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Sensitive Plant

Sensitive Plant


A sensitive plant, indeed! This unusually shy houseplant rapidly folds in its leaves after being touched, exposing its spines as protection from potential harm. Children and adults alike will love watching it move in response to touch, heat, or light. Its forest green, compound leaflets and globe-shaped, lilac-pink blooms add to its charm. Perennial in the tropics, and as a houseplant; otherwise grown as an annual.
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  • Variety Info
  • Sowing Info
  • Growing Info

Variety Info

Family: Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae), Pea, Bean, or Legume family, includes beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, and lupines.

Native: South and Central America

Hardiness: Perennial in the topics, and as a houseplant; otherwise grown as an annual

Exposure: Full sun to part shade. Indoors, place in a bright, sunny location, like an east-facing window.

Bloom Period: Summer

Plant Dimensions: 12''–20” tall

Variety Info: 1" lilac-pink, globe-shaped flowers that appear in summer. The plant has fern-like leaves with reddish-brown prickly stems, and bristled seed pods.

Attributes: Houseplant, Good for Containers

Sowing Info

When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after last frost.

When to Start Inside: 8 to 10 weeks before average last frost. Sow in biodegradable pots to avoid root disturbance when transplanting.

Days to Emerge: 7 – 21 days

Seed Depth: 1/4"

Seed Spacing: A group of 6 seeds every 18"

Thinning: When 1"–2" tall, thin to 1 every 18"

Growing Info

Special Care: Sensitive plant should be grown in containers to avoid naturalization, as it can adversely affect crops, livestock, and native vegetation in tropical regions.