Mimosa trees are native to Asia and the Middle East and were originally introduced to the United States in 1785. Their beautiful fluffy, silky blooms range in color from white to shades of red and deep pink that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The appearance of the delicate blooms (that typically begin to emerge in June) has given mimosas the nickname “silk tree.”
Choosing a location:
Mimosa trees are rapid growers that mature to 20-25 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide and are recommended for growing zones 6b-9b. They offer a stunning display of blooms, attract delightful wild life and require little to no care or pruning.
Soil testing is always recommended when planting a new plant. However, mimosa trees are highly adaptable to many different environments (except for salty soils).
1) Your location should have well draining soil and receive full sunlight.
2) Dig your hole twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. This will allow the roots to spread through the loosened soil in the early stages.
3) Mix in peat moss with the soil removed from the hole with ratio of one part peat moss to four parts soil. Sphagnum peat moss will aid in the fertility and drainage of the soil.
4) Insert the tree into the planting hole and gently spread the roots by combing them with your hands.
5) Gradually back-fill your hole with the amended soil and gently firm the soil down with a shovel. Make sure not to pile higher than the soil level, or crown, where the tree’s roots meet the trunk.
6) Water your planting site deeply with a slow trickling hose. You’ll want to water enough in order to saturate down to about an inch below the soil.
It’s very important that you water your mimosa tree sparingly. The need for watering should only be during excessive dry spells. The peat moss soil mixture will assist with drainage since the tree will not do well with excess water. A steady flow of water from a hose for about 10-15 minutes once every two weeks should be enough. Anything more than that results in diseases related to over watering, like root rot.
When fertilizing your mimosa tree select an all-natural, organic, slow-release tree fertilizer. Fertilize in the early part of the spring growing season when it’s not too hot or cold. Check your forecast to be sure no heavy rain fall will occur within a couple of days of applying the fertilizer. Too much rain could potentially wash away a lot of the slow-releasing fertilizer. Apply to the soil according to the package instructions. Typically slow-release is granular or pelletized and can simply be sprinkled around the planting site. Water will gradually soak the nutrients into the soil where your mimosa tree will absorb them over time. Other forms of slow-release fertilizers can be in the form of stakes that insert into the ground near the tree or in a liquid form that can be applied using a sprayer. Water after applying your fertilizer to prevent salt build up, which can burn the tree.
Your mimosa tree will not require very much attention but could benefit from some minor pruning in the fall season. Remove branches growing along the lower trunk area at a 45-degree angle with sterilized pruning shears just beyond the neck collar (where the limb connects to the trunk). Cutting the neck collar can damage the tree. Removing the lower limbs encourages more growth towards the top of the tree. A pole saw is useful for removing dead limbs, for pruning branches out of reach and for forming the shape of your mimosa’s canopy. Thinner branches should be cut 3-5 inches from the end of the limb to promote thicker canopy growth.
Mimosa trees are not only known for their splendid feathery blooms but also for the enchanting smell the blooms produce. “Albizia Calm” is the extract derived from mimosa trees that is known to support mental calmness. A healing salve can also be made from the mimosa tree and it is primarily used in the treatment of skin irritation and burns. The leaves of your mimosa tree can also be collected and used as a tea that soothes mouth soreness. Mimosa trees are very low maintenance, a delight for the senses and a beautiful addition for your landscape.