12 December 2015

Tropical Mimosa: Calliandra surinamensis

Bright pink powder-puff flowers
Bright pink powder-puff flowers

Calliandra surinamensis
Surinam Powder Puff
Pink Powder Puff
Surinamese Stickpea
Tropical Mimosa
 Pink tassel flower

  • Keep in a sunny location.
  • Leaves fold up at dark. Protect from cold!
  • Check soil moisture level daily But only water when necessary. 
  • Keep the soil evenly moist. Never allow soil to dry out.
  • Allow shoots to extend 3 or 4 nodes, then prune back to 1 or 2 leaves to maintain shape 
  • Re-potting should only be done when the nights are warm. 
  • Leaves fold up at night or in dim light.
  • Use a well draining bonsai soil
  • Replenish the soils supply of nutrients periodically during warm weather.
  • A great plant for beginners.

Propagation is easiest from seed
Propagation is easiest from seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds direct sow immediately. Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Surinam powder puff has dense foliage and is a fast grower. A flat pod, first green later brown, contains 5 - 6 seeds; it curls open to release the brown seeds.

Seeds Sprouting
collect seeds direct sow immediately

Tropical Mimosa: Calliandra surinamensis
The puffball blooms attract honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
This plant is cultivated for its ornamental purposes; it can also be used for bonsai. Much energy is spent  in the production of flowers and fruit; after flowering don't let the seeds mature if trained as a bonsai. Calliandra is a cold sensitive plant and must be protected from frost and freezing.

Mini forest: Calliandra surinamensis

 Calliandra surinamensis is a low branching evergreen tropical shrub that is named after Surinam, a country in Northeastern South America. The plant usually has branched or multiple trunks and grows to a height of about 15 feet. Left unpruned it grows long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground, the bees love it. The flowers appear on and off all year - more during warm weather. This tree is an excellent container plant for the cooler climates where it must be protected from frost and freeze. The puffball blooms attract honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaves close overnight. Exposure to the sun encourages flowering. From spring to autumn growth is intense and it uses a lot of water. In winter water consumption is moderate. Calliandra does not like soggy soils.

Bud opens....

Bright pink powder-puff flowers

Fertilize with nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium and micro-nutrients for plant health. Fertilizers rich in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) encourage flowers and fruiting while nitrogen (N) encourages leaf growth.

long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground
long thin branches that eventually droop down onto the ground


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