Mimosa, superb winter flower tree

Mimosa tree

Mimosa, in winter, bears  exceptional fragrant, bright gold yellow flowers.

Key facts about mimosa

Name – Acacia dealbata
Family – Mimosaceae
Type – tree

Height – 13 to 32 feet (4 to 10 meters)
Exposure – full sun

Soil: well drained, sandy   –  Foliage: evergreen  –   Flowering: winter → spring

Proper planting of the winter mimosa tree, its pruning and the care you’ll give it will help you have a magnificent mimosa tree, whether in pots or in the garden.

Planting a winter mimosa tree

Mimosa is planted preferably in spring or in fall in a sunny spot and, ideally, sheltered from wind.

Planting mimosa treeIf you choose to grow your mimosa tree in a pot for a deck, balcony or terrace, its fragrance will spread in the entire vicinity as soon as the first flowers unfurl.

Indeed, mimosa tree particularly loves sun-endowed emplacements that are protected from drafts, and especially well-drained soil.

  • Avoid heavy clay soil, or at least lighten it up on around 1 square yard/meter.
  • For chalky soil, select a flowering mimosa tree that is grafted with a local native root stock. It will be better suited to that particular soil type.
  • Here, a thick layer of Rameal Chipped Wood (RCW) serves as mulch.
  • Follow our tips on how to plant a mimosa tree.

In regions with harsh winters, your best option is to plant your mimosa tree in large pots so that you may bring them indoors over winter.

Mimosa tree propagation

  • Propagate your mimosa tree through cuttings in summer (highest success rate, but spring is also fine).
  • Gather seeds from a tree, they germinate readily.
  • You can even grow a new mimosa tree from bark.

Growing mimosa in a pot

Mimosa is a shrub that will grow very well in a pot or large garden box, even though proper growing conditions must be provided.

  • Mimosa in a potIt’s a pleasure to place this pot near a window you open in winter to ventilate. The scent will spread through your home!
  • Detailed run-through on how to grow mimosa in a pot.

Note: Have the best of both worlds! A full-blown tree outside, and a vase with cut branches in the house! Indeed, mimosa buds will still bloom as cut flowers.

Mimosa tree and winter freezing

Mimosa tree sporting flower buds in the middle of icy rain and snowstorm.Mimosa tree resists freezing if moderate, 23°F (-5°C) at the coldest. This is especially true when the bouts of freezing are short.

When growing directly in the ground and if the weather freezes deeply in your area, protect your tree by implementing our advice on protecting plants against the cold.

  • Remember: wind worsens cold. Shelter your tree from wind.

Switching from pot to ground

If you transfer a potted mimosa to the ground, remember to winterize it for at least three years.

This is especially important if you’ve previously been bringing it indoors for protection.

These first three “outdoor winters” will gradually harden the tree until it can cope against freezing on its own.

Caring for and pruning mimosa tree

Caring for mimosaOnce properly settled in with a developed root system, the mimosa tree calls for minimal care. The only thing you might fear is having a late deep frost spell hit the mimosa tree in full bloom.

Otherwise, mimosa is so vigorous that some people call it an invasive plant. But stand assured: regular care and pruning will restrain its rapid growth.

Mimosa tree pruning

This tree normally doesn’t need any pruning at all, unless  you want to start shaping it somewhat. Important to know is that you should only prune after the blooming is over.

Watering a mimosa tree

Mimosa tree wateringMimosa isn’t a tree that requires much watering, except when potted, of course. However, it hates excess moisture that has a tendency to make the roots rot, eventually killing the tree.

Watering a mimosa tree planted in the ground

  • You must water in case of prolonged dry spells, but otherwise stocks of water contained in the tree itself should answer the mimosa tree’s needs.

Watering potted mimosa

  • Mimosa trees grown in pots require regular watering that is moderate in quantity during winter.  Only provide it when it isn’t freezing.
  • In summer and in case of hot weather, water in the evening to avoid having water evaporate immediately.

Mimosa tree, key points to know

Mimosa is known thanks to florists who sell it in January, when flowers are still in the bud. It already is fragrant enough to spread its scent throughout an entire house!

Its foliage is evergreen and its blooming has a fresh, appealing smell.

Mimosa tree flowerA winter-blooming tree, it is also particularly appreciated for the color of its flowers, the fragrance they impart and, most of all, its blooming period.

Winter’s deepest and darkest months is when this tree drapes itself in full color and releases its delicious spring-like fragrance throughout the neighborhood.

You can also take advantage of all this tree’s gifts on your terrace, balcony or deck if you plant it in a large garden box. Simply water it as soon as the soil turns dry.

Note that there is a certain confusion in terms: the tree that is commonly called Mimosa tree is actually an Acacia, whereas the tree that is commonly called acacia is really the locust tree. In addition, for Americans, a mimosa is a tree of the Albizia genus, the silk tree.

Now, about varieties: over 1200 mimosa varieties have been numbered throughout the world, and the first ones were introduced in Europe first along the Mediterranean, then along the Atlantic. They’ve spread across the temperate hemisphere ever since.

Smart tip about the mimosa tree

No need to add any fertilizer because a mimosa tree never needs fertilizer, even upon planting. An exception to this is when growing mimosa in pots: the soil must be replenished. Simple mulch is enough and will keep water from evaporating and weeds from growing.

Images: 123RF: Africa Images, CC BY 2.0: Pasquale Paolo Cardo, CC BY-NC 2.0: nofrills; Pixabay: Rangoni-Gianluca; shutterstock: Asmadi87; Unsplash: Tomoko Uji