Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Learn from my mistakes #2

Ah, this latest faux-pas is certainly not one you’ve ever committed! I’m here to share so you’ll never have to experience the great question of…“What the hell was I thinking?”

Or the closely related…“where the hell am I going to put that?” I know, you go plant shopping with a clear head right? Never swayed by emotion. But you see I wasn’t plant shopping! I went to the Big Orange Box because I needed some hardware that our local guys (Beaumont Hardware, a swell little store) were out of. Naturally my car parked in front of the nursery area (seriously, this is unavoidable…I didn’t even think about where to park) and like walking through a garden I had to survey the plants, smelling, touching, considering. Not because I intended to buy anything mind you. Then I spotted the sad pallet of marked down ‘Summer Chocolate' Mimosa Trees (Albizia julibrissin). I love these trees and they’re usually so expensive! And these looked so sad, some were no more than sticks, their leaves long gone. The rest were thirsty, their tiny leaves curling inward. I had no intention of buying one…proof being that I didn’t even take a photo of them there at the store! (I always have my camera with me for blogging emergencies). And besides they’re trees for god sakes! You can’t just tuck one in a border now can you? I wished them luck and walked into the store. Once my mission was accomplished I still had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. I looked at my list, nope, nothing missed. I stood there and thought for a moment and realized what it was. I then walked back out to the nursery and picked out a Chocolate Mimosa Tree. Funny I never even stopped to wonder if it would fit in my car (it did). Or give a thought to where I was going to plant it. Something you might want to consider when buying a tree that will reach 30 ft tall and wide, and drops A LOT of debris. So don’t do this. Resist the power of the plant. For the record I’m blaming it on the marketing! How’s a girl supposed to resist a plant label with the word ‘chocolate’ on it… And actual photo of luscious chocolate?


  1. Replies
    1. PLEASEEE, PLEASEEE, tell me where I can buy 2 of these trees? I live in Banning, Cal. and I already have 2 regular mimosas and 2 that are called "Flame" with the darker pink puffy flower, but I have fell totally in love with the "summer chocolate" mimosas. I have been to Beaumont Nursery quite a few times and they say they have never heard of it. I have also been to Cherry Valley Nursery and they have not heard of it. I have seen only one at Home Depot and when I ask about them ordering me some I am always told that they will call all the nurseries and find out if they can get some, but I never hear anything. I've called Lowe's in Redlands because it shows they have them on their website, but when I call they tell me they don't have them! I would love to buy a couple of them if the price isn't to high. I hope you will get back to me. thanks for any help!

    2. Toni - I can't believe a nursery would tell you they haven't heard of this plant, that's crazy! According to plantlust.com you should be able to mail order it from 3 different nurseries in Oregon. I know that means it will be small but at least it's a start. Here's the listing: http://plantlust.com/plants/albizia-julibrissin-summer-chocolate and you'll see midpage the nurseries with the M by their name are the ones you can order from (Dancing Oaks, Gossler, and Forestfarm). Good luck!

  2. This is a very pretty mimosa. We typically don't care for them in the yard as they spread like wild fire here.

  3. I don't see how you could have avoided it, so it's not really your fault...

  4. Great plant. LOVES sun!! And adds nice color to the greens and purples out there!

  5. Yours might be the right place for it, actually. It reseeds like a #$%&@!^#, which it may not have time to do in your zone. Best of both worlds, maybe? You have it, however briefly, without its major drawback...

  6. I have many childhood memories of mimosa trees! In Abilene, Tx my grandparents had a huge one ( they are all huge!) that I played under in the summer heat. Mimosas are like giant umbrellas with cool leaves that fold up at night and open in the morning. They also have pink, bottle-brush blooms! ...That was the memory...I inherited a mimosa tree in my current front 'yard' which in 11 years grew so large it reached into the windows on the second story of my house! I learned that I'm allergic to those blooms and how dry, dusty and messy they can be.

  7. Oh, no, I would NEVER do something like that...just ask the Mulchman - not.
    I see why you came home with it; it is lovely. How about putting it in a big pot? You don't have to find such a permanent place for it then and it might be happy for a few years. That strapping husband of yours can trundle it around the place (when he's not forcing boozy sips on you, that is.)

  8. Resistance is futile. I salute our new chocolate overlord.

  9. I've been waiting for this mimosa to get affordable, but haven't even seen it at better nurseries this summer, at any price. But I'm reading Hoov's comment and wonder if this dark-leaved one reseeds or just the species. I can't possibly deal with any more tree litter than I already have though...
    What a bunch of killjoys, huh? Enjoy your Summer Chocolate!

  10. You know what you do when you've got that nagging question ringing in your head: "Where am I going to put it?" You get a nice big container and you sock that baby right in it! I've got at least six trees in pots. When/if they outgrow the pot I'll either give them away, throw them away, plant them or get a bigger pot. Simple. See? You were supposed to buy, wait..."RESCUE" that Mimosa.

  11. Non-fattening chocolate: how can you go wrong?

  12. I planted one about three years and have a small pink rose growing up thru it. Yours is going to look awesome in your yard with your colors that you have going on.

  13. Hahaha...since this is probably a case of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone", I think you'll emerge unscathed, as we've ALL probably done this at one time or another! I have a huge weakness for plants that need a home...or great plants that are look like crap on a sales rack...I just KNOW I can make them happy and they'll look great! I actually saw one of those in a little enclosed garden this weekend...it was truly stunning!

  14. I think I have a yard partially full of that kind of mistake right now! I am so sick of them they must go away soon...

    Maybe our heat will kill some of them off for me.

  15. I love mine, but it does reseed like nobody's business, easy enough to pull up though. I only wish the children were as lovely as the mother. They are all green.

  16. As we used to say when playing ace-y duec-y..Pot It ..

  17. Jean in SchenectadySeptember 06, 2011

    That's ok--I just bought a FIG tree at Lowe's and I live in Zone 5 in Schenectady. Couldn't resist those gray green oaky leaves. (The hardiness info on the tag was a little contradictory; it's called "Chicago Hardy" and is supposed to be good down to -10 degrees, we'll see.)

    But the chocolate mimosa is gorgeous!

  18. It matches your house. It had to come live you with.

  19. I don't blame you for falling for a 'Summer Chocolate' a gorgeous plant that I've tried a few times, and even grown some from seed.

    Some of the seedlings turned out to be plain green whilst the others remained true and turned purple later on. It's not as vigorous a grower as the labels says so, I found it rather slow.

    Worth noting that it needs to be sited in full sun and poorer soil to enhance it's purple colouration. The ones I planted on shady spots and given lots of food (one was even planted where koi waste discharges so is fed luxuriantly) came back green the following years, even if they started as rich purple.

    Gorgeous plant, I still gravitate towards it whenever I see it on nurseries, but it needs to be treated rather 'mean' to remain purple leafed.

  20. Anon, well said.

    Darla, you and other commenter's have me wondering about this spreading issue!

    Patricia, thank you. Perhaps you need one for your nice wide parking strip?

    Roherbot, "loves sun"...I hope it isn't too upset with our lack of it.

    Hoover, I can see I'll be doing a little research on this reseeding issue. There are several of the green variety around here so I'll be checking out the ground underneath!

    Lauren, I can't recall seeing it, have you taken your inherited one out?

    MulchMaid, I think I will be going the container route, but after his back injury removing the Camellia last spring the husband is not too willing to move big pots these days. Guess I'm going to have to hire me some young strong thing!

    grumblebunny, I'm glad you understand!

    Denise, I would imagine (like Hoov points out) my climate is a little less receptive to the reseeding problem than yours.

    Grace, buying a new container kind of makes my "bargain" not such a bargain though huh?

    ricki, good point.

    Beech, thanks! So have you experienced this seeding around issue?

    scott, you're an enabler!!! So was the one you saw in a container or in the ground?

    Ann, ha! That's the spirit.

    Les, interesting about the color change, and good to know about them being easy to pull.

    ks, that one when right over my head.

    Jean, good luck with your fig!

    Meg, I sense I have a sister in rationalization.

    Mark and Gaz, thank you for the hints and it sounds like mine will have no problem remaining dark then as I am horrible and treating my plants well. Fertilizer? Rarely think to do it.

  21. potting it up would only be a solution for this year, as these grow FAST! You let me know if you need to find a good home for this great tree!

  22. Mine has not reseeded yet, but one can always be hopeful.

  23. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    Hey, I'd dig up some of that grass! Looks like you have plenty of room for such a fine addition to your garden! I've had one of these wonderous trees for almost 3yrs and it's only grown 1 foot...I have it in a predominantly sunny location, but I live in Vancouver, British Columbia-Zone 7-8...so that may attribute to it's slower growth. I think you are in California somewhere???
    Anyhow, good luck with finding a place for your mimosa!


  25. Heh. Zone 5 ( NW MO) where they do NOT grow. 3 year old tree grown from seed. Trunk 3 + inches. Height? 9 - 10 feet. Spread ~ 15 feet. OMG! WTF have I done - my yard is sooooo small :-)) It is awfully cute though. I give baby plants to people - I grow ~ 10 - 20 a year. Heh.


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