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The Mimosa Tree Complete Guide

September 9, 2014

Written by Siobhan Barton.
Mimosa Tree Flower Bloom

Gardening Tips For The Mimosa Tree

The Mimosa Tree is a stunning show of flower bursts, which are often compared to starbursts or fireworks. This small to medium-sized fast growing Mimosa Tree displays the most beautiful pink flowers in the depths of summer. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds will flock to these flowers, which show off bright, tight clusters of pink to yellow-tipped stamens. Frequently known as the “silk tree”, the stamens of the flower are reminiscent of silk threads. The Mimosa Tree has unique palmate leaves, which appear as tiny fronds similar to the leaves of palm trees or fern plants. Texture is a large aspect of why the Mimosa Tree has gained popularity throughout the United States. The 20 to 30 small leaflets provide a detailed background on which the bursting colors of the Mimosa flower blossom.

The Mimosa Tree is known by many other names throughout the world. Its Italian namesake, Filippo degli Albizzi, provides it a portion of its scientific name, Albizia julibrissin. The other part of the name is derived from a Persian word meaning “silk flower”. Commonly found throughout the world’s warmer climates, the Mimosa Tree is a popular ornamental flowering tree. It is also fast-growing, making it an irresistible choice for many homeowners. For gardeners hoping to provide dappled shade for smaller plants, the 20 to 25 foot tall Mimosa Tree provide the necessary height, shape, and leave density. It is always a beautiful addition to the garden.

Mimosa Tree In Bloom

These drought-resistant and fast-growing trees do produce beautiful flowers, which when coupled with its small fruit and leaves, can create the need for a clean-up routine. Well worth the clean-up and pruning, Mimosa Trees are positively beautiful when planted as either a central focal point in the yard or in a row as a border along entryways or fences. Enjoy the luscious pink blossoms in summer and the gentle shape throughout the year.

Quick Tips

Enjoy some quick tips here. For more complete information, read about these hints in more detail below.

Sunlight – Mimosa Trees prefer full sun; in drier regions, some partial afternoon shade for the tree may prove beneficial.

Soil – The adaptable Mimosa Tree prefers moist, well-drained acidic soil; however, the tree is often successful in a variety of other soil conditions.

Water – The drought-tolerant Mimosa Tree prefers at least an inch of water a week; however, it is able to withstand mild to moderate droughts with relative ease.

Pruning – Pruning should occur in winter, while the tree is dormant only after it is established (3 years). Remove dead or diseased wood.

The Best Places to Plant the Mimosa Tree

The Mimosa Tree, which originated in southwestern and eastern Asia, prefers the warmer climates. The tree is now commonly found throughout many regions of the world, and it can withstand brief cold spells.

In the United States, the Mimosa Tree prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 6 through 10, preferring the subtropical to tropical climates of much of the lower latitudes. Plant the Mimosa Tree in an area that receive full sun, though some partial shade, especially in the driest regions of the southwest, can be helpful to the water retention of the tree. The Mimosa Tree is best suited as an accent plant, where its ornamental beauty will not be lost. For many gardeners, this may mean a center-garden or center-yard spot. The Mimosa Tree can also be used to line entryways or driveways, and its uniform shape allows it to pair nicely with others in its species.

Mimosa Trees prefer the moist, well-drained soil typical of loam. With regard to pH, the tree enjoys slightly acidic soil. Despite these preferences, the Mimosa Tree readily adapts to various soil conditions. Water is not as much of a concern for the Mimosa Tree. In fact, short dry spells will not harm this tree since it is drought-resistant. Like most flowering trees, the Mimosa prefers at least an inch of water a week in the form of rainfall or irrigative services. If the region in which the tree is planted is prone to severe droughts, consider investing in an irrigation system that will not only help control the flow of water, but disperse it to the Mimosa during those truly hot, long-lasting droughts.

The Mimosa Tree is a beautiful ornamental plant. When considering planting locations, look for one where its beauty will shimmer!

Growth Rate and Mature Height

The Mimosa Tree is a small to medium sized ornamental tree. It is also exceptionally fast-growing. Expect the tree to quickly reach between 20 and 25 feet in height and 10 to 20 feet in width. The growth rate of the tree is fast, frequently earning the Mimosa Tree as much as 5 feet in a growing season!

Pests, Diseases, and Other Concerns

The Mimosa Tree is known to be a hardy, disease-resistant ornamental tree. Despite these benefits, there is one vascular fungal disease that can affect the growth of the Mimosa Tree. Mimosa Wilt is the most fatal of the diseases to impact the Mimosa Tree. The leaves of the Mimosa will yellow and wither before midsummer, often interrupting flowering. Many trees die quickly after wilting is observed, though most die branch by branch.

Diseased trees in advanced stages of the disease’s development may produce ooze from cracks in the trunk. Using a balance fertilizer can help to reduce the likelihood of the Mimosa developing this wilt. Water frequently and remove diseased wood.

Noteworthy Tips on the Mimosa Tree

– The Mimosa Tree has several cultivars that have become popular, including the ‘Summer Chocolate’ and ‘Ishii Weeping’.

– Mimosa Trees produce seeds that are enjoyed by many wild animals, including birds.

– In some regions of the world, such as Japan, the Mimosa Tree has been labeled ‘invasive’.

– Birds, butterflies, and honeybees will flock to the sweet nectar the Mimosa Tree produces, adding a wildlife scene to the garden environment.

– The seeds grow readily, which is part of the reason the tree has been labeled as invasive in some areas. Researchers are currently cultivating a non-seed bearing Mimosa cultivar that will be able to provide the same stunning beauty without the risks!

Comments 42 comments

  1. March 28, 2017 by Susan Camiel

    I have a full grown mimosa Elephant Ear Tree….south-west exposure in California…..It is giagantic…no seed pods or flowers for this type….It is the end of March and there is still no new leaf growth…..Tree dropped leaves in Sept/Oct….and remains almost bare except for a few leaves up high…..and they look like old leaves…dried out….

    When will this type of tree begin its regrowth….?…..and when should I be concerned? It gets water 2-3 times a week 5minutes…..At the moment my irrigation system needs repair because one of the roots broke pipe.

    Thank you…..I will await your response…..
    Susan Camiel
    susancamiel@gmail.com

    1. April 11, 2018 by Ely McCoy

      I am trying to find the same answer. I am having the same trouble with my mimosa tree. I am worried that it has died and I can not find an answer on when it starts to produce again and comes out of dormancy. If you were able to find out some answers please respond back to me.

  2. May 12, 2018 by Elizabeth

    My wild memosa has leashes in east Texas with small buds. She shed early last year and I was delighted to see she made it back!

  3. i have had a Mimosa for more then 15 years. It just grew from out of the blue. I assume a seed must have blown into the yard. It happened to land by a small pond and of course it does resemble a Palm tree. I always loved it. It is not full like the pics show. It is a little sparse. But after all these years this is the first time it has bloomed, it is spectacular. I believe it does not have enough space for the roots. It is right on the edge of a small retaining wall, and up against the house. So why did it take so long to bloom? Anyone????

  4. June 27, 2018 by Michele Needham

    I have a chocolate Mamosa tree that is just tall and skinny and spindly how can I make it fill out better?

    1. August 11, 2019 by Toni

      I would like to know the answer to this as well

  5. July 12, 2018 by Sharon Price

    I live in Omaha, Nebraska and would love a mimosa tree. Our summers have become hotter and our winters normally milder with little snow. Would it work here?

    1. August 18, 2018 by Lukas Henzel

      Yes, it would work great. I’m in Kansas City and have one about 30′ tall and it’s beautiful.i have a sapling that’s been growing the last 5 years and also doing well. God bless

    2. August 18, 2018 by Lukas Henzel

      God willing it will work great

    3. September 24, 2018 by Samantha Weerts

      I’m in Central Kansas & my mimosas thrive here! I expect yours would as well! 🙂

      1. April 20, 2019 by Randi C

        Im near Lawrence Ks and bought an older house with a huge mimosa tree. When do they begin to leaf out? I’m afraid this one may be dead.

        1. In Oregon our mimosa is one of the last trees to leaf out, the leaves come out in May. It took about 10 years to bloom after planting, it didn’t really take off growing until we started watering it regularly in the summer. Now it’s about 30 feet tall, we love the shade & flowers but it’s very messy! It almost kills the lawn every year from the blossoms . The pods are poisonus if ingested.

    4. January 19, 2020 by Steve

      I’m growing mimosa in Quebec City zone 5 .Damage not very bad from frizz. But before I put it in the ground I keep in the house for a couple years.I think it’s will grow good .

  6. August 22, 2018 by Cindi

    Ours has small yellow spots on the leaves, same as last year. We’ve had it a year. Anyone know what this could be?

  7. August 24, 2018 by Mary Ann Walczyk

    I have a Southern Mimosa Silk Tree in my front yard in South Carolina. It was beautiful about a month and a half ago – cascading branches and pink flowers throughout. My daughter trimmed the branches against my will while tree was in full bloom. I returned to find the tree dead looking and brown pods all over the entire tree. My question is, is the tree just dormant or is it dead? It’s strange because I have another exact tree and it is still totally green and covered in the pink flowers. Also I have livestock, are the pods dangerous that have fallen on the ground? Please advise, thank you so much.

  8. August 29, 2018 by Kerry Douglas Finck

    I have a young Mimosa tree. I planted it about four or five years ago. All was well until a month or so ago. The main trunk is about three feet tall, at which point it bifurcates. It has split at the bifurcation. I know how to bring the tree back together, but my question is, what is the chance the tree will survive? Will it be a problem in the near or not to distant future. Do you recommend that I ‘fix’ my tree or remove it and start with a new one? I love my tree and hope to be able to save it. Thanks for your help in this matter. Doug

    1. September 7, 2019 by Sharon

      My tree has some kind of webs on some of the leaves what should I do

  9. We had a beautiful mimosa for about 7 years in our back yard in vancouver canada. Always bloomed quite late but It grew fast and made a wide shady canopy. No problems except that wood bugs love the sweet inner bark, weakening it. Thought i had it under control but then one one wind storm it cracked in two. Heartbreaker.
    Thinking about trying it again all the same.

  10. April 29, 2019 by Sue Gray

    I have three in my front yard and they’ve been there for at least 20 years. They have now started dying. We cut one down to keep it from falling on the porch. But it is now growing back from the stump. Is it ok to let that grow back to replace the one there that died?

    1. July 4, 2019 by Sharon

      Hi Sue Gray
      Yes, it is fine to let your mimosa grow back from the stump. I had one that died and developed a new trunk by spring of the following year. It is now a mature tree three years old tall wide and beautiful and producing lots of flowers.

    2. August 25, 2019 by Caleb Fitzgerald

      Certainly! Thus is the cycle of life :). Mimosas have about a 15 to 20 year life span. So it sounds like they are just reaching the end of their life cycle. The new trees that sprout will use the existing root system and grow much faster than from just a seed. In just a few years you should have trees to about the same size they were when they died.

  11. April 30, 2019 by CATRYNA WHITE

    “…..the Mimosa Tree has been labeled ‘invasive” I would take this invasive tree over those god forsaken tobacco trees, any day. At least this has positives, including using for depression.

  12. May 10, 2019 by Tim Bartek

    I have 4 Mimosa trees that I originally started in my nursery and transplanted into my yard a year ago when they were about 4 feet tall. In one year all 4 trees grew to about 15 – 18 feet of height. They developed the V-shape at around 5 – 6 feet of height. There are very few lateral limbs with all the new growth near the top 3 – 4 feet of the two header limbs. I am afraid that the trees will split at the V as they get older and top heavy. Should I leave them alone or should I prune them back this winter to the V?

  13. July 29, 2019 by Yvette

    Oh no!! It’s now end of July and my mimosa has officially lost all its leaves. At first when I saw it lose its leaves I thought my neighbor sprayed something and asked a friend who is a landscaper. He said this was normal of mimosas. Now, I see it’s not. Is there any chance it will regrow next year or the tree is dead?

  14. August 5, 2019 by Jennifer Getz

    Some type of borer is killing the mimosa. From several areas on the tree are holes where a gush of white liquid runs down the tree attracting flies, etc. What do I use on the tree to stop this & will it spread to my other trees. HELP!

  15. August 11, 2019 by Kim Harrison

    I have two baby mimosas about 8 inches tall. Should I try to mulch them at all this winter? Zone 7 near Hot springs, Arkansas. They tend to grow wild here but I have a terrible black thumb and am thrilled they’ve lived this long. Kim

  16. August 21, 2019 by Nancy CULLUM

    I have had 2 mimosas grow from seeds. They were beautiful and lived for a couple of years. They both suddenly died, each at different times. Any idea what killed them? I would love to grow one and it stay alive for a lot of years.

  17. August 21, 2019 by Nancy CULLUM

    I have had 2 mimosas grow from seeds. They were beautiful and lived for a couple of years. They both suddenly died, each at different times. Any idea what killed them? I would love to grow one and it stay alive for a lot of years. Please tell me what I am doing wrong with the trees.

  18. absolutely!! im in SE Texas, and we have 3 huge… HUGE mimosa trees, that have been growing for about 15+ years. we have had droughts, that, even living on Lake Conroe, where MANY people had 50+ feet of BEACH, under their boat houses, and couldnt get them down. we have had hurricanes, that left the entire area completely flooded, for days and days. i havent used any fertilizer, i dont even water them, and i have not been able to kill them! Lol. thing is, my neighbor just loves my trees, because spring and summers, they are absolutely covered in those pretty flowers. and despite giving her several pretty large cuttings, off trees that are well established.. even the big shoots at the bottom, (up to 9 ft high), and she has not been successful in getting any to grow yet.
    so im here, trying to figure out what she is/is not doing correctly. i think im just going to try it myself, and when i know myself, that it is established, ill pass it along.
    thanx for the advice, y’all!!

  19. I live in Cols OH planted my Mimosa Tree about 5 yrs ago it’s awesome but we notice that at the forks in the tree looks as thought some has taken a chainsaw to it the trunk looks ruff ‘ not smooth like the trunk could this be Blight?

  20. November 9, 2019 by Debora Herzog

    I’m growing my mimosa from a seedling in a pot in my house. I put it by the window for sunshine, but I live in Ohio and we will not get much sun in the winter. It’s about 4 ins. tall right now and is doing well. Should I continue to keep it from going dormant or let it grow and get stronger? I plan on keeping it in the house for a couple of years just in the winters and putting it out in the spring through the fall. Any advice would be appreciated.

  21. February 9, 2020 by Steve

    i plant Mimosa tree in Quebec city Canada. For 3 years I was keeping three for winter in the house then in 2018 I planted outside: I did give protection at winter is made it OK in -27, I will post the teacher in may . it’s not growing very fast but they have beautiful flowers:

  22. April 16, 2020 by Tammy

    I planned a red memosa tree last fall and this spring it has sprouted new shouts off the lower truck of the tree but the top looks dead. It was a twelve foot tree and I hate to have to lop it off. Should I just leave it and give it a bit more time. Is it evergreen or deciduous?

  23. May 17, 2020 by Tracey Faulkner

    My Mimosa tree has an advanced stage of Mimosa Wilt it is an older tree. I read that Fusarium is a contagious fungus to other plants and the tree needs to come down and remove as much of the dirt around the tree as possibly. Then sterilize the soil and any pruning sheers between plants. This sounds exhausting.

    I would like to take the tree down and remove the stump. I would also like to plant a 4-5 year old Mimosa within 3-6 feet from the removed tree.
    1. Should I take the stump out? Will leaving it increase the risk of disease to the new tree?
    2. Do I really need to sterilize the soil and kill my grass in the perimeter of the diseased tree?
    3. While I really like the location of the dead Mimosa, I’d prefer my new tree to be healthy. How far away do I need to plant it from the infected location?
    4. Is there a fungicide application I can use in the soiled area prior to planting my new tree?

    Thank you for any insight.

  24. May 27, 2020 by Patricia J Marcum

    After 3 years how does one prune a Mimosa so it will grow like a tree? Just learning and wanting to plant one in front yard. Our 3 Mimosas were trimmed before 3 years and now are 3 to 6 trunks growing up and hanging. The shade is great but want the front one to have one tree trunk. Thanks for anyone’s help! Patricia

  25. June 4, 2020 by Ed Tynan

    I live in South Carolina and have two Mimosa trees in my front yard. One tree is in full bloom and looks very healthy the other has very little foliage. We had the trees thinned out 2 years ago during the winter. Could this have caused this sudden change in this one tree?

  26. July 4, 2020 by Kathy

    I’m in a5b zone. I brought my seedling with me when i moved from 5a zone 18 months ago.
    Last summer it grew a bit, but in winter, all branches fell off.

    This summer it has gotten taller and has dozens of new branches.

    Should I be covering it in winter?

  27. July 7, 2020 by Mary

    How long does it take to mature for the flowers to appear?

  28. July 10, 2020 by jo ann culver

    I live in Oregon. My mimosa looks healthy but every summer a major branch breaks off for no apparent reason. No wind or heavy rain so I can’t figure it out. Ideas?

  29. July 10, 2020 by sloane golden

    I live in Hawthorne, FL. I had several medium mimosa trees on the property when I bought it. I replanted a six foot one near my lake in May and it died almost immediately. I then planted another one in early June, a smaller one–and it is growing quite well. I water it daily, and mist the leaves. Is this good for it or should I water it less?

  30. July 14, 2020 by Tiffany Reyes

    I bought the minosa last year planted it full of blooms. Well its growing like crazy but no blooms is there something I can do to help it bloom…

  31. August 20, 2020 by Gord O'Meara

    Im very amazed at all these positive comments about the mimosa tree. I’m in the process of suing my neighbour because of the 3 mimosas she planted. The roots have invaded my yard and was destroying all my plants. I spent almost 2 weeks digging out all the invasive roots. I’ve also come across many sites that list the mimosa seed pods are highly toxic to other plants and to animals. It can cause paralysis in children who pick up the seeds and eat them. People should be warned of what might happen by planting these trees. They are also considered to be in the same genre as Manitoba Maples. A weed.

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