Touch-me-not plants are scientifically known as Mimosa Pudica. This term is derived from the latin word meaning ‘shy’ or ‘shrinking’. Touch-me-nots are sensitive plants whose leaves tend to shrink or droop inwards on being touched or shaken. These are creepy, perennial or annual flowering plants. The closing action of the leaves is to defend themselves from harm.
Native to Central or South America, this plant mainly grows in soil with low nutrients. It has a rapid movement and is famous for the unique changes in leaf orientation. Scientifically, this process is known as nyctinastic or ‘sleep’. These plants also close during darkness and the leaves open up again during light.
If you plan to grow a touch-me-not plant in your home, you should know about some basic plant care tips that will help you cultivate this plant successfully.
Care for Sensitive Plant – Touch-Me-Not:
Touch-me-nots are fascinating plants that display a unique plant characteristic of self-defence. This characteristic was further used to study other traits in plants. This plant can be grown easily at home. It has been given different names due to its unique characteristics. This plant is used for decorating the house. It is a flowering plant with distinct and beautiful flowers and leaves.
Touch-Me-Not is also a shameful plant, action plant and humble plant, although the scientific name is different. It is interesting the watch the leaves close on being touched or stimulated.
Plant and Soil Selection:
This plant requires easy maintenance and care. It is quite simple to grow this plant with less requirements. The soil should be moist and well-drained for this plant. Soil is the most important factor for growing a plant well. Each plant has a different soil requirement and this plant can even grow in a soil with low nutrients.
Moist and well-drained soil is important for this plant. If you over-water the soil or use a soil with no drainage, the roots will die. You also need a good quality pot to grow the plant at home or in your balcony. If you are growing the plant in a pot, then ensure that you use a pot with drainage holes so that it does not stagnate excess water. Also, remember to choose a pot that fits the size of the plant well. Taking a smaller pot will not give the roots enough space to spread and grow. It is better to use a smaller pot for seedlings and then use a larger pot once the plant has grown considerably well. The best soil for this plant is a well-draining loamy soil.
Bright light is necessary to provide energy to the plant to grow well. You need a proper amount of sunlight to grow well. If the light is not sufficient, the plant will not be able to produce blooms. Lack of adequate sunlight will lead to improper leaves or flowers development. If you are growing the plant outdoors, ensure that it gets ample amount of light from the sun.
If you are growing this plant under the bright light of a bulb, or if you are growing it using the direct sunlight from a window, then it will grow well and healthy. You can even grow the plant in your garden. Direct sunlight is necessary for this plant to grow well. If you don’t have access to direct sunlight, you can use artificial lighting such as full-spectrum fluorescent lighting for good growth.
Heat and temperature are one of the most important factors for proper plant growth. Touch-me-nots require 16 to 30 C for healthy growth of flowers and leaves. These plants can grow quickly indoors when placed under a sunny window getting direct sunlight.
Water is necessary for proper and healthy growth too. Always keep the soil of this plant moist for best results. This plant generally requires less amount of water. It is ideal to use consistently moist potting soil for proper growth.
Sometimes, essential nutrients are missing in a soil that can hamper proper growth of a plant. These nutrients can be restored using a good quality fertilizer. It is best to feed fertilizers to this plant every two weeks in the spring and summer seasons for optimal growth. When the plant is in its growing phase, one should use a fertilizer once weekly.
Propagation is the process of growing the plant in the right way. This plant grows from seeds. You need to keep the seeds moist and place a plastic above the planting medium to produce moisture. The seeds should sprout in 2 to 3 weeks. This plant also grows from cuttings. You can grow it using a healthy part of the stem, leaf or branch and plant it in a medium. Then, place a plastic wrap over the plant to keep the air inside humid. Place the plant in a warm and moist location for optimal growth.
Pests and Diseases:
The sensitive plant usually gets infested by common houseplant pests such as bugs, red spider mites, etc. You need to spray pesticides regularly. The plant also contains toxic alkaloids that can harm humans if ingested.
Pruning helps to enhance the worth and value of a plant. Regular pruning prevents the plant from damage and pests. You can control the plant size and maintain its shape as you desire.
This plant has thorny stems that should be removed periodically. You should ask a professional on how to do it the right way.
These are some important tips on how to care for a Touch-Me-Not plant.