Growing Mimosa Pudica can be fun as you can watch its leaves react to your touch! Here’s all about How to Grow Touch Me Not Plant!
Also popular as the Sensitive Plant and Shameplant Plant, this specimen is popular for its ability to fold its leaves when they are touched, which is a plant’s safety mechanism to defend itself from harm. Let’s have a look at How to Grow Touch Me Not Plant!
Other Names: Sensitive plant, sleepy plant, shy plant, humble plant, shameful plant, touch-me-not, chuimui, amourette herbe, herbe sensible, pinahuixtle, quecupatli, mori vivi, chui-Mui, Lojjaboti, Morivivi plant, tickle me plant, Sleeping Grass.
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What Makes Touch Me Not Plant So Interesting?
At first glance, the plant looks just like the other green specimens, but it masks a trick up its sleeve. The moment you touch the leaves–they will close!
This happens due to the structure that leaves hide inside, which is termed as a pulvinus. What it does is it releases chemicals, which allow the water to flow on opposite sides of the leaves at the same time. This instantly changes the turgor pressure, which directly impacts the cells to expand and collapse, and this shuts the plant’s leaVenus flytrap is the flets.
The other plant that possesses the same characteristics in the plnus flytrap.
How to Propagate Mimosa Pudica?
Native to the Caribbean and South and Central America, the plant grows best outside in the USDA zones of 9-11. Starting the plant from seeds and cuttings when the weather is warm in your area is best, or better if you can buy a transplant from a garden center or online.
Sow the seeds of touch me not plant overnight in water and then plant in a well-draining potting mix. You can also make your own using two parts each of compost and peat or coconut coir fiber along with one part perlite or sand.
Water well, cover the pot with a half-cut plastic bottle or sheet to maintain a humid environment, and keep it in bright but indirect light. The seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks.
Cut a healthy stem with one leaf node and plant it in a seed starting mix or in the blend that we have mentioned above. Water well, cover with a plastic bag, and keep the pot where it gets bright but indirect light. The roots will emerge in a couple of weeks.
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Choosing a Pot for Touch Me Not Plant
A 6-8 inches pot will be more than enough to support the plant’s growth for a year or two. After which, you can re-pot it into a bigger one, depending on the growth and spread.
Requirements for Growing Touch Me Not Plant
Keep the plant where it receives direct sunlight up to 5-6 hours daily. In the absence of sufficient light, the plant will not develop and form blooms. Avoid growing the plant in complete shade.
If you are growing it indoors, a south or west-facing window is the best location.
In its natural habitat, the shame plant thrives in poor soil but grows vigorously in a well-draining growing medium.
If you want to make your own mix, blend two parts of sterilized garden soil and peat moss, along with one part of sand or perlite. This will make the perfect growing medium!
The sensitive plant prefers moist but not overly wet and soggy soil. Water the plant thoroughly when the top layer of the growing medium goes a little dry.
Just take care of two things—never let the soil go dry completely, and do not water the plant daily.
The plant needs more than the average household humidity to grow best. Keeping its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water will help. You can also use a humidifier if you’re growing it indoors.
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Taking Care of Touch Me Not Plant
Fertilize the plant with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer once in 4 to 6 weeks, after diluting it to 1/2 of its strength in spring and summer and up to mid-fall, which is the active growing time of the plant. Do not overfertilize the plant, as it will stunt its growth.
Side dressing the plant with aged compost in spring is also great for giving it a bushy appearance. Alternatively, you can also use a 2-6-8 blend, or tomato plant fertilizer, after diluting it to 1/4 of its strength.
Using a potassium-rich feed is the key here, as the plant uses potassium ions as the main chemical to trigger its leaflets’ close.
Pests and Diseases
Be careful of spider mites, mimosa webworms, mealybugs, thrips, aphids, and scales. Use non-toxic horticultural oil for treating these pests.
Avoid excess watering as it can cause root rot. Some fungal diseases also affect the plant when the weather is particularly wet.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it Bad to Touch a Sensitive Plant?
Though, the plant may be famous as ‘touch me not,’ it is absolutely fine if you touch it to see it closing its leaves. It is not going to harm you or the plant in any way.
2. Does Sensitive Plant Close at Night?
Apart from closing its leaves when touched, the plant also folds its leaves during the nighttime to protect its delicate foliage from any harm.
3. Is Touch Me Not Plant Good for Home?
Yes, absolutely! As long as it gets 3-5 hours of bright sunlight, the plant will be more than happy to dwell in the rooms. It stays compact and also makes for a great tabletop or shelf plant.
I live in Michigan and Florida. We use to love this plant in my childhood. Where can I buy the seeds or a plant?
You can easily get this plant or seed from local nursery or online. To buy seeds from amazon check visit this link.