Chocolate Mimosa Tree Care: Tips On Growing Chocolate Mimosa Trees


You’ve seen mimosa trees, common and familiar landscape trees especially in the South. They have a tropical look, with slender leaves that make you think of ferns, and frothy pink blossoms in early summer. If your garden could use a touch of the tropics or a little Asian flair, consider growing chocolate mimosa (Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’). So what is a chocolate mimosa? This mimosa variety has an umbrella-shaped canopy with leaves that change from green to dark red, and by late summer they are reddish-bronze or chocolaty brown.

Growing Chocolate Mimosa

Not only is the deep chocolate hue of the foliage unusual and elegant, but it also makes care of chocolate mimosa trees easier. The darker foliage makes the tree both accepting of heat and drought tolerant, according to chocolate mimosa information. Deer dislike the odor of the leaves, so you don’t have to worry about these animals munching up your tree.

You’ll appreciate the unusual leaf color but you’ll also love the 1-2 inch showy flowers, which is the showiest feature of chocolate mimosas that bloom in late summer. The sweet fragrance is lovely, and the flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. In time, the pink powder puff flowers develop into long seed pods that look like beans and will decorate the tree all winter.

These lovely trees are perfect for your garden, but you may think twice before planting chocolate mimosa trees since their other mimosa counterparts have escaped cultivation in many areas, to the point of becoming invasive. Mimosas spread from seeds and form dense stands that shade and out compete valuable native plants. They can do so much damage to wild areas that the Plant Conservation Alliance has added them to their “Least Wanted” list.

That being said, research suggests that growing a chocolate mimosa doesn’t carry the same risks as growing the species tree does. That’s because the ‘Summer Chocolate’ isn’t invasive. It produces far fewer seeds. Nonetheless, you should still contact your cooperative extension agent to find out more about the status of summer chocolate mimosa in your area, just to be safe.

Care of Chocolate Mimosa

The care of chocolate mimosa is easy. The plants are rated for USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these trees grow. A chocolate mimosa tree in landscapes should get to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. This is about half the size of the green species tree, though.

Give the tree a location with full sun and moist but well-drained soil. A chocolate mimosa tree in landscapes also tolerates alkaline soil and salty soil.

The trees need water until their roots are established, but then become extremely drought tolerant. Apply the water slowly, allowing the moisture to sink deep into the soil to encourage a deep root system. Once established, the tree only needs occasional watering in the absence of rain.

Fertilize annually in spring with a complete and balanced fertilizer.

Chocolate mimosa trees almost never need pruning. You can, however, make removal of the seed pods a part of your chocolate mimosa tree care routine, if desired. The seed pods are about 6 inches long and straw-colored, resembling beans, and each pod contains several bean-like seeds. These mature in late summer or early fall.

Note: Summer chocolate mimosa trees are protected by a patent, so you should not try to propagate them.


Plant Finder

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Summer Chocolate Mimosa foliage

Summer Chocolate Mimosa foliage

Summer Chocolate Mimosa flowers

Summer Chocolate Mimosa flowers

Attractive airy foliage emerges coppery-green and matures to deep burgundy an open umbrella-like form make this a highly desired tree, leaves tend to close for the night interesting and graceful pink fuzzy flowers are showy and fragrant

Summer Chocolate Mimosa features showy fragrant pink pincushion flowers along the branches in late summer. It has attractive burgundy foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The ferny bipinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruits are showy brown pods displayed in early fall.

Summer Chocolate Mimosa is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

Summer Chocolate Mimosa is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Accent
  • Shade

Summer Chocolate Mimosa will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.


Physical Characteristics of Mimosa Tree

In general, mimosa is a fast-growing tree that can easily reach a height of 20 to 40 feet. With the right external conditions and proper care of the plant, its lifespan can reach up to 20 years.

One of the distinguishable characteristics of mimosa is the bipinnate leaves. The latter means that instead of having a single leaf without a division, the leaves are separate, similar to a fern. They are soft and green. The typical length of the leaf is five to eight inches, while the width is anywhere from three to four inches. Again, as mentioned earlier, the leaves are unique because they fold at night.

Mimosa tree is also known for its beautiful flowers, with colors that range from deep to light pink. They are showy, but this is not because of their petals, but because of the stamens that look like delicate threads. More than the explosion of bright colors that they can add in the yard, the blooms are also popular because of their intense fragrance.


Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Ombrella™ Mimosa Tree in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive.

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Ombrella™ Mimosa Tree then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Ombrella™ Mimosa Tree needs or does not need water, every time.


High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Summer Chocolate Mimosa foliage

Summer Chocolate Mimosa foliage

Summer Chocolate Mimosa flowers

Summer Chocolate Mimosa flowers

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Attractive airy foliage emerges coppery-green and matures to deep burgundy an open umbrella-like form make this a highly desired tree, leaves tend to close for the night interesting and graceful pink fuzzy flowers are showy and fragrant

Summer Chocolate Mimosa features showy fragrant pink pincushion flowers along the branches in late summer. It has attractive burgundy foliage which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The ferny bipinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruits are showy brown pods displayed in early fall.

Summer Chocolate Mimosa is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration

Summer Chocolate Mimosa is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Accent
  • Shade

Summer Chocolate Mimosa will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details


The mimosa common to the United States is a fast-growing tree that can reach 15 to 40 feet in height, depending on the exact variety, and 15 to 20 feet in diameter. As such, you should ensure adequate space between trees, leaving 15 to 20 feet between new plantings.

The mimosa grows in an open branching pattern with multiple element fern-like leaves. Between April and July, the tree produces abundant 1 1/2- to 2-inch diameter fluffy, fragrant pompom like flowers.

  • The mimosa is hardy in zones 6 through 10.
  • The mimosa common to the United States is a fast-growing tree that can reach 15 to 40 feet in height, depending on the exact variety, and 15 to 20 feet in diameter.

Watch the video: How to create a Bonsai tree DIY


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