Here’s our beginner’s guide covering how to grow Mimosa hostilis (syn. Mimosa tenuiflora) from seed. An important perennial tree or shrub species native to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, this useful plant is most often called by the informal names ‘Carbonal’, ‘Jurema’ and ‘Tepezcohuite’.
Growing at quite low altitudes in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11, the thorny hostilis can quickly grow up to eight metres in height. It’s a fast-growing species, even when in cultivation in containers (we’re in the UK and our indoor grow is looking pretty healthy so far). Germination rates are vastly improved by seed pre-treatment (either scarification or soaking is fine) and an ambient temperature is roughly 25°C. This species may also be propagated via cuttings, presuming you already have a suitable mother plant from which to take them…
Anyway, here’s our short overview of how to grow Mimosa hostilis from seed. Incidentally, we have some wonderfully fresh Mimosa hostilis seeds on offer as of writing, plus we occasionally stock rare and desirable varieties too, such as Mimosa hostilis var. inermis! If you want to know how to grow Mimosa hostilis from seed, read on…
How to Grow Mimosa hostilis from Seed
- Clingfilm (or saucepan lid or other cover)
- Fertiliser (10:10:10 ratio)
- Mimosa hostilis seeds
- Plant pots (or other suitable growing containers)
- Potting soil
- Pruning saw
- Pruning shears or loppers
- Saucepan (or bowl, etc.)
- Heat mat (optional)
- Place the Mimosa seeds into the saucepan and pour in enough very hot but not boiling water to cover them.
- Cover the saucepan (we use Clingfilm) and then put it somewhere safe to soak for roughly twenty-four hours.
- While the seeds are soaking, fill a plant pot with an equal mixture of perlite and sand.
- Water the growing mix until it’s soaked before allowing it to drain off completely.
- Once the twenty-four hour soaking period is up (resulting in swelled seeds – try soaking any that haven’t done so for a bit longer), it’s time to sow the Mimosa seed. Using your (clean) fingers, gently push each seed into the soil – roughly two and a half centimetres deep should suffice.
- Place the plant pot somewhere sunny with an average temperature of around seventy-five degrees centigrade. If your growing environment suffers lower temperatures than this, you might consider using a heat mat to warm things up.
- Dependent on your climate, the Mimosa seeds will germinate around the five or six-week mark. Make sure the soil is kept moist during this time, else they won’t be able to sprout!
- Once the young Mimosa plants are thirty or so centimetres tall, it’s time to relocate them to a larger container. The new pots should be filled with potting soil and sand in equal proportion. Put the pots back into the same (or an equivalent), sunny, location and then transplant the Mimosa so that they’re at the same depth as they were during their previous growth stage.
- Lightly water the plants at first, allowing the top five centimetres of the soil to dry out before increasing the watering to average amounts from the next.
- When the Mimosa are approximately fifty centimetres tall, they can be planted into the ground/a larger container (dependent on your climate zone) in full sun to partial shade. Plant at the same depth as the plants have been growing.
- Water the Mimosa whenever the top ten centimetres of earth becomes dry.
- Mimosa hostilis benefits from an annual application of 10:10:10 organic fertiliser, which is best introduced in springtime, once average temperatures reach over sixty-five 65 degrees F. Apply the fertiliser to the earth around the tree following the manufacturer’s instruction and raking it out to a radius roughly equal to the widest part of the Mimosa tree.
- Activate the fertiliser by watering the earth until it’s soaked to a depth of around ten centimetres.
There you have it, a basic overview which covers how to grow Mimosa hostilis from seed. Good luck and happy growing – this truly is an amazing plant!