Sensitive Plant

The sensitive plant, a member of the pea family, is an annual children are sure to enjoy.

Credit: Barbra Fairclough

Mimosa pudica, also known as sensitive plant, is a member of the pea family (Leguminosae) and an annual that children are sure to enjoy.

With the slightest brushing of the hand or wisp of air moving over its leaves, the tiny leaflets will instantly fold together and the stem will drop down.

Almost animal-like in its movements, the plant will return to its original state in a few minutes’ time.

Younger plants are more responsive than older ones, but keep in mind that too much touching will wear it out, so avoid over-handling. Keep M. pudica in bright light and evenly moist, well-drained soil.