Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Touch-me-not, Tickleme Plant, Tickle Me Plant, Sensitive Plant, Humble Plant
Mimosa pudica

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Mimosa (mim-MOH-suh) (Info)
Species: pudica (pud-EE-kuh) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

81 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 39 photos.
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13 positives
4 neutrals
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive mimosalurver On Dec 23, 2013, mimosalurver from Male'
Maldives wrote:

Mimosa Pudica is a plant which amazes the Scientists which leads us to believe in a creator. These plants just don't come out of nowhere but its nicely planned. I hope to give my plants to every member of my family. Glad to see all you Mimosa lovers out there ,

Positive PupillaCharites On May 23, 2013, PupillaCharites from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This endemic to tropical Central America (the same as the US variety, Mimosa pudica var. pudica) is always a hit with children who are amazed that the Sensitive Plant reacts to their touch. It also has a circadian rythm in that the leaves open during the day and fold to sleep at night.

Very pretty lavender colored delicate flower heads (match the delicacy of the leaves) which to inquiring minds can look other-worldly, starting with the football shaped compound bud on a relatively substantial stalk (I uploaded a macro image of the bud's detail).

Don't plant it near your garden since the runners proliferate just below the surface, nor in the yard if you have one of those chemical monoculture lawns and are in the South (US). On the flip side, the roots fix nitrogen in the soil and it contains innoculant organisms, so although considered a weed, it does help fertilize poor soils like other legumes such as peas. The roots actually can be extracted to produce a natural fungicide. The leaves can be extracted to produce a natural bioactive human anti-depressant.

Great for erosion control, fast (weed-like) growth in warmer USDA zones. and well behaved indoors in pots where kids can discover a little magic with plants. Does fine in acidy, sandy soils that are hard to cover and has a beautiful deep green hue in the leaves.

In Australia where is can get to be a pest, Dow Chemical's Access herbicide is used to kill it without killing lawn grass. Otherwise, you need a hoe to remove running roots it once it proliferates.

In Cuba, it is the hostplant for Hemiargus hanno, a close relative of, if not the same as the US native Ceraunus Blue as well as Reakirk's Blue, two delicate little southern US butterflies. Probably Hemiargus hanno would establish in south Florida and the Rio Grande Valley of TX if it hasn't already been introduced.

I have not seen any caterpillars on it but will start looking harder to see if the native US Blues might settle for it (the family of small gossamer-winged butterflies which Hemiargus belongs to). No predators is a disappointment of those who want to rid their lawns of it, but I would never spite such an interesting, easy and fun to culture plant a negative just because it does so well in some spots.

Negative imelyod On Apr 16, 2012, imelyod from Perry, FL wrote:

I'm not sure how this plant invaded my front lawn but it has almost completely taken over. I smile here... for it used to be a conversation piece that was "cute". With the combination of annual seeds that mature between mowings and the viney growth that allows it to creep, it has become an intolerable nuisance. I have a sandy soil here in this Big Bend area of Florida. In our proximity to the Gulf, for the past 4 to 5 years we have had considerably less rain in this area than most other areas even within our county.

I've been down on hands and knees for three springs and into the summers pulling it up, along with spraying different types herbicide on it. Yet, it still is almost totally covering 1/2 of my entire front lawn. And... I live in a rural area so my front lawn is rather large.

Does anyone know an effective herbicide that will take these Touch Me Nots out, yet not damage the lawn too badly? I have a combination of centipede grass close by my house and on the outer perimeter of the lawn, there is a combination of bahia and centipede that gradually turns into full bahia farther out in the fields. Oddly enough, the Touch Me Nots are not as abundant where the bahia is located.

I need help badly... and will appreciate ANY input! I'm about to the point I am willing to take all growth out and start over again.

Negative nedbenson On Feb 20, 2012, nedbenson from Cypress, TX wrote:

Nasty, nasty, nasty invasive weed in St. Augustine lawns in the Houston area. Terribly difficult to get rid of, as any herbicide that kills it will also kill St. Augustine. Only solution is to waint until the soil is deeply saturated and then pull or dig to get the thick, flesh tap-root totally removed. It took me 3 years to get rid of it in my lawn!

Neutral chele61636 On Jan 3, 2012, chele61636 from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

Ok, as many have stated these are everywhere here. Also, as many have also said, I too played with these as a child. I never thought about them being "special or cool" because I grew up with them. I do see where that would play in for people who have not seen this.

Anyway, My daughter got an "exotic plant" present thingy for Christmas. One of the seeds were this plant. The other 3 were "Pitcher plant" (Sarracenia Mix?) "Brain Plant" (Ceosia Amigo) and "Eyeball Plant" (Spilanthes Oleracea). I also picked up a plant from the local college and planted it in the center of the container just so she could have some sort of plant as a reminder that something is growing in there (since you can't see the seeds!)

Ok now that that long explanation is out of the way, I have a question! THe Brain Plant and Eyeball plant have already started growing. We planted these last week? I think. The Brain plant is already over an inch big and the eyeball plant is about 3cm. The unknown plant keeps wilting and perking up but I think it gets upset when I put it outside? (Which I do for about 20 minutes a day just so they get a lil sun) And the Touchmenot spaceplant tickle me whatever weed plant isn't growing at all. Anyone know if this is normal? I set half the seeds aside incase we had an issue growing any of them. I just planted the seeds in the dirt and put some water. The pitcher plant was the only one we did differently because the instructions said to place in the fridge for 6 weeks in some water. But since the others are growing shouldn't this one be too?

Sorry that was so long. I'd appreciate some input :)

Neutral Darmananda On Jun 4, 2010, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

At home in northern Burma (Myanmar), this grew wild as a weed. Goats loved it and us kids used to chase our goats towards these so that they could help themselves to all they can eat buffet. They were not considered anything special, although I do see a resemblance to the mimosa trees, both in their leaves and their flowers. You could touch the first two leaves of its frig and watch them close down their leaves one by one (yawn, we were bored out of our minds with nothing to do). We had to walk through fields of these while chasing goats and believe me, the thorns got us everywhere on our legs. We bled quite a lot with these, but we were children. I am not going to give this plant a negative just because it grew wild at home and was considered a weed (and have some unpleasant memories associated with it). I understand some might consider it exotic. I don't recommend you plant it on the ground in your garden. You might regret it later.

Negative angedawn47 On May 21, 2010, angedawn47 from Lake Charles, LA wrote:

Considered a weed here.

Positive Haloparc On Apr 28, 2010, Haloparc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

As a child, I was one to bypass the typical bike riding and playing outside in leu of reading encyclopidias. I first saw this plant in there and have always wanted to find one. 35 years later, I see them at a local store and purchase them. Be carefull of buying these 'kits' from places like Hobby Lobby as unless they have sold many, they could contain 'old' seed and be useless. I contacted the company and they sent replacement seeds and I have been growing my mimosa for about 3 weeks now! Out of the 20 seeds, 8 of them sprouted. (much less than the 80% germination rate they advertize.) I had a wonderful moment when I touched the very first set (3 pairs) of leaves and watched them react.
To answer the question from a previous post, the seedling (on the variety I am growing.. and there are different varieties which grow and look differently) will first produce a circle 'leaf' which is not sensitive. When that single 'leaflet' opens, the first sensitive leaf (3 paired skinney leaflets) will start to grow. Once it is fully developed, it is sensitive but don't over do playing with it. Next, the same type of leaf will sprout only it will be two leafs (each with 3 pairs of skinny leafs) Next, you will have another dual pair, same as first, but their 'branch' will be a bit longer. Then another pair will grow only this time they are one step bigger, meaning they are a double 4 pairs of leaves. That's where I am with mine so far and it appears that next I get a pretty flower as the next thing growing seems to be fuzzy and a bit larger. Hopefully I'll have some pods as well. They are about 3 inches tall and I keep a 100wt bulb in a lamp very close and above them all the time. They are growing at a pretty fast rate taking about 2 to 3 days total to see a new 'branch' emerge and open it's present! Loving this plant. Brings back my childhood memories of walking in the woods looking for a plant like the one I saw in the book and touching them to see if they would react. (they never did of course and in fact the one I really though would do it was a 'poison' sumac... eww). I never 'loved' a plant before but I find myself sweet talking to my mimosa. "How are my babies doing today?" I water them daily but just enough to slightly pool the water. Highly recommended to plant enthusiasts or curious lovers of nature!

Neutral Jesusvp On Dec 27, 2009, Jesusvp from Ensenada
Mexico wrote:

Hi, i would like to buy some seeds for this wonderful plant. Do you know where i can buy?


Positive hollyhocklady On Jul 2, 2009, hollyhocklady from Shepherdsville, KY wrote:

This is a fun houseplant. Touch its leaves and watch them curl right before your eyes!
My seeds were up in 5 days... I love this plat.

Positive Snug_As_Bug_Rug On Jan 7, 2009, Snug_As_Bug_Rug from Sterling, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Thomas Jefferson planted Sensitive Plant seeds at Monticello in 1811, and it has been know to have been listed on many early nineteenth-century seed lists.

Positive CurtisJones On Jun 10, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Although you may have read some negative comments about Sensitive Plant when it is grown in the wild, it is a fantastic houseplant. Kids love to touch its leaves and watch them curl right before their eyes! If the plant is agitated further, an entire branch will droop down (a temporary condition). It has fern-like leaves with reddish-brown prickly stems and 1" globe-shaped pale lilac pink flowers that appear in mid-summer. You can grow it in a container outside or as a houseplant. Since it is only a perennial in the tropics, it should be brought indoors for the winter. Sensitive Plant is not carnivorous, and it should be grown in containers only, since it is naturalized in some parts of the United States.

Positive delphenuse On Jan 3, 2008, delphenuse from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

Planted seeds after soaking in two bouts of hot water in some houseplant soil targetted for seed starting.
The seeds sprouted in 2 days and have been growing visibly by the hour.

Great plant for discouraged hobbyists who have not had much success. Plus its fun to play with!

How old does the plant need to get before the leaves will become sensitive?

Positive passiflorakid On Oct 15, 2006, passiflorakid from cardiff
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

this plant is very fun!! i grew it from seed about 2 months ago and it has already set buds and is making new leaves every day!!!!
i cant beleive there are negative posts on this!

Neutral NatureWalker On Apr 13, 2006, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Sensitive Plant, Sowing Instructions: Soak the seed in hot water (140F) for 2 hours before sowing. Sow late winter to mid spring at (70-75F) on the surface of a good well drained seed compost and gently firm down. Keep soil damp but not wet. Do not exclude light, sealing in a polythene bag after sowing is helpful. Germination usually takes 21-30 days. Mine germinated fast by pouring the hot water on top of them & leaving them overnight. Some sources recommend soaking the seeds for 10-20 minutes in either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol instead.

Some mimosoids are difficult to germinate, owing to tough shells.
Once established, mimosoid plants are quite easy to grow.

Mimosoids are legumes, distantly related to peas and beans. The important thing about this is that these plants all require microbes known as nitrogen-fixing bacteria to be present in the soil. These species of bacteria (including members of the genii Rhizobium and Bradyrhizobium) form a symbiotic relationship with the plants. They form cultures on the plants' roots known as nodules, and the bacteria convert nitrogen (N2, which the plants can not use) into ammonia (NH3, which plants can use).

Without these bacteria, the plants will generally exhibit weak growth and die while still seedlings. There are a few ways to innoculate your plants with these microbes. Another method is to buy vetch seeds and plant them in the soil at the same time as you plant your mimosoids. Let the vetch establish a root system, and grow to several inches tall, then pinch them back to the soil line. This can also be done using common pea seeds.

Given adequate root space, they will grow rapidly. Alternatively, many species can be kept in small pots and grown into attractive bonsai specimens. Give them good light, water them according to the sort of environment the plant is naturally used to, and feed them with nitrogen rich fertilizer. The hardest part in growing these plants is getting them established. Once you have a healthy seedling, with proper care, your mimosoid plants should be some of the easiest in your collection to care for.

You may wish to start the seeds out in an inorganic medium such as perlite, coarse aquarium sand, or grit rather than using an organic-rich soil or potting mix. If using an organic potting mix, add some sphagnum moss, as this has some fungicidal properties. After the plants have germinated, you can transplant them into potting mix.

Positive KorgBoy On Nov 3, 2005, KorgBoy from Townsville
Australia wrote:

They're definitely very interesting plants, and it's fun to watch their leaves fold up and then slowly open up again. I live in the tropics (Townsville, Australia), and these plants can really do well here. The well-known method of soaking the seed pods in very hot 'tap' water for 20 minutes, followed by very shallow planting of the seed pods in moist soil under bright conditions should have them germinate in 5 days or so. Once a seed germinates, the pair of embryonic leaves (cotyledons) grow really fast, within 1 to 2 days. The first leaflets develop really quickly as well. After the very first set of leaflets open up, it takes maybe half a day before they seem to become sensitive to touch. The new leaflets continue to increase in size, taking a couple of days or so to get to their full leaflet size. The first set of leaves normally has 3 pairs of leaflets. The second and third set of leaflets develop together next to each other, with 4 pairs of leaflets for each set. The fourth and fifth set of leaflets develop together next to each other, each set with 5 pairs of leaflets.

Positive dannyrobertson On Sep 19, 2005, dannyrobertson from leven
United Kingdom wrote:

i have one on my window in scotland and have little seed pods at the base of the flower stem. my plant is 2 foot tall and the its only 3 mouth old. i get 3 to 4 flowers a day. they only last one day. my child loves it we can spend a long time tuoching its leaves.

Negative klaude On Dec 30, 2004, klaude from Cairns
Australia (Zone 11) wrote:

A very annoying weed in Northern Australia where it spreads in lawns - very 'ouch' if you walk on them barefooted. Any disturbed ground will become infested with them. Known here in Cairns as "Sensitive weed" - control in lawns is best achieved by being vigilant when mowing and pulling the plants out whenever you see them.

Negative ariodlove On Jul 17, 2004, ariodlove from Louisville, KY wrote:

Each time my mimosa gets a new leaves, they get spots on them and die. Now all except the very top part of my plant has leaves and has never flowered. Also I read somewhere that the more you touch them, the faster they will die because this plant is not long lived in the first place.

Positive WalterT On Jul 7, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

About 20 years ago I acquired a few seeds of this plant. One sprouted and grew in my garden for several years to about 2 feet tall and wide. It was amazing how quickly the leaves closed when you touched them. The San Diego climate seemed well-suited to this plant but it died after about 5 years... It did produce flowers but I don't recall any seed resulting therefrom. The common name hereabouts is Sensitive Plant.

Positive hekdek On Jul 5, 2004, hekdek from Columbus, OH wrote:

This plant is very fun! Evenyone loves to 'play' with it. Here in Ohio I will treat it as an house plant. My husband remembers his Grandmother having one when he was growing up!

Positive cmb On Aug 19, 2002, cmb wrote:

Grown from seed sown late May. Now August and plants are approx. 6ins high.
Leaves close when touched or wafted by breeze and also stems collapse at night so that plant looks dead! Fascinating plant for Children. Here in Middle England plants are treated as Houseplants.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Camarillo, California
Elk Grove, California
Huntington Beach, California
Pittsburg, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Wasco, California
Woodcrest, California
Boca Raton, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Perry, Florida
Ruskin, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Buford, Georgia
Hoboken, Georgia
Jesup, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii (2 reports)
Kailua, Hawaii
Kapaa, Hawaii
Shepherdsville, Kentucky
Norco, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Battle Creek, Michigan
Sewell, New Jersey
Deposit, New York
Forest Hills, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Eugene, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Corpus Christi, Texas
Cypress, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

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