How to Take Care of a Sensitive Plant


The sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) is an evergreen shrub, native to Brazil. A joy for children, the sensitive plant derives its name from the way its fern-like leaves gently close after being touched, or even blown by a soft breeze. Sensitive plant blooms in the summer with pink, pompom-like flowers on thorny stems. The shrub can reach a height of 5 feet, with a 3-foot spread. Because sensitive plant is hardy only to USDA zone 11, it is grown in other zones as an annual. Although the sensitive plant requires lots of sunshine, it can be grown in a wide variety of soil types and is a low-maintenance shrub.

Step 1

Water the sensitive plant when the top 2 inches of soil is dry. This plant is somewhat drought-tolerant and intolerant of wet roots.

Step 2

Fertilize the sensitive plant every spring, just before it begins new growth. Use a 10-10-10 formula, at the rate suggested on the package for the size of your plant. Spread the fertilizer on the soil beneath the plant, to a distance of 1 foot beyond the drip line.

Step 3

Inspect the sensitive plant periodically for the presence of spider mites. These are tiny, spider-like insects that will suck the moisture from the plant's foliage. Use a strong jet from the hose to knock them off the sensitive plant. For larger infestations, use insecticidal soap, according to the rate suggested on the package.

Tips and Warnings

  • Sensitive plant seeds are poisonous if ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap


  • University of Miami: Mimosa Pudica
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass";‭ ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
  • University of Oklahoma: Mimosa Pudica
Keywords: sensitive plant care, care sensitive plant, mimosa pudica care

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.