The Q&A Archives: plant a mimosa

Question: I live in HOuston TX. I just bought a mimosa since I read the reviews and the photo of the tree. It is smaller (finger diameter), but tall (6-7 feet). Is it still a good time to plant? What can do to keep it growing? What soid or fertilizer?

Answer: The mimosa tree, otherwise known as the Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin), is a rapidly growing tree that can reach 40 feet tall with a 50-foot spread. That said, any mimosa tree can be pruned to keep it smaller (10-20 feet). The beauty of the mimosa tree is the pink plume-like flowers it bears in the summer, and the feathery foliage that folds up at night. They can be messy, though, and that's where their reputation as a nuisance comes into play. If you plant your mimosa tree next to a patio or deck, you'll have to remove the litter of fallen leaves, flowers, and seed pods frequently. If the tree is planted in a lawn area, cleaning up is as easy as running the lawnmower beneath it. My vote is to enjoy your mimosa tree - its virtues far outweigh any problems that might occur with fallen leaves and flowers.

You can plant now that the weather is beginning to cool off a bit. It will adapt to most soils, as long as they drain well. Don't feed it now - wait until new growth begins in the spring. At that time you can broadcast a 10-10-10 granular fertilizer beneath the tree (in amounts as recommended on the label for the size of the tree). Enjoy your new tree!

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