Growing chocolate mimosa in PHX

sherizona(9b)August 8, 2012

I couldn't resist and picked up a couple of summer chocolate mimosa trees from lowes about two weeks ago. I haven't planted them yet. They are about 4 feet tall in a decent sized pot, the same pot they came in.

I am watering it daily, it is on a covered patio that gets only morning sun, for about 2 hours. It's pretty shaded from wind as well. The tree is losing a lot of leaves. Entire baby branches are just falling off and some of the new growth is as well. Some of the leaves falling off are dry, others are not. The label says heat and drought tolerant. I realize labels here don't apply much when it comes to AZ's brutal extremes, but I figured on a patio with adequate water and shade it should be fine. I checked for pests and it doesn't appear to have any. The roots aren't bound either. Any ideas? I have two of these and one is doing slightly better but still showing similar signs. Is this tree just not meant to make it here or am I missing something?

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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

The only mimosa that I have seen thriving here in the valley was on a flood irrigated lot in a partially shaded exposure. I'd take a guess that it didn't like moving from where it came from and that you're probably doing the best you can, short of bringing it inside. Best of luck to you, I was severely tempted by those trees before....

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Thanks - I think the heat is their enemy right now, unfortunately. They were doing well the first 10 days but now that it's over 110 I think they are giving up :(

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:58PM
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sherizona, I hope they hang in there- nice looking trees. I think you're doing everything right. Make sure the soil is absorbing the water. Sometimes re-watering again can help with dry planting mix that resists soaking up.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:57PM
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I agree with all suggestions, i have an Erythrina that is still in its 5gal bucket that wilts every other day, any new growth it gets dies off at some point but true relief for this plant and your Mimosa is putting it in the ground, they will thrive with the right care. If you have a large shade tree i would stick em under there for now until you can plant them. Better air circulation and hopefully brighter light will help them until you can plant them. This genus is very tolerant of our soil and temps. I have seen these thrive on lawn water and drip irrigation. It all boils down to the gardener...

Id plant them and protect their grafts and very bare trunk, assuming it is a 5gal with shade screen or something similar then i would shade the rootzone with a nice layer of mulch. If you keep them in the pot until cooler temps, it wouldn't hurt to feed them some mild fertilizer either, this heat can take a toll on plants confined to containers.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Perhaps I should plant it then. I have a decent place in mind that gets about 6 hours of sun a day. I increased the watering to twice a day. Almost all of the old leaves are gone but about 70% of the new growth seems to be ok. I've attached a photo. It doesn't look nearly as bad as it did a few days ago, but those little dropped baby branches look like centipedes all over the patio. Gives me the willies ;)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:54PM
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I have one that's about 3 feet tall in a pot. It's been out in the yard since May 5th.
The top leaves are burning off, but the lower leaves and young branches are still growing great.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 7:49AM
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