Mimosa: a garden guide to Mimosa (Acacia dealbata)

Drive around the South of France in February / March time and you will keep noticing the gorgeous yellow flowers of the Mimosa trees. Open your window and you will notice their delicious perfume as well. Just when you are sick of winter and can't wait for the first signs of spring these trees burst into bloom and add instant brightness to the days.

If you are down on the Mediterranean coast there is even a Mimosa route - La Route des Mimosas. This is a 130 km drive and includes eight villages starting at Bormes-les-Mimosas and continuing to Grasse. During the period 15 January to 15 March there are many events celebrating the Mimosa flowers in this region.

The Mimosa tree belongs to the Acacia spp. Acacia dealbata is the most commonly seen but there are over 1000 species worldwide. The Mimosa was introduced to the South of France from Australia in the 19th century by wealth English with homes on the Cote d'Azur. It quickly escaped from the gardens and grew prolifically in the area. It is much loved be the French and appears in many French gardens.

Acacia dealbata (Mimosa) Gorgeous yellow flowers cover the Mimosa trees in February/March time

Growing Mimosas

If you live in a Mediterranean climate Mimosas are easy but elsewhere you will need to grow these in a pot and shelter them in the winter unless you have a very sheltered spot in your garden somewhere.

It needs to be planted in a sunny spot in well-drained and fairly light soil.

The flowering period is within the February to April period and varies from year to year with weather conditions when planted outside. Flowers are yellow and deliciously perfumed.

Acacia dealbata can grow quite tall but is usually seen as a smallish tree of 10m or less.

If your tree suffers badly from frost one year and the leaves all turn black cut back to ground level and it will re-grow. (Though new growth will be more shrubby and less tree-like).

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