The Mimosa tree, commonly known as a silk tree and a silky acacia and botanically as Albizia julibrissin, is a midsize, low-maintenance, deciduous flowering tree. A lover of the sun, it has large leaves that are split into tiny fernlike fronds and fragrant flowers with long, silky pink strings that group at the end of the branches. It also produces seed pods that are a golden colour and are up to 7 inches long. The pods contain ovoid seeds that ripen in late summer and stay attached until they drop or are blown off in winter. At maturity, Mimosa trees can be 40 feet tall. The Mimosa's flowers, nectar and pods attract bees, birds and butterflies.
Mimosa trees grow best in rich, well-drained soil. Sprinkle compost around the base of the tree if it is already established. Mimosas prefer an acidic soil with a pH between 4.6 and 5.0. Add peat moss, composted leaves or sawdust to the soil to lower the pH, if necessary.
Water Mimosa trees regularly around the drip line so that the soil remains moist, but not saturated.
Sweep up spent flowers and seed pods with a rake or broom. If the nectar from the tree's blooms is baked by the sun onto your concrete driveway or sidewalk, water the surface with a hose.
Prune new sucker branches in the fall with a hand saw or tree saw to maintain the tree's shape and canopy clearance.
If the tree's flowers fall onto your car roof or patio furniture, clean them up as soon as possible. Dried blooms can become sticky; almost the consistency of dried syrup. A soft cloth and water usually does the trick.
Tips and warnings
- If the tree's flowers fall onto your car roof or patio furniture, clean them up as soon as possible. Dried blooms can become sticky; almost the consistency of dried syrup. A soft cloth and water usually does the trick.