Sunshine mimosa is also called the sensitive plant because of the way it shrinks when touched. I’ve been a longtime fan of the Native Florida groundcover with pink sparkling pom-poms that pop up during the summer in the same way dandelions used to pop up in yards in the North.
Only difference is Sunshine mimosa is not a weed, but a beautiful host plant for the dainty yellow Little Sulphur.
Sunshine mimosa or powder puff, which quickly spreads by rooting along the stem, is a popular alternative to traditional lawns in Florida, especially among those who xeriscape.
Classified actually as a legume, Sunshine mimosa or “Mimosa strigillosa” is perfect for xeriscaping because it is drought tolerant.
From the family, “Fabaceae,” the plant is a true Florida native, having been around since prehistoric times. Its pink pom-pom blooms sparkle with new ones replacing the ones that die.
Here are a few tips for growing Sunshine mimosa in your yards:
No. 1: Decide whether you want to use Sunshine mimosa as a groundcover for your yard or as part of your butterfly gardens. Sunshine mimosa grows with the grass in my backyard as well as in one flower garden.
No. 2: Some people claim Sunshine mimosa can take over other plants, but I have not had a problem. My pink salvia, for example, simply grows in between the foliage of the Sunshine mimosa groundcover. I like the way it fills up “empty space” between other plants. Plan to do some strenuous weeding if you don’t want the natural look.
No. 3: When buying the plant, remember the two species of Mimosa that are Florida natives include the Mimosa strigillosa and Mimosa quadrivalvis, but the Mimosa strigillosa is the one with powder puff or pom-pom blooms.
No. 4: Since Sunshine mimosa forms a dense mat, it is tough enough to withstand pets and people walking on it. It just naturally shrinks when anything touches it. My plant shrinks when I water it.
No. 5: Grow in full sun and part-shade. I was surprised by how well my Sunshine mimosa did in shadier spots in the backyard.
No. 6: Sunshine mimosa becomes dormant in the winter. It’s still there but you will barely notice it. The powder puff pom-poms do not pop up anymore after summer or early fall is over.
No. 7: My Sunshine mimosa will grow to nine inches if left un-mowed. Mowing will trim off the pom-poms so I always let it grow unhampered into some of the butterfly flower beds.
Sunshine mimosa can be grown in zones 8A to 10B. Another attraction to the plant is the way is draws butterflies. Sunshine mimosa can spread to other parts of your neighborhood, but it’s a native plant that helps the eco-system.
More people are getting away from traditional grass, and Sunshine mimosa blends in well whether you want to let it grow with the grass or instead of grass. Either way, the butterflies will appreciate the iridescent pink globes emerging from a green backdrop. Pets also seem to enjoy lounging and sleeping in Sunshine mimosa.