How to Grow a TickleMe Plant
TickleMe is a trademarked name for a plant that is marketed as a fun project for children. They are kits that include everything you need to grow several TickleMe's in a set of 6 pots. What makes this plant so interesting is that the fern-like leaves move when you touch or ‘tickle’ them. Of course, you don’t need to buy this particular brand to grow it in your home because it is available from other seed companies and nurseries. It is also commonly known as the shy and sensitive plant, and is scientifically known as Mimosa pudica. The best part is that you don’t need to be a kid to grow and appreciate these exotic beauties.
The average height of Mimosa pudica when it is fully-grown is about 18 inches tall and will spread just as wide. It is fern-like in appearance but is actually part of the legume family of plants. It grows puffball flowers that are pink or purple and then produces seedpods that you can harvest to grow more plants.
I don't recommend growing Mimosa pudica in your yard or garden because it is an invasive plant. It self seeds and will quickly spread where it isn't wanted or needed. The best practice is to keep it indoors as a houseplant where it is more easily controlled.
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How to Plant Mimosa Pudica Seeds
If you decide to purchase the brand name TickleMe plant then follow the directions that are included with your kit. For general information on generic seeds go through the following steps.
- Prepare the seeds by soaking them in a glass of warm water overnight. This is a simple way of germinating or preparing the seeds to grow. Remove them from the water and place them on a paper towel while you get the pot ready to receive them.
- Use a 5-inch pot that has drain holes in the bottom. Make a mixture in a large bucket of equal parts sterile potting soil, perlite and peat moss. Fill the pot with the dirt mixture and then pour water over it until the water drains out of the bottom. Use a tray to catch the extra water and dump it out. Sprinkle your Mimosa seeds on the surface of the dirt, but don’t add too many or they will be overcrowded. Four or five seeds should be enough.
- Cover the seeds with a 1/8-inch layer of your potting mix – in other words not too deep because germinating seeds need some light to grow. Put the pot inside of a clear plastic bag and use an elastic band to seal it or just tie it loosely in a single knot. Keep the pot out of direct sunshine but in a bright area. This is like a mini green house for seeds that will keep the humidity high for them.
- After you see the seedlings emerge take off the plastic bag. Keep the soil moist all the time until the plants are strong and well established.
Do You Have a Mimosa Pudica?
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After Care of TickleMe Plant
Water your Mimosa when you see that the surface layer of soil is dried out. Give it a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer twice per month during the growing season and discontinue for the winter months. You can separate the seedlings when they are about 8 inches tall so that they each have their own pot to avoid over crowding. You can also keep several together for a more bushy and lush appearance. Re-pot your plant to a larger pot using fresh all purpose potting soil every other year until it reaches its maximum height.
This plant grows thorns so be careful when you play with it.