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Growing Mimosa Hostilis: everything you need to know

Growing mimosa hostilis is pretty straightforward. This plant is quite resistant to almost all types of soils and to most climates, so growing them does not involve much difficulty and can be successfully cultivated and cared for by anyone. This plant only requires a little care and attention to grow well.

Mimosa hostilis is a subtropical plant of the fabaceae family that grows mainly in Brazil and Mexico but can be found in other countries in South America and Central America. It is also known as mimosa tenuiflora and is a special plant for gardens as it is generally 4 meters tall, although it can reach a height of up to 8 meters.

 

Growing Mimosa Hostilis

If you are thinking about growing mimosa hostilis, you should know a little more about this plant, its habitat, the type of soil and climate that most favors it and how it reproduces. In the wild, this plant is often considered an opportunistic plant due to its great ability to adapt to many types of soil and climatic changes. Likewise, its seeds are equally resistant due to its characteristics.

Although this opportunistic plant adapts very well to almost any type of climate and soil, whether organic, clay or mixed sandy, being a subtropical plant, it prefers semi-arid, warm and subtropical climates and is best in open areas with low humidity although it adapts to shade and direct sunlight. Although it is a plant of easy cultivation and adaptation, it does not grow in very cold weathers and must be cared for in harsh winters.

Growing mimosa hostilis: step by step

Now, if we want to grow mimosa hostilis, we must follow certain steps to obtain a successful result. Although in nature this plant occurs in a simple way and adapts to different soils and climates, if we want to cultivate it, certain characteristics of its natural environment must be taken into account in order to get this plant to germinate and grow without any problem. These are the steps to follow to grow mimosa hostilis:

 

Seed collection

It is possible to reproduce the mimosa hostilis plant by cutting from a strong mimosa hostilis tree but multiplication is mainly by seeds. Seed pods are collected when they begin to open spontaneously on the trees. These pods are placed in the sun to open and release the seeds.

Seed treatment

This is probably the most important step to follow if we want to grow mimosa hostilis. The seeds of mimosa hostilis have particular characteristics that make them very resistant but because of this same resistance, they must undergo a previous treatment before being sown. These seeds are small, oval and flat with lenticular shape and have a waterproof testa covered by a shiny wax layer that makes them resistant to abrasion.

This waterproof outer covering makes them resistant to external factors and they can be viable for up to 50 years after storage. In nature, for the seeds to germinate, it is necessary to break their dormancy and this is achieved when forest fires subject the seeds to scarification. Its dormancy is also broken by the gastric juices of animals that feed on the pods containing them.

Seeds can remain intact in nature for up to 10 years until their dormancy is broken by a forest fire or after being digested by local animals. Seeds that do not go through the scarification process have a very small percentage of germination, while seeds that do go through this process have more than a 90% chance of germinating.

Scarification of seeds

Seed scarification is a technique that is carried out in order to shorten the germination time of seeds. Some seeds such as mimosa hostilis seeds have an impermeable outer layer that makes them resistant to abrasion and external elements. Scarification seeks to accelerate the natural processes that make seeds permeable to water and air by removing their tegument (outer layer) and allowing their endosperm (inner layer) to come into contact with water and air.

In order for the seeds to germinate successfully, we must subject them to scarification and this is achieved in different ways. It can be through chemical scarification using a 10% sulfuric acid solution, through thermal scarification by immersion which consists of submerging the seeds in hot water and letting them rest for 24 hours, or mechanical scarification which is achieved by filing the shiny outer layer of the seeds with a file and making a medium cut in the middle of the seed.

Sowing the seeds

Once the seeds have been scarified, the seeds are placed in seedbeds or on a damp paper towel and placed in a dark place, keeping them moist every day. The seeds should sprout in about two weeks. Then it is time to transfer them to pots. Place a maximum of two seeds per pot and sow them two and a half centimeters deep. The pots are placed in semi-warm places that receive sun and their soil is kept moist for a month and a half until they are developed.

Seeds can germinate in temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius but the ideal temperature for germination is 25 degrees Celsius. If your growing environment has lower temperatures than this, you can use a heat mat to give them the temperature they need to germinate. Depending on the climate, the seeds will germinate in 5 to 6 weeks.

Care and transplanting

This plant can remain in pots but if you want to plant it in a garden or in a larger pot, you should preferably do it in spring when the temperature exceeds 15 degrees Celsius. Depending on the climate, it should be watered 3 to 4 times a week in summer and 1 to 2 times a week the rest of the year.

Due to its size and characteristics, this plant can grow without any problem in pots throughout its life and can be an indoor or garden plant or can be kept in greenhouses, terraces and balconies as it is an easy to grow perennial plant. That is why it is sought after by garden and plant lovers as its ornamental use is highly appreciated.

This plant does not require pruning although you can prune branches that are dry or disease affected and weak in late summer or after winter. It is not recommended to prune it during rainy seasons as this may cause the plant to die.

 

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