If your Zodiac sign is Pisces (born between February 19 and March 21), we've found the perfect houseplant for you.
Pisces are so deeply sensitive and intuitive that they sometimes seem to be psychics. That makes the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) a heavenly match for those born under this water sign. The sensitive plant is extremely responsive to what happens around it, just like every card-carrying Pisces.
About Mimosa Pudica
A Pisces is a dreamer with astonishingly accurate gut feelings and superb intuition. They don't need to have hard facts tossed in their face to get a clear sense of what is going on. They will delight in a sensitive plant that shares their extreme responsiveness.
The sensitive plant is a member of the pea family that pleases with its little lilac blossoms (rounded like pom-poms), flat seed pods, and dainty, fern-like leaves. These leaves are lined with minuscule hairs that respond immediately to touch, motion and temperature. Given the slightest stimulation, the leaflets fold inward, closing up like a tiny fan right before your eyes. This is a defensive reaction, so don't worry gentle Pisces — Mimosa pudica won't kill any bugs.
Sensitive plants are classified as creeping herbs but they can grow to 18 inches tall. They start off upright but, as they grow larger, develop a creeping habit. They are exceptionally easy houseplants. With minimal effort, even a daydreamer like Pisces can keep the sensitive plant thriving and enjoy the reactive movement of its leaves.
How to Care for a Sensitive Plant
A Pisces is deeply tuned into nature and understands the rhythm of the days and of the seasons. They may feel they have two selves, one internal and one external. To calibrate the two, Pisces rely on solo time, ideally outdoor time under a warm sun. The sensitive plant needs rays too, at least eight hours of sunlight. A plant that won't open its leaves is a plant that has too much shade.
In addition to sun, the sensitive plant needs soil with good drainage. Hard or compacted soil just won't do for this free spirit. Adding peat moss to the soil can help. But don't worry about providing rich soil or fertilizer — these members of the Fabaceae clan thrive on low-nutrient soil in nature and will do the same on the window sill of your home. Moist soil is required, so give your sensitive plant a little whenever the top of the soil begins to dry out.
Otherwise, Pisces, use that intuition that you are famous for. If the house is not too hot or too humid for you, it's likely that your sensitive plant is happy, too.
Shopping for a Sensitive Plant
Every now and then, sensitive plants show up in the garden store. Look for the scientific name, since this botanical wonder has a wide variety of common names that don't sound anything like sensitive plant. It is also referred to by nicknames like the shameplant, the sleepy plant, the shy plant, the action plant, Dormilones, the zombie plant and even the touch-me-not plant. If in doubt, Pisces, follow your instinct and touch a leaf.
Online is a sure bet, and you can find anything from seeds to mature plants. Seeds are the least expensive way to go, and, more relevant to a Pisces than economy, it's also more imaginative to plant your own. If your instincts direct you to jump into this in a big way, check out Bonanza where you can get 50 seeds for just under one dollar each. Or shop at Walmart where they offer twice that many seeds for half the price. Another option is Etsy shop The Gardening World where you can find 50 seeds for under $2.00.
For mature plants, Etsy still has you covered. We particularly like theNautiBotanist's $20 plants in four to six inch pots.
From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.