If you’ve always had a thing for plants that are a bit on the unusual side, then perhaps you’ve thought about getting a mimosa pudica for your home.
Also known as the touch me not plant, the mimosa pudica is one of the rare and fascinating plants that close when touched. You may also have heard them referred to as “sensitive” plants.
So, while they don’t look exactly like the famous Venus Flytrap, (and don’t close around any prey) they work in much the same way.
The touch me not plant closes its leaves whenever it feels threatened, and even when it’s dark outside, curling them up and in on each other.
These plants look somewhat similar to ferns and usually have purple or pink flowers. They can be grown outdoors or, depending on your climate, as a houseplant.
Curious about what else makes the mimosa pudica plant so special?
1. Each Plant Has Its Own Personality
The touch me not plant may be most well-known for its ability to close on its own, but each plant doesn’t close in the same way or for the same reasons.
The plants, over time, learn to distinguish between threats and normal sensations. Some leaves may stay folded for a long time after a threat, while others may open back up after just a minute or so.
Plants may also unfold their leaves depending on when they need more light exposure to grow.
In fact, these plants are even able to sense when specific leaves are damaged. They may unfold “healthy” leaves, but leave ones in need of healing curled up.
2. It Has Excellent Physical Healing Properties
The mimosa pudica plant has also long been a staple in herbal medicine.
In the past, the plant was used to treat wound healing, and even to scrub off toxins and bacteria. Today, the touch me not plant is especially popular when it comes to restoring your overall gut health and strengthening the immune system.
The entire part of the plant can be used in herbal medicine, from the seeds to the roots. It’s quickly becoming a much sought-after ingredient in supplements and even tinctures.
The plant contains tons of healthy phytochemicals like flavonoids, which may be able to lower your risk of heart disease or even cancer. They’re also packed with antioxidants, which can help to ward off cell damage.
3. It Thrives in Tropical Climates
If you’re thinking of getting a touch me not plant for your home, you should know that they usually do best in tropical climates.
This is because traditionally, the plant grew in South Asia, Central America, and even parts of Australia.
This means that it’s an especially good houseplant option for those who weren’t exactly born with a green thumb. It doesn’t need to be watered often, and it doesn’t need nutrient-rich soil in order to thrive.
The plant actually contains plenty of the mimosine compound, which helps to keep the touch me not plant growing even if it lives in an environment that lacks nutrients.
If you don’t live in a tropical climate and still want to grow this plant, you will likely only be able to grow it in the summer months.
4. It’s Good for Other Plants
Especially as you continue to read up on mimosa pudica, you may see that it’s often described as a pest.
But while it’s true that their stems can sometimes grow to up to 15 feet, don’t worry about these plants overtaking your garden just yet.
That’s because these plants can actually give a serious boost to your soil’s overall fertility. It offers food for healthy bacteria and can ensure that your plant and soil get enough of the nutrients they need.
However, be aware that if you’re trying to grow mainly agricultural crops – or just planting a garden where you want to try to grow your own food in the backyard – you may want to avoid this plant.
5. It can Boost Your Mental Health
Struggling to sleep at night, especially because your anxiety and negative thoughts are keeping you awake?
Believe it or not, mimosa pudica may be able to help.
Some scientists also believe that, when taken in capsule form especially, the touch me not plant can also serve as a kind of natural antidepressant. This is likely because your overall gut health and the balance of bacteria in your body is directly related to your mental health.
Serotonin – the “happy” natural chemical in your body, is actually made in your gut. If you don’t produce enough serotonin, you’re much more likely to have bouts of depression and anxiety.
You can use this plant to help give your serotonin production levels a boost.
Is a Touch Me Not Plant Right for Your Space?
So, are you thinking about getting a touch me not plant to liven up your living room or garden?
If so, you’re not just getting a fascinating plant that closes on its own –and that will impress all your friends. You’re also getting one that has a long history of healing properties.
People use the plant as a way to treat insect and snake bites, to treat hair loss, and even to stop dental hygiene problems from getting any worse.
Curious about other houseplants you may want to work into your decor? Want to get into gardening more this summer? Interested in diving into the healing properties of herbs?
Keep checking back in with us to pick up tips on how to grow even the trickiest plants, and to get some recipes that include the herbs you grew in your own garden.