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Beginner Gardening Questions: Germinating mimosa plant

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sasha10
Valsolda
Italy
(Zone 9b)

February 12, 2008
12:37 PM

Post #4527534

Hello!

Does anyone know how to germinate mimosa seeds? I have been waiting for over a month. Is this usual?
krnbrohl
Almont, MI

February 13, 2008
3:17 PM

Post #4532901

Mimosa's do require dark and 80 degrees to germinate. Mine usually take a couple weeks.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 16, 2008
1:25 AM

Post #4544152

They need constant bottom heat and lay a newspaper over the top of the container to stop the light getting into the seeds till you see little green seed leaves appear, remove the newspaper to let some more light into the seeds but protect the seedlings from too much direct sunlight, keep the bottom heat steady at this time, then when the seeds are large enough to handle (two sets of leaves) pot the seedlings individually into small pots, put back into the heat again, once you are sure they have good roots, slowly reduce the temp and get them eventually used to no bottom heat, by then the weather should be warm enough to stop all heat and they will grow away all by themselves without heat, dont over water them either, put them into one pot size up each time they outgrow the pots till they are large enough to be treated as full grown plants, feed them spring and summer every 2 weeks for good flowering, they will need cut back when they outgrow their space unless they are outdoor plants. good luck. Weenel.
sasha10
Valsolda
Italy
(Zone 9b)

February 16, 2008
6:04 AM

Post #4545084

Hello,

I have had them in the sun for over a month. I hope that wouldn't matter. I bought these seeds in the UK. I read the instructions and it said that it needs lots of light to germinate.
I don't really trust what the plant labels say. I have put my Mimosa seeds in a very dark place now.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 16, 2008
7:26 PM

Post #4546868

Hi Sasha, you have more or less answered your own question, when you said you bought the seeds in UK and it said they need some light, do remember in UK we dont have the same strong light conditions in winter/spring like they have in Some USA states, I bring back seeds from various places in the world that I have visited and the instructions are normally for that particular region, so there temp and light requirements are maybe just different from where you live now, I know it's a pain, but the best way around it is to seek out a good book from the library and find out where the plants you are trying to grow originated from, like something that grows in the jungles of Malaysia will require damp, humid but warm temps for germination whereas, rock plants from the mountain ranges of Swiss alps will need colder condition, so you will just learn as you go along once you find a good reference book to help you sort out the best conditions, there was a discussion on bulbs, some folks have to put their bulbs in the cool fridge, where here, the autumn weather is so cold, we dont need to do this at all, the bulbs get the ground cold they need naturally, hope this all helps you understand a little more about different areas and requirements, good luck. WeeNel.
sasha10
Valsolda
Italy
(Zone 9b)

February 17, 2008
12:59 PM

Post #4549535

Hello!

Thank you for the help, WeeNel! I am worried that the seeds won't germinate as they have been sitting in the sun for a month. I am keeping the soil constantly moist. Will the seeds still germinate?
sasha10
Valsolda
Italy
(Zone 9b)

March 5, 2008
8:53 AM

Post #4624623

Hello!

Should I throw the seeds away? They are still not germinating.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 5, 2008
2:35 PM

Post #4625211

Before you throw them out, let's clarify what plant you're talking about. There are several plants that go by the common name mimosa. The ones I know are things in the genus Mimosa, then there's Albizia julibrissin, and also some species of Acacia go by that common name as well. And there are probably others. I suspect the germination times may vary greatly depending on which mimosa you have--some of them may take several months to germinate, but others probably should have germinated in a few weeks or less.
sasha10
Valsolda
Italy
(Zone 9b)

March 7, 2008
4:45 PM

Post #4633963

Hello!

It is called a sensitive mimosa.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 7, 2008
10:25 PM

Post #4635200

OK, that's most likely Mimosa pudica (or possibly another species, but something in Mimosa genus). I've never grown these so I don't know how long they should take, but hopefully knowing which mimosa you meant someone else will be able to advise you!
DallasDad
Murphy, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2008
2:41 PM

Post #4637490

That would definitely be Mimosa pudica.

"Sensitive plant" seeds like to be moist (not soggy wet) and VERY lightly covered. If you hunt around on the web, you'll see some advice for surface sowing, and some advice for planting a few centimeters deep. In my experience (admittedly not very great), surface sowing with a fine sprinkle of something very light over the top, seems to work best.

Mimosa pudica does not have a very high germination rate. You may have to plant 25-50 seeds to get one viable seedling in a reasonable amount of time. If you keep the soil under them warm and moist (never wet), and are more patient than I am, you may get a higher rate. Most of the information I've found online says that seeds germinate in 7-10 days, but experience shows that 30-90 days is often required.

The seeds rot easily, and are susceptible to damping off once germinated. So it's important to keep them moist but not wet before germination, and water from the bottom ONLY after germination. After the second or third set of true leaves, they become much hardier, and you may move them from pot to pot as needed (but only when needed; the roots do not like being disturbed, and the plant may go into shock after transplanting). Try to take a good hunk of the soil around the roots when you move, both to minimize disturbing the roots, and to make sure you get a good supply of the required nitrogen-fixing bacteria ("nodes") that live amongst the roots.

Mimosa pudica typically only lives for 1-2 years, but it's a fine playful plant if you have kids. Do not plant outdoors in Australia, southern Florida, or other humid areas. It can quickly become an invasive weed (with thorns). In the north, down to zone 7 or 8, it is at best an annual (and dies after a year or two anyway), and the seeds don't usually germinate on their own (too cold for them). They make fun and interesting house plants, growing anywhere from 24 to 36 inches tall. They get spindly and may fall over. This isn't the usual legginess that comes from insufficient light or too much fertilizer, but just the way the plants grow. I have one in a pot in the kitchen with three stalks about three feet long each. I use bamboo stakes to hold it upright. I have another on a windowsill; it's only 18 inches tall and doesn't need stakes yet.

These plants pretty much only show new growth at junction points. The top of a stalk will form a node, and split into two stalks from that point on. Each stalk may be 6-10 inches long before it forms a new junction, so you can see how it becomes tall and spindly pretty quickly. The plants die from the bottom up (old leaves turn yellow and fall off, never to be replaced), so they also get top-heavy.

Overwatering or excessive cold (too near a window pane, if it's cold on the other side) will make the leaves turn yellow, too. Back off on watering, or move the plant away from the cold air. Try to keep the surrounding air at normal human temperatures (70-80 F). High humidity is good, but don't spritz the leaves directly. Pebble trays work well to increase the humidity.

If your seeds have been sitting in the soil for over a month without activity, I'd dig them up and inspect them. If they look rotted, or feel either mushy or empty, then they're dead. If they're firm and hard, you can try soaking them in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and hot water for a couple of hours, then re-sow them JUST below the surface. Provide bottom heat and a bright light overhead.

Children (and many adults) love this plant because it moves so rapidly when touched or blown upon. It also folds up its leaves at night. One interesting feature is that it keeps its own internal time clock; it folds its leaves when IT thinks it's time for bed, even if you have it under a grow-light. Best to respect the plant's clock and give it light when open, dark when closed.


This message was edited Mar 8, 2008 8:56 AM
lhaddix
Berea, KY

March 29, 2008
12:32 AM

Post #4723545

Ideally you should scarify then soak them for 24hrs in water. I do this by holding the seed in a pair of forceps
and sanding or filing just through the seed coat in one spot. I check the spot with an exacto blade till
it's thin enough to flex when I push on it. Sometimes I got ahead and poke a tiny hole. When you soak them
they should swell noticeably.

I've planted albizzia juliabrisson (mimosa) with doing this as you describe and it did take a long time
to get germination.

I've done the scarify and soak thing with robinia psuedoacacia (black locust) and got germination in
about 4 days. I also kept the seeds moist in paper toweling in a petri dish after the soak till they had a root
(radicle) before planting. I do this under light. I looked up albizzia in Dr. Norman Deno's book "Seed germination theory and practice" he says scarification gives dramatic results. I know this is a little late for seeds you already have planted.(and they will eventual germinate.), but it's definitely the cats ass for anything with a hard seed coat. I just did a
bunch of gymocladius dioicus (Kentucky Coffee tree) seeds yesterday and the doubled in size overnight.

Landrum
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2008
12:38 AM

Post #4723568

I think we've established that Sasha has Mimosa pudica, which is not the same as the mimosa tree Albizia.
roachslayer
Seattle, WA
(Zone 7b)

June 28, 2011
1:49 PM

Post #8660362

old thread, but an umcommon topic I want to add value to.

In Feb. I plant several seeds with various methods. Some soaked overnight (warm, not hot), some no soak. Some chipped (crack outer shell), some not, and some in straight coir, some in general seed starting mix. I kept the seeds around 70 to 75 degrees in a tray under a grow light (did not know they needed to be dark).

My Observations:
-I could not tell whether cracking the outer shell helped or not, as both germinated. Possibly better to chip.
-Soaking may or may not matter, could not tell
-Several seeds sprouted within a couple weeks. MOST did not.
-The only ones that sprouted right away were in COIR mix (seed starter peat moss did not work... as fast)
-The ones that did not sprout within 2-4 weeks, I assumed were dead - BUT... 4 _MONTHS_ later (Summer), they suddenly sprouted. This was after lots of heat (80-90 degrees day, 60 night), and these were seeds I had abandoned and left dry in the tray most of the time. WEIRD. Still, I did not sheild from light, though at this point, I also had the tray in sunlight rather than grow light.

Soil and Transplanting:
-They handle transplant really well, even as tiny seedlings with 2 leaves. I was rough, just shoved them into a new soil. Just dont break their little tap root, and they'll be fine.
-I tried several soils. BY FAR, the BEST soil mix was peat/compost/vermiculite in equal parts (1-1-1). The compost i used was steer manure and chicken poo mixed. The mimosa in this mix THRIVED like crazy, and my other mixes including commercial potting soils did NOT perform (barely any growth, barely keeps the things alive). Note however, I did not try this 1-1-1 mix for seed starting, only for transplanting. It is probably fine to substitute perlite for vermiculite.

The whole experience is perplexing to me to be honest. I have no certain confidence on what to get them to germinate consistently, only that dead seeds are not likley dead, but stubborn. And I am truly perplexed about the 1-1-1 mix, as I believe (not sure) it is a low PH soil, yet mimosa is not a low PH plant. But hey, whatever. The proof is in the results for me.

Hope this helps any noobs! Enjoy!

DorneAnn
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic

August 21, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #9249477

It is 28c 73% humidity, August 21st. Dominican Republic.
How to germinate mimosa seeds in 48 hours.

Using tweezers to hold, nip a tiny bit of the end of the seed off, opposite the squirly thing on the outside of the seed, with nail clippers.
Place seed in water, which at my temp. would be 28c over night.
Using tweezers to hold the seed put the end of a pin in the open end directly under the seed shell to split it.
Use both thumb nails to peel back the outside of the seed and remove the seed from within it.
One end, the opposite end that you clipped will be slightly pointed.
Place that down into wet sand, again at my temp. being 28c
The next day you will see a root, maybe a quarter inch long going down into the sand.
It grows fast. When about an inch long plant it leaving the leaves on top of course.
Place in a good light but not direct sunshine until you can see the seedling is well established.
True leaves will start showing very fast, maybe 2-3 days if at my temp. 28c
MaryEv
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 14, 2013
1:53 PM

Post #9449341

I'm so glad I saw this! Nail clippers are a GREAT idea! I tried filing some seeds and ended up loosing some skin on the end of a finger!

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