Mimosa – showy and fragrant yellow flowers, blooms in late winter to early spring

THE Mimosa tree is very common and popular in the Mediterranean region and very useful in your garden, as it attracts wildlife and can be used as a cut flower, for both its foliage and flowers.

Also known for its nitrogen fixing abilities that benefit other plants growing nearby, as well as the tree itself.

An attractive evergreen tree, which can grow to a height of 6m, with a spread of 5m, that has a very fast growth rate of 25-50cm or more per year.

Its bark is smooth and silvery grey, with attractive feathery leaves, with numerous small leaflets of bluish green and smooth on both sides.

It has showy and fragrant yellow flowers, which bloom in late winter to early spring, borne in dense, fluffy clusters of golden yellow balls 0.6cm in diameter.

Their fruits are flat, brown coloured pods, which are about 9cm in length and contain the plant’s seeds.

Easy to propagate by seeds and semi-hardwood cuttings in the summer. To propagate by seed, remove the seeds from the dry pods and place in boiling water. Once cool the swollen seeds can then be sown.

Mimosas grow in full sun and are drought tolerant, requiring well-drained, slightly acidic soil, and need to be sheltered from strong winds.

Once established Mimosas require no watering. However, during their first year they need at least 20-25 litres of water twice a week, increasing to 40 litres once a week in its second year.

By the third year the tree should be established and not require any supplementary watering.

Little maintenance is required, but prune after flowering, to encourage compact growth. Take care to avoid any hard pruning.