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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - June 15, 2011

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native Chocolate Mimosa from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Chocolate Mimosa I planted last spring. It came back strong this spring but suddenly the leafs have started turning brown and falling off, it gets watered every morning and I don't have a clue. This is my second one the last one did the same thing? It's in a bed with flowers , gets full sun and I have two other fruit trees within several feet of it and there mature trees?

ANSWER:

We have answered a number of questions on the non-native mimosa. From one of our answers:

"The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. Albizia julibrissin (mimosa, silk tree) is a native of Asia from Iran east to China and Korea. Cultivar "Chocolate Mimosa" was developed in Japan and begun recently being imported into the United States. Not only is the mimosa a non-native, but it is on many invasives list; that is, native plant people not only don't recommend you plant it, they recommend you remove it if you've already planted it. See this website from the Plant Conservation Alliance on "Least Wanted" mimosa."

We advocate for native plants because they are already adapted to the soils, temperatures and rainfall of the area in which they are being grown, and they do not need excessive watering, fertilizing and replacement when they cannot adapt to the area. Since you have already lost one to the same problems, we would suggest you locate a better plant for the space.

 

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