Mimosas: Not as fun as they look

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It’s hard not to feel whimsical about Mimosa trees. In bloom now, these trees burst onto the landscape with fuzzy pink poofs that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. They smell nice and are welcoming to all sorts of wildlife, including butterflies and hummingbirds. What a botanical delight!

But then there’s the real story. Mimosas are not native, having arrived to the U.S. from China. While they have their charm, there’s a long list of what’s wrong with this plant:

  • As a fast-growing tree, it’s weak and has a short lifespan.
  • In the winter, it grows unattractive seed pods that are filled with thousands of seeds. And those seeds spread far and wide, leading to Mimosas everywhere.
  • Mimosas are incredibly hearty in terms of climate and water needs, which means it competes with – and often wins – against other trees. In other words, it’s considered an invasive plant that can hurt our canopy.

So how to deal with these plants? Experts recommend cutting them down at ground level. Because they are so resilient, you’ll need to watch for new growths and cut those away or use a herbicide.

Sources: University of Florida and Southern Living