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Sensitive Plant?

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:02 pm
by iast8
Anyone have any experience trying to keep a sensitive plant alive? I got one this spring and it did well for awhile, but now the leaves are ALMOST gone, though the stems look okay - I feel like its dying :(

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:22 am
by Kisal
Is your plant indoors? In general, they do well with basic indoor plant care, i.e. bright, indirect light, with an hour or two of early morning or late evening sun. They like typical indoor temperatures, which means not below 60º F. They like evenly moist soil. For me, that means that if the surface of the soil feels cool to the touch, I don't water it.

They don't live very long indoors, as a rule, a couple of years on average, I think. They don't get very large when grown indoors in containers, either.

If yours is losing leaves, I would first check for red spider mites. Mimosa pudica tends to be prone to infestations of them. Small strands of webbing are the giveaway for spider mites. They can be killed by spraying with a soap solution. Spray the plant until it is dripping, being sure to get all surfaces. Wait 5 to 7 days, then repeat the treatment. Do this 4 to 5 times, and it should clear the infestation.

The second thing I would check for would be root rot. You can gently slide the plant out of its pot and look at the roots. If they look brown and mushy, then root rot has set in. Since these plants sprout easily from seed, I would just replace the plant. I don't know of a dependable way to cure root rot, especially if it's so long standing that the plant has lost its leaves.

If the roots look healthy, but wrap around and around inside the walls of the pot, it would be time to move it to a larger container. Select a container no more than 1 size larger than the old one.

Does that help? :)

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:31 pm
by Green Mantis
:flower: That's quite the plant :shock: Have to say I really like it. Don't see them often here. Have fun with your plant. :D

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:58 pm
by iast8
Can I move it outdoors? Would it do better out there?

I'll try the soap and check out the roots too.

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:57 am
by Kisal
iast8 wrote:Can I move it outdoors? Would it do better out there?

I'll try the soap and check out the roots too.
According to what I've read, they never live more than 1 to 2 years, even in Brazil, where they're probably native. They are considered a weed in most areas with warm climates.

Indoors, they have a difficult time surviving the winter. They require tropical conditions, which include warmth and humidity, and protection from drafts. In northern areas, such as where I live, sensitive plant would also require supplemental light equivalent to full sun outdoors. Your plant might revive, if you can meet all of its requirements.

Because they sprout so readily from seeds, and seeds are easily obtained, most people just grow them as annuals, even indoors.

I don't recommend that you randomly spray it with soap solution. If your plant isn't infested with an insect pest that is susceptible to soap solution, there is no point in spraying it with one. If you decide to treat the plant anyway, be very careful that you use a pure soap, not a detergent. Detergents can damage plants. Most dishwashing liquids are detergents. Also, you may want to test-spray just a few leaves, because some plants cannot tolerate a soap solution.

HTH! :)

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 am
by Grammato2
I have 2 Sensitive plants and they are doing the same thing as yours. I tried growing one inside and one outside, now have them both outside. I read on the net they like full sun?