There are many flowering trees to choose from, but few have all the great features of the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree. With its exciting deep-burgundy foliage making this tree colorful from spring to the end of fall, plus a dramatic show of pink flowers all summer, this is a tree that is always interesting and exciting to see. In addition, the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree is easy to grow, thriving in almost any kind of soil. It is also drought-resistant and thrives in long, hot and dry summers.
The Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin) grows natural in open forests and hilly areas from Iran to China, but it was introduced from Iran, which is why it is called the Persian Silk Tree. The other common name, Mimosa, is confusing, since there is another group of plants, mostly with yellow flowers, called Mimosa trees. The natural tree is more upright, but trees in gardens are usually ‘V’-shaped or even umbrella-shaped as they mature, usually becoming wider than they are tall.
The foliage is divided and ferny in appearance, with leaves up to 20 inches long. The leaves have the unusual habit of folding at night and ‘going to sleep’. The leaves of wild trees are green, but in the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree they are a beautiful deep burgundy in spring and early summer, becoming chocolate brown later in the season. This makes the tree attractive even when not in flower. Summer Chocolate was developed by a controlled breeding program in Japan and selected by Masato Yokoi from thousands of seedlings in 1990. After testing and trial growing in selected gardens it was introduced into the USA and patented in 2003.
Growing Chocolate Mimosa Silk Trees
As an exciting specimen tree in a lawn, or planted in a bed with other flowering trees and shrubs, the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree is sure to attract attention and interest from everyone who sees it. It also makes an attractive plant for a large container, adding height and interest to patios and terraces. It grows best in warmer areas, from zone 6 to 9; flowering best where the summers are hot and the fall is dry. In cooler, damper regions it can be grown on a sunny wall, as described in our Growing Trees and Shrubs on Walls article, so even if you are in zone 5 you can enjoy this tree if you have a dry, sunny spot to plant it in.
A Persian Silk Tree in flower is an eye-catching treat, since the flowers are unique in their form. They look like large tufts of silky threads, white at the base and then pink in color. The Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree has larger flowers in a richer, deeper pink color. The flowers spread along the branches and occur all summer long, like exotic powder-puffs. They are also deliciously fragrant. After flowering seed pods like beans may develop and persist into winter, adding to the interest of this tree.
Sun and Soil
When it comes to soil the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree is an easy plant to satisfy. It will grow happily in all types of soil from sand to clay and from acid to alkaline soils. It does best in a warm, sunny spot that is dry in summer, but some water should be given for the best growth and maximum flowering.
Planting and Initial Care
To plant your Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree, allow plenty of room around the tree for its spreading habit. Allow at least 10 feet in each direction for the spread of your tree. Dig some rich organic material into the soil to give your plants a good start and then dig a hole three times the width of the pot but the same depth as the pot. Place your new arrival in the hole and replace most of the soil. Flood the hole with water and when that has all drained away, replace the rest of the soil and put a mulch two or three inches deep over the root zone. Water your plants deeply each week for the first season and after that watering is only needed during longer dry spells.
Remove any weak or dead branches and trim back the tips of the stems in late winter to encourage strong new growth. Container plants can be stored for the winter in a cool shed or garage to protect them from severe cold and then brought out in spring. Grown this way you can enjoy the Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree almost anywhere in the country.
Buying Chocolate Mimosa Silk Trees
Our growers produce our plants from selected specimens that are true to name, with good flower color and strongly-colored foliage. They use a special method of taking pieces of the roots from these top-grade plants, rather than growing them cheaply from seed, which gives variable and often inferior results. This rare variety is protected by plant patent and can only be grown by licensed growers. Avoid cheap seed-grown plants that will definitely not have the special foliage color and excitement of this wonderful plant.
Our Chocolate Mimosa Silk Tree plants are guaranteed to be the correct, patented variety and will perform beautifully in your garden. However supplies of this rare plant are often limited, so take advantage of their current availability and order now. Your tree will be shipped to you the following day.