made the feathery blossoms appear like soft fluff suspended in the air, and the smell was intoxicating.

The first vision of those blossoms has remained with me for years. That was when I first learned that the leaves of the mimosa fold for the night. I often wish I could have gotten a photo, but it probably would not have turned out well in such low light anyway.

Sources

Questions & Answers

Question: What is the best way to get rid of the powder puff?

Answer: Powder puff mimosa is a ground cover. I have never been in a situation where I wanted to get rid of this plant. I recommend you contact your local county agent for free advice on this subject.

Question: I've had my mimosa tree for 3-4 years and it hasn't bloomed yet. Is this normal?

Answer: “Preferring U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10, mimosas need to be large enough to cultivate flowers and subsequent seed pods -- younger trees do not have the energy reserves for reproductive activity. In general, a mimosa will not bloom until it is approximately 10 feet tall. Each tree grows to this height at different rates, based on soil nutrients and moisture availability. Additionally, the mimosa must be old enough to have extensive branches for blossom development,” (Homeguides.SFGate.com).

Since height and extensive branches are important to the flowering of the tree, it would be a good idea to have this in mind when trimming the tree so as not to stunt the development of the tree itself, or the blossoms.

Question: One of my trees is losing it's leaves and oozing a clear liquid. Is the tree dying?

Answer: I would advise you to contact your county agricultural extension service that is a free service paid for by your tax dollars. Your agriculture extension service will all certainly be able to answer your questions and advise you on how to proceed. If in fact your tree is diseased you will want to remove it before it infects others.

Question: Can you grow a mimosa tree from seeds? If so, are there any rules or directions to get a good start?

Answer: Here in North Texas where I live, mimosa trees are easy to grow from seeds. The seed pods fall from the trees and in that process may be blown for quite some distance by the wind. Wherever the seed pod lands, a mimosa tree is likely to sprout and start growing. I used to mow the tiny trees down along with the grass because I didn't want a forest, just the tree(s) I already had.

The new trees may not do as well in other parts of the country due to climate or soil. Contact your local county agriculture agent for free information specific to where you live for the best information on how to start a mimosa tree or trees from seeds and how to maintain them. Here where I live, they grow much like weeds, and so making sure they have enough water and trimming them occasionally like any other trees is about the only care they require.

Question: What is the optimal time to transplant a mimosa tree?

Answer: My best advice is to contact your local county agriculture agent and ask him/her this question. Their advice is free. Your tax dollars pay their salaries, etc., so take advantage of their expertise.

I would incline to transplant the tree in the spring so that new root growth would help the tree to get rooted in its new space, and so that it would have a chance to recover before hot weather arrives, assuming you ever get that. Here in North Texas we will have temps in the low hundreds (100-108º F.) within the next few days and transplanting a tree of any size in those temperatures would likely kill it.

Make sure to give the tree plenty of water when you transplant it and for several weeks after. Also make sure the place you transplant it to will have good drainage and not be too close to buildings, driveways, sidewalks, etc., because at some point the tree's roots may be a problem for these things, causing them to rupture and crack or break up.

Question: It's mid-May and my mimosa tree has no leaves. Is it dead?

Answer: If it still has no leaves by the first week of July, it very well may be dead. Most of the mimosa trees here in North Texas don't blossom until late May or the first part of June. Be patient. Mimosa trees are not trusting that bad weather is over. They like to be positive. Many times here in North Texas we have had everything leafed out and blossoms everywhere only to get a hard freeze, and all the blossoms and new leaves are burned off and must start all over. Mimosas seem to know this.

Question: Are mimosas trees strong enough for a Toddler swing?

Answer: I have seen some mimosas that were so big that they were almost certainly strong enough for a child's swing, but even so, I would be hesitant to put a swing on any of the branches since they do break quite easily. I'm sure you don't want to harm the tree by putting too much weight on any of the branches, but more importantly, it would be terrible if the branch were to break while a child was on the swing or anywhere beneath the branch that broke. In my opinion, it would be better to choose a different tree for the swing.

Question: Can a small mimosa tree be put in a large container for a deck plant?

Answer: I should think it could, but keep in mind that most plants of any kind do best in pots that fit their size. You might start with a smaller biodegradable pot that can simply be set into a larger biodegradable pot when the small one is nearly outgrown. Keep that up until you have the plant (mimosa tree) thriving and then put it into its final pot. By doing this, your tree (or any plant) will grow faster and stronger.

Question: If a Mimosa is damaged, does it die?

Answer: If the damage is severe enough, the tree will die, but most of the time the damage isn't that severe, and the tree will be fine. Many people complain about mimosas because they are very difficult to kill and tend to grow like weeds.

Question: How do you trim a Mimosa tree?

Answer: Trim it like any other tree, lopping off branches that hang too low, shortening branches that you consider too long. I have never done anything special when trimming mimosa trees and they have always come out well. As I have said, they grow easily and fast, and recover from most things very well.

Question: I had a mimosa tree for twenty-two years. It slowly died. The main branches had worm holes in them. Could I have treated it and gotten some more years out of it?

Answer: I recommend you contact your Clark County agricultural extension service. Here is the URL to one of their online sites -- it has their phone number, location, etc. I suggest you save time by calling first, to determine which of their departments deals with trees. They should be able to answer any questions, and it is a free government service. https://www.unce.unr.edu/counties/clark/.

Question: How can I get rid of what seems to be an invasion of mimosa sprouts in my yard? The house was vacant for several years and the new sprouts seem to have taken over. Or could this be some kind of ground cover that the leaves look like a mimosa?

Answer: There are both mimosa trees and mimosa ground cover which I explain in this text. The trees can spread seeds quite thickly so that dozens of little trees will get started. They are easy to grow in the moderate to warm climates. Most people just mow them off when they cut their grass.

I realize that some people are especially particular about their lawns. I do not know what would be the best actions to take to get rid of these small spouts you describe.

My best advice is to contact your local or regional agricultural county agent. There is no charge as our taxes pay for this service whether anyone uses it or not, so why not use it? They should have good advice on how to proceed with the problem you describe.

Locate the phone number and physical location of your specific county agent by putting the words, "county agricultural extension office," or "county agricultural agent," in the Google search box. Instead of saying "county," place the name of the county you live in or the county where the mimosa problem is, in front of the word county. For example, "Madison County agricultural extension office," or Columbia County agricultural agent/extension office."

Question: How long does the mimosa tree produce these seed pods? Do they need to be raked up?

Answer: Like most plants, seeds are produced towards the end of the blossoming stage. The mimosa seedpods may mostly remain on the tree all winter and fall just as the new blossoms are beginning. A bagger lawn mower can make the job of picking up the seed pods easier as you can do it at the same time you're cutting your grass. Between cuttings, you may want to check for new fallings of seedpods if you have pets or young children prone to putting the seedpods in their mouths. Personally, I have never heard of anyone being affected by the seedpods, so putting them in one's mouth can't be very common.

Question: Do any mimosa trees have a different type of flower than the puffy feathery ones?

Answer: No, not that I know of. Some mimosas do have yellow flowers instead of pink, but I haven't seen any yellow ones here where I live. I have only seen them in pictures online or in the encyclopedia.

Question: When do you plant a mimosa tree from the pot that it came in, into the ground?

Answer: When you are certain the last freeze of the spring season has passed, it should be safe to plant your tree in the ground. Most of the time mimosa trees will grow like weeds and once it is established and starts producing seed pods it will likely fill your yard with more mimosa trees unless you remove them or cut them along with the grass.

If you aren't sure if the last freeze has passed, plant the tree sometime during the month of June so it will have time to get used to its new situation before cool weather arrives again.

Question: Can you use an organic potting soil to plant a Mimosa tree?

Answer: I have never tried to plant a mimosa seedling or seed in potting soil. The seeds easily germinate here in North Texas and generally grow wherever they fall from the tree or blow in the wind unless mowed or otherwise removed. If you are able to obtain mimosa seeds fairly easily without having to purchase them, it wouldn't hurt to try to grow them in a pot or potting soil mixed in with your regular soil in the ground. I would be interested to know the results if you do this as I have never known anyone who did this.

Question: What time of the year can you prune a mimosa tree?

Answer: I have generally pruned mimosa trees in the spring, and it has had no ill effect, but these trees often grow like weeds, and as you probably know, it can be pretty difficult to kill some weeds.

For the best answer, contact your county agricultural extension office. But from my personal experience, spring is the best time. By pruning in the spring, the tree has several months to adjust to the pruning.

Question: Does rose fertilizer hurt Mimosa trees?

Answer: Mimosa trees do best with slow acting tree fertilizers. Mimosas are usually quite hardy, and the danger comes more from strong winds. Because even though they grow like weeds and are hard to kill, they are generally a weak tree. The faster they grow, the weaker their limbs are likely to be, and the more likely strong winds will damage them. I would be surprised if fertilizers intended for roses would harm the mimosa tree, but I cannot give you a definitive answer because I have never had a problem with Mimosas regarding fertilizers, nor do I know anyone who has.

Question: For how long does the mimosa tree produce these poisonous seed pods and during what time of year?

Answer: Like most plants, seeds are produced towards the end of the blossoming stage. Mimosa seedpods may mostly remain on the tree all winter and fall just as the new blossoms are beginning. A bagger lawn mower can make the job of picking up the seed pods easier as you can do it at the same time you're cutting your grass. Between cuttings, you may want to check for new fallings of seedpods if you have pets or young children prone to putting the seedpods in their mouths. Personally, I have never heard of anyone being affected by the seedpods, so putting them in one's mouth can't be very common.

Question: Our lawn under and around the mimosa tree was thriving earlier in the summer. Then, it started looking spotty and not so healthy once the mimosa blossoms began dropping. Do you think the mimosa blossoms are too acidic (or something) for the lawn? Or is it the shade from the mimosa tree that might be impacting it?

Answer: It could be one or both of those reasons. Grass grew just fine under the mimosa tree in my front yard where I lived here in North Texas several years ago, so it might also be the kind of grass planted there. I recommend you consult your county agricultural extension service. They should be able to answer your question and that service is free, paid for by tax dollars, so take advantage of it. They may be able to recommend a particular treatment or type of grass that will resolve the problem.

Question: Is the mimosa strigillosa also called a “sensitive” plant? My mother used to have some in a pot, and when we kids touched it, it’s leaves would quickly fold up.

Answer: Mimosa leaves are sensitive to touch and light. The leaves fold up in a rainstorm and as a result of low light. They fold up at night, usually at dusk before it gets totally dark. I'm not aware of the leaves folding from being touched by squirrels or birds, but they may. I have never paid attention to that.

Question: Will a Mimosa tree live in Central Florida?

Answer: Mimosa trees (also called silk trees) can and do live in Florida. They do very well there and are considered invasive in most parts of Florida.

Question: I live in Muranga County, in Kenya. Can you please tell me where I can get a mimosa tree in Kenya?

Answer: I recommend you search tree nurseries near where you live as well as nurseries here in the states. If you search with Google, I think you may be able to find a tree nursery that will ship mimosa seeds or a mimosa tree to you.

© 2012 C E Clark

Comments

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 08, 2020:

colesta552, thank you for your inquiry. I would say no, it isn't normal for your tree to develop as it has. Sounds like the soil is not right for your tree. I would recommend that you contact your country agricultural agent. You can locate their address and phone number online. They will know what is going on with your tree, and can even test the soil if need be. Their advice is professional and free. Your tax $s pay for this agency, so take advantage of it.

colesta552&gmail.com on August 07, 2020:

I transplanted a mimosa tree a couple of years ago. It grew 1 trunk about 20 foot long. Only a few leaves. So last fall I cut to about 3 foot up from the ground. Now its got 3 branches about 15 foot long and no more branch offs. Is this normal?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 01, 2020:

KB, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees.

KB on July 30, 2020:

I do find these trees pretty. But. I'm not sure where they started in my neighborhood years ago, but i now have volunteer mimosa trees along my garage. They are difficult to get rid of.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 15, 2020:

Mia, thank you for your inquiry. Please read the section above subtitled, "Warnings About These Trees."

The seedpods are poisonous and the seeds within even more so, to humans and animals alike. Never allow children or anyone to put them in their mouths, nor your pets either. Rake the pods up regularly to prevent anyone from putting them in their mouths.

Mia on June 14, 2020:

Ive thoroughly research info about the mimosa tree. My friend seems to think that the seed pods produced by the mimosa tree is a food source for lawn moles and grubs. My research has not reveal any impact on lawn moles and grubs but it did state that the pods are poisonous to humans. Please confirm. Thanks, Mia

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 02, 2020:

Susan Crofts, thank you for stopping by!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 18, 2019:

Janie, thank you for your inquiry. I don't know if your mimosa is dying. First I would advise you, as I have several before you, to contact your county agriculture agent. It's free and s/he will know everything about the trees/bushes/plants that grow in your area and how to discourage or encourage them, depending on your desire.

To find your county ag agent go to Google and put the name of your country, plus ag agent in the search box. Example: Marsh county Indiana agriculture agent. That should bring up it's address and phone number. You may be able to get the info you need with just a phone call.

Second, I would ask if you have been watering this mimosa seedling? Trees need water as much as grass does. Here in N.Texas where I live, we have awfully hot weather -- 104º yesterday. We also have droughts periodically. When those two things come together lots of people who don't water their trees lose many of their trees. It's always sad (IMO) because the trees lost are usually huge and several years old. They aren't easily replaced, because it takes years to get them that big.

Please do contact your county ag agent. Water your little tree at least a couple of times a week, about a gallon's worth (more as it gets bigger), and hopefully it will perk up. It may need some nourishment as well, and your ag agent can give you info on what to feed it.

You didn't say where you live, so it could be that you are going to have an early autumn. Have any of your other trees lost leaves earlier than usual? I wish you the best of luck with your little tree.

Janie on August 15, 2019:

I'm starting a Mimosa that came up I the area that one was many years ago. It is 2 years old now, looking very good, no blooms this year. It is middle August and just lost a lot of leaves. Is this normal? There are still green leaves out on the outer limbs. Please tell me it is not dying!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 14, 2019:

Jay from Portland, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with your mimosa tree. Yes, during certain seasons the mimosa can be a little messy, but there are lots of trees that are even messier. And they aren't as pretty either. ;) Yes, it's good to rake up the seed pods since they are poisonous to humans so that little children who might be walking around the yard don't decide to pick one up and taste it. And the blossoms can be messy too, but they are so, so magical at dusk when only the blossoms are visible and they seem to be huge floating clouds. Thank you again for taking time to comment!

Jay from Portland, OR on August 12, 2019:

We have a Mimosa tree in the front of house. It is 40' high and 20' wide. It is very pretty! It starts late in May or June from its winter slumber. To may friends I describe it as a pretty lady! One thing people do not mention, but it makes lots of mess!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 06, 2019:

Jonathan Dent, thank you for your question. Grass has grown under all the mimosa trees I have had over the years.

I know grass requires sunlight, so maybe your lawn isn't getting enough of that where your neighbor's mimosa tree overhangs it? Other than that, I can't think of any reason why the grass died in your yard under the mimosa tree.

I recommend that you call your county agricultural agent located in your county's extension office, and see what s/he may know about your situation. Their service is paid for by tax dollars and usually free to the citizens in the county where they're located. Every county has an extension office so far as I know. They know everything about the vegetation in your area and may be able to give you some advice about what to do with your grass.

You can find your extension office by Googling it. Put Harper County Extension office, Wisconsin,in the Google search box, for example. You would put the name of your county and your state in place of the one's I've used, of course. Googling your extension service should give you their phone number and physical location if you aren't already aware of it.

I suppose it's possible that the kind of grass you were trying to grow may not have liked the location or the type of soil for some reason, and a different kind of grass might work better. Whatever the problem was/is, your county agent should be able to suggest some possible solutions.

Jonathan Dent on August 06, 2019:

I laid a new pristine lawn two years ago and where my neighbours Mimosa tree overhangs the lawn it has died. I know the seeds are poisonous but can they also kill everything that grows underneath?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 06, 2019:

Bobbie O'Brien, thank you for reading this article and for sharing your thoughts on this beautiful tree. I think sharing your experience with these trees, and your love for them, adds so much to this article and provides information that many people will appreciate knowing. Thank you for taking the time . . .

Bobbie O'Brien on July 04, 2019:

I have about 200 mymosa trees growing in my yard from the pods that drop onto the ground. I just let them go crazy. I'm thinking about starting to sell them and they will grow anywhere ..shade, sun out of rocks , wood there a wild tree that i love it off all trees they've got to be my absolute favorite of all. Along with Magnolia trees one blind in the spring and mymosa in the summer

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 09, 2019:

Robert Sacchi, you are welcome. Glad you enjoyed this article!

Robert Sacchi on March 27, 2019:

Thank you for posting this information and warnings.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 17, 2018:

Thank you Peggy Woods, for revisiting this article. I have made several additions since you were last here. It is one of my most popular and successful articles.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 15, 2018:

It has been 2 years since I have shared this good article about Mimosa trees. Time to do so again. Hope you are staying warm with this early cold snap we are experiencing.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 29, 2018:

Betty, thank you for stopping by. I'm afraid I don't know of any way to prevent the tree from producing seedpods. You might check with your county agricultural agent or extension service. If there's a way to do anything regarding plants of any kind, they will know it. And the service is already paid for by your tax dollars, so give them a call or stop in for a visit.

Betty on August 26, 2018:

We have a large memosa which is lovely except for the seed pods. Is there a way to sterilize the tree? Or, better yet, prevent it from making pods after it blooms?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 14, 2018:

FW Sunshine, thank you for sharing your mimosa story. I really enjoyed reading about your experiences.

I noticed when I had a huge mimosa in my yard that the 'babies' were often spindly at first, 2 to 6 inches tall, sprouting up like weeds. I just mowed them over when I cut the grass. Presumably they would have grown fairly large if I'd let them. The new little trees were only noticeable if one really looked at them. They were plentiful, but they just didn't draw much attention. They looked like spindly weeds growing and some people might have thought that's what they were if they didn't know better.

There was also a very straight tall mimosa about a block from where I lived. Totally different from the mimosas that had sprawling branches that are most common where I live. It reminded me of the tall white pine trees in Wisconsin where I'm originally from because of its height, at least 35 feet, and it's straight trunk.

From a distance the tall mimosa looked very much like a tall white pine tree, but up close it became obvious the leaves were very different, and of course when it bloomed it looked more like the mimosa it was. Sadly it was cut down to make room for a new housing development. I really wanted to get some of its seeds to see if I could get some tall mimosas to grow for me.

I have seen pictures of the yellow mimosas, but have never seen any of the actual trees.

So glad you enjoy mimosas and that you shared your experiences with them with me and my readers.

FW Sunshine from Paris, France on August 12, 2018:

Thank you for your article. I was online searching to find the typical blooming season length for a mimosa tree; we had a recent pea-sized hail storm and the nearby mimosa lost most of its blooms, but there appear to be a few erupting again, and I was wondering if we would enjoy another spurt of prolific blooms and perfume. Here's my mimosa story. Growing up in Houston, we had a mimosa tree in our front yard. It actually did not seem to grow very fast and never got over 20', but I loved its blooms. My brother and I were the "yard help," and I do not recall ever having significant pest problems or any volunteers sprouting up, either. I also recall that we used the seeds often for crafts, staying away from all the oleanders which were touted as poisonous. As an adult with a home in Fort Worth, Texas, for 30 years, I actually sought to buy a mimosa tree for several years, but never found them at nurserys. Many neighbors had them as a focal point of their front yards, and a neighbor behind me had one that loomed over a back fence providing afternoon shade to a couple of my multitude of raised beds. Again, I do not recall any volunteers. On morning walks, girlfriends and I would know when we were a couple houses away from a yard with a mimosa tree; at the height of the blooming season, the fabulous aroma would almost knock your socks off. I searched repeatedly to buy mimosas when I replanted one of my front yard beds, then decided on dessert willows based on their drought tolerance and lovely blooms. So I never got my mimosa. I moved this past year to Paris, renting an apartment in the oldest part of the city. Lo and behold, my 2nd floor living room (considered 1st floor in France) looks out on a playground/park and the huge old windows frame a gorgeous view of a giant mimosa tree (see profile pic). When I saw it as we moved in, I laughed that it looked like a mimosa, but since it was not yet in bloom, I wasn't sure. As a riot of blooms began to appear in early June, I confirmed that I am living across from one of the loveliest and definitely the largest (I'm pretty sure it is at least 40 feet high) mimosa trees I've ever seen. Also, at Butte Chamont, a park I take my dog to in NE Paris, there are huge, lovely mimosa's in several places (but not in clusters). When you search for mimosa trees in France, you find a variety that has long yellow blooms, not the pink-yellow puffy blooms from Texas mimosas. But I smile every morning as I wake up, walk out for coffee, and enjoy my neighborhood mimosa tree. And I'm going to pluck up some seed pods (or do a graft) to try to bonsai a mimosa this next year.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 10, 2018:

Tommy M., thank you for your inquiry. It's possible that there's something wrong with the soil your trees are growing in, or that they may not be getting enough water. I recommend you call your county agriculture agent ASAP and get some free advice on how to deal with this situation. They may need to do a soil analysis. In any case, I wish you luck in resolving this problem.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 10, 2018:

Chow Mom, I'm glad you're able to get the seeds to germinate. It sounds like your climate may be less than ideal for the mimosas. The soil may be a problem also. Here mimosa trees grow like weeds with no issues. Truly hot water may be too hot. You might consider warm water for a longer period then 24 hours.

Tommy M. / Eastern Kentucky on July 09, 2018:

The leaves are falling off most of my trees. Trees are completely bear. What can I do to stop this

Chow Mom on July 07, 2018:

I live on the edge of the Mojave desert and a beekeeper. Bees love them. They don't appear to be invasive and in 13 years not a single invader. I started plants from seeds a month ago.The seeds don't germinate easily. They need to be removed from the pod. The shell is very hard so each end must be shaved down with a nail file, soaked in hot water for 24 hours. The shell plumps up. They are then ready to plant in starter pods. They germinate in a few days. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-mimosa-tree-seed...

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 28, 2018:

Debra Andrews, thank you for stopping by. I have no idea what you are talking about. I have never heard of the condition you speak of relating to any tree much less a mimosa. I recommend you contact your country extension service agent who has free information relating to all plants and trees common (and not so common) to your area.

debra andrews on June 26, 2018:

Mine has a hole /pot at the base what can I seal it with ?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 30, 2018:

Benjamin, thank you for commenting and for stating your concerns. I have listed my sources for the information herein at the bottom of the section labeled Mimosa Strigillosa . . . Also, John Minton, Gardens of Tomorrow has issued the warning about the seed pods being poisonous. See his entry under What Makes Mimosa Special? at the following link. http://gardenoftomorrow.com/mimosa-albizia-julibri...

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 22, 2018:

Rachel, thank you for taking time to comment. Lots of green grass may be optional depending on how large the mimosa tree is and how much sunlight reaches the ground directly beneath it. I have seen some huge mimosas and sometimes the ground directly around the tree trunk is a little sparse. :)

Rachel on February 16, 2018:

Well you get a green grass cover under you tree, it's green and very juicy like clover coming up late winter early spring

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 02, 2017:

Nilza, thank you for commenting and sharing that information!

nilza on November 29, 2017:

Brasil has beautiful mimosa trees.....

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 27, 2017:

Brian, thank you for your inquiry. The only things I can suggest is that you check with your local nurseries if you are in the South where mimosas are most common -- they may be able to order them if they aren't in stock, and that you check on nurseries online. Never having purchased seeds of this sort, or trees generally, there is no particular nursery I can recommend. Rather than Google "nurseries," Google "where to buy red mimosa tree seeds." I hope you are able to find what you're lookin for. Good luck!

Brian Pantalleresco on November 22, 2017:

Can you please guide me to buy Red rare mimosa seeds

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 13, 2017:

California Girl, just glad if I can help. Good luck with the mimosa project!

California girl on November 01, 2017:

Thank you for the reply. Definitely helped with where I can put it. I live out in the country no sidewalks but the side yard has no trees whatsoever. It does concern me about the seed pods being poisonous I do have chickens but they are cooped up as long as I can keep the pods away from their living space I think I could definitely make it work. I have a friend that has a lot of these and has offered to give me starters. I say it's a go! Thanks again I will continue to check this site for additional comments

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 01, 2017:

California Girl, thank you for perusing this article and the comments too. I like to read the comments on an article too, because they often include additional info that wasn't in the article.

Mimosa trees tend to have shallow roots, but they are very strong and powerful. The trees can withstand a lot of difficult conditions overall. I do not recommend you plant mimosa trees very near sidewalks, foundations, driveways, etc., because they will lift them up and crack them. They also tend to be messy trees, so don't put them by the pool. They will crack any concrete you have surrounding it and drop blossoms and leaves etc. into the water continually.

Perhaps along the property line would be good so that you can readily view them hopefully without their encountering sidewalks or driveways or foundations.

Six feet may be a little too close. I recall one house I lived in a few years ago that had a huge gorgeous mimosa in the front yard. It was a very small front yard and the tree pretty well covered it. The sidewalk going to the front door was cracked and broken in a couple of places and the tree stood at least 10 feet from it. Much as they make a beautiful centerpiece for the front lawn, I believe if I were planting them I would put them along the backyard fence line so hopefully they would be well away from both mine and the neighbors concrete work.

Unless you have a huge front lawn. I have seen homes with front yards half the size of a football field, no kidding, and one could put theses trees all over an area that big that has no concrete work to close with no concern.

California girl on October 31, 2017:

I read most of these comments and skimmed them all without seeing anything about their root system. Do they run deep or along the surface. My leech line is about 3 feet down, but would plant them about 6 ft over from it. Do you think they would be ok or is that too close?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 14, 2017:

Diane, thank you for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you love these trees as much as I do and that you enjoyed this article!

Diane on October 09, 2017:

I love these trees. I first noticed them as a child at the age of 8. Since then I always wanted one of my own. When my Mother passed away my husband got one for me. I have it in our yard and it is beautiful! Just 2 days ago we lost our beloved cat of over 17 yrs. We decided under this tree would be perfect spot for her. I will be reminded of her and seeing the beautiful tree filled with butterflies and humming birds seemed fitting. My cats name was Pinky, because she was attracted to the color pink! And this tree having pink fluffy blossoms seemed soft and sweet like her. Thank you for posting all the information about this lovely tree.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 06, 2017:

Grannyma 1, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your appreciation for these beautiful trees! I'm so glad you're enjoying your tree and chimes together. :)

Grannyma 1 on August 31, 2017:

Love mimosa trees, they are beautiful, in my area I haven't noticed any spreading like weeds, central North Carolina. I also love wind chimes and have combined the two. Now I have a beautiful tree that provides whimsical chimes when the wind blows!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:

Kim, from Taylor, MI, thank you for taking time to comment. I'm so glad you were able to find this article. I hope you will take time to read the comments too, because they can be very helpful sometimes.

One commenter talks about how invasive this tree is in her area in the state of Pennsylvania. I know that's still a little south of Michigan (I'm originally from WI, and I know how cold it can get up in that part of the country), but I think if you plant your mimosa in a somewhat sheltered area, maybe where some stands of other trees can surround it on 2 or 3 sides, it may do OK. Once it gets well rooted, I think from what people are reporting in the comments here, even the cold may have a challenge trying kill it.

I'm so glad you got to see this beautiful tree. I really hope you are able to get it to do well up there. :)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:

Season, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees with me and my readers. You have added some very helpful information and I really appreciate your taking the time to do so!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:

Larry in Gowdy Indiana, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees and for your inquiry. I wish I could tell you if the roots of your trees will damage the foundations or floors in your buildings, but I honestly do not know. I would recommend that you contact your Rush County Extension Office that is there to answer all manner of questions about trees and other plants at no charge to you (765- 932-5974).

Regarding transplanting mimosa trees, if your trees aren't very large you might prefer to start new ones. It would be easier. Just harvest some of the seedpods from your big 50-year old tree and place