Mimosa trees, also known as silk trees, originated in China. They grow easily in many areas and are even sometimes considered a weed. They are a medium sized tree that produces a lot of shade. This is a guide about growing Mimosa trees.
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Having a mimosa tree in your yard in the south is fairly common, but there are problems. That it is easy to grow and make beautiful shade fast is a plus. However, you can't overlook that the seed pod litter can be annoying.
They like full sun to part shade and will grow in real shady places. It is considered an understory or medium high tree. It can grow as wide as 20 feet but trimming keeps it in bounds. You can't beat the pretty pink flowers.
I have found that I cannot do root cuttings from this tree, but the seeds start easily and grow fast. If you feed and water regularly, you will have a blooming tree the second year. It will only be 3 to 5 feet but will set a few blooms, even in a pot. Full sun is best.
The leaves fall in autumn. This is the ideal time to prune if you wish to shape. When you trim keep in mind the mimosa has a flat-ish top and fans out on the sides, so keep the design for a good tree. This applies if you have a single trunk.
During dry times you will need to water. In the south, the older trees develop a problem sometimes in real dry weather and don't recover. Watering usually deters this.
In south Georgia, it is considered a pest by some, and a treasure by others, so you can try it. If you don't like it, then you pull it. It can be made into a multi-stemmed plant by radical trimming, and will last longer than a single trunk plant because new ones come up around the trunk. It doesn't send suckers off from the tree.
By gbk from South Georgia
To choose the right tree, you have to be careful to use its proper name as mimosa is also the common name of another beautiful tree. A true mimosa does not survive temperatures as low as 23 degrees F (-5 degrees C)
The tree called mimosa tree is in fact an Albizia. The majority of the Albizias grow in region with maximum low temperature of -10 degrees F (-23 degrees C) and they all resist dryness, but some of them survive lower temperatures like:
Caring for the Albizia is easy as you only have to plant it in a place where it will be protected from the wind and with enough space, branches can be 5 to 6 meters long. No pruning is needed.
To really appreciate its beauty and the fabulous scent of its flowers, plant it in a place where you can see it from above as the flowers only grow on the canopy of the tree and their perfume goes up in the air, from the ground level you can't smell it and you can't see the canopy covered with flowers.
Mimosa trees are beautiful when they're blooming. I was thrilled when we moved here to find a huge one in our side yard. We live in the country, zone 7B, and they grow wild here. Be warned, they grow fast, but have weak limbs.
Bees love the blooms, and yellow jackets often make nests in the ground underneath. They are the last to leaf out in spring and the first to lose their leaves in fall; blooms and seed pods make a real mess under the tree and mowing underneath can be dangerous because of the bees, hornets, and wasps that abound there.
We cut ours down about 3 years ago and still are fighting multiple sprouting seeds in lawn, garden, and flower beds. They are very prolific.
By Mary from Benton, KY
Please be careful where you plant a mimosa tree. They grow really fast, and they attract ants like crazy! Either of these can make the "pretty tree" quite a pest for you, and/or your neighbors.
By Eileen from Elk Grove, CA
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Here are questions related to Growing Mimosa Trees.
In an area where a mimosa tree was cut down, new sprouts are growing from the old root systems.
Can I cut a short section from the root with a 24 inch sprout attached and replant it in another spot, in the fall, successfully?
I have started many mimosa plants from seeds, but after a month or so they tend to get covered in mold and die. Is this due to too much watering? I have them indoors, near a window.
What do they look like when starting to grow?
By Ann from NSW, Australia
Do you have to feed a mimosa tree?
By Meria P. from Worthington, IN
I bought and planted a mimosa tree from a mail order nursery last month. It still does not show any sprouting or growth. Should I be concerned? The plant/stick with roots is 6 feet tall and planted in full sun.
By ILYNA P.
A friend dug up a couple of seedlings for me and I'm wondering when would be the best time to plant them? Should I wait till the fall or will it be okay to plant them now?
By Luciana S.
Is there anything we can do for our tree? Its bark is splitting. Will this kill the tree? Thank you.
By Marian A
I live in west/central PA. I planted a mimosa tree 5 years ago. It's growing great, but no blooms yet. Others in my area have mimosa trees that bloom beautifully in July. Any suggestions?
I would like information on growing silk trees or Mimosa trees in Oklahoma. How tall, what color? Do they get large?
By Joe D.
Is it easy or difficult to plant a mimosa tree from seeds? I collected some seed pods just outside of my city (in VA) and want to plant them, but I would like some tips. Also, how do I find out if my city or area of the country prohibits or discourages propagation of mimosa trees?
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Cheryl from Washington DC
By Eileen M. 10/04/2010
PLEASE check with your local agriculture department before you start planting mimosa seeds! While these trees may be pretty from far away, they are a real PAIN in the clean-up department to have in your yard! The flowers are messy, the leaves are messy, the trunks split easily, ants LOVE to farm the aphids that are attracted to the flower pollen and nectar...