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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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Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: Leitchfield, KY
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native mimosa failing to bloom in Leitchfield KY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a medium size mimosa tree here in KY that usually blooms beautifully; it did not bloom at all this year. It leafed out well, needs a few dead limbs pruned, but seems otherwise healthy. Please tell me she is not in trouble?

ANSWER:

Albizia julibrissin, Mimosa is native to China and Korea and thereore falls out of our range of expertise. Mr. Smarty Plants recommends only plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they grow naturally. In this case, we also don't recommend them because they are very invasive. For comments from other gardeners, read the 44 negative comments in this Dave's Garden forum on mimosa. For another take on the problem, here is the Plant Conservation Alliance's Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED article on invasive, non-native mimosa.

However, since you asked, here is an article from e-How Home on Mimosa Tree Pests. Failure to bloom sounds more like an environmental problem. This has been a strange weather year all over the country. We're afraid we have not kept up too well on what has been happening in Kentucky, but if you had torrential rains or flooding or late freezes at the time the blooms were developing, that could explain their failure to appear.

 

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