Sleep tree, silk tree - care and cutting

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Silk tree - sleeping tree

In contrast to mimosa, the leaves of the sleeping tree do not react to movement. Because of the many silky stamens, similar to powder puffs, it is also called silk tree or silk acacia. Its original origins are Iran, Pakistan, the Himalayan region, China and Japan.


In our area, the sleeping tree is usually found as a container plant. In the Mediterranean, it has long been popular and widespread as a garden plant. As a location sun or at least partial shade is preferred. Placid sun does not hurt him, shade is to be avoided. A sheltered location in front of a southern wall would be ideal. In wine-growing regions, for example the Rhine Valley, the sleeping tree survives the cold season unscathed.
From minus 15 degrees above all young plants should receive winter protection. A layer of foliage can protect the root area and fleece or a coconut mat wrapped around the trunk to ward off excessive cold. If the tree is older, its resistance to frost also increases. Likewise it can receive a place in the winter garden as container plant.
The soil should be permeable and humus, possibly sandy with some gravel added. He needs a moist soil, the root ball must not dry out. However, waterlogging should be avoided.

growth behavior

  • The growth as well as the leaves and fruits are reminiscent of the robinia, but overall the sleeping tree looks more tender.
  • The tree grows very fast and can grow up to 50 cm per year.
  • Compared to other trees, it is rather short lived up to 30 years old.
  • The crown forms by itself umbrella-like, flat and broadly expansive. Therefore a pruning is not necessary.
  • Too large copies can easily be shortened. They take no harm.
  • The shoots of the tree are edged and bare.
  • On young specimens, the tips are blended several times, so that the plant branches more abundantly.

Leaves, flowers and fruits

The twofold feathered leaves are long petiolate and between 20 and 30 cm long. They are hairy on the lower side along the midrib. The leaves are mimosa-like and weigh in the every weak breeze and make for cheerful light and shadow games. In autumn, the foliage is dropped.

Silk tree - sleeping tree

The countless flowers give the tree in the summer months of July to the end of August a delicate beauty. They look like bright pink, red or white balls of about 3 cm in size and spread a light scent. Many butterflies and bees are attracted to him. The fruits, similar to a pea pod, are about 15 cm long. From them it is relatively easy to draw a new silk tree.


The sleeping tree is very easy to care for. On the leaves it can be seen whether the sleeping tree lacks water, because then they fold, just like in the evening, together. This prevents excessive evaporation. The tree needs a lot of light, best sun. He reacts to the lack of light by shedding the leaves and suddenly looks almost dead, but swiftly exhausts under more favorable growth conditions.
During the growth phase a fertilizer should be given every two weeks.
If the sleeping tree gets a place in the garden, it should not be near ponds or pools because of the abundant leaves. The light and fragile wood can not withstand storms. In the cold season, the soil around the trunk is covered with a layer of mulch or fir branches. So that no cracks develop on the trunk, it should be wrapped with fleece or jute because of the solar radiation in the winter.

Cultivation from seeds

It is relatively easy to grow a young plant out of semen yourself. The seeds are soaked overnight in about 28 degrees warm water. After one day, they are clearly swollen and can be placed in small pots with potting soil. Covered in a room greenhouse or the pot with cling film are the best conditions. While

the cultivation is to be paid attention to regular watering. Once the first leaves have formed, the small plant is poked into pots. Sowing on the windowsill can be done from February to summer.

Diseases and pests

The sleeping tree is hardly susceptible to diseases and pests. Due to wrong care he quickly throws off his leaves. If this is fixed, it drives off again quickly. Even a slight pest infestation indicates the wrong location. Small trees are washed off with soapy water. In the garden, the pests are eliminated by predators in a natural way.

Worth knowing soon

  • The sleeping tree is a beautiful and unusual plant and attracts everyone's attention. The flowers shine like silk.
  • The cultivation is easy and the tree grows fast. Suitable for balcony and terrace with winter protection.
  • The sleeping tree got its German name in that its leaves are folded in the evening.
  • A plant that is absolutely easy to grow from seeds and grows relatively quickly.
  • From the second year the sleeping tree is also hardy in mild areas.
  • In the first year it can stay outside, but here you should still provide adequate frost protection, especially in the root area.
  • The sleeping tree loves humorous, deep soil, without waterlogging.

Silk tree - sleeping tree

Although it sounds like the sleeping tree is easy to maintain, unfortunately it is not: it needs a lot of care and a lot of attention. Abundant watering is just as important as a sense of when it is enough. Especially with young plants you often make the mistake that you literally drowned them. The earth should always be moist, but never wet. Waterlogging is just as unsustainable as dryness. A healthy mediocrity should be achieved here so. For this, the likelihood that the sleeping tree is affected by pests or diseases, extremely low. Leaf debris should not be a cause for concern as the leaves fall, quickly repelling new leaves. Leaf fall, however, could be a sign of lack of light. If the plant does not re-produce new leaves soon, it would be beneficial to put the plant in a location where it gets much more light.
  • small tree up to 10 meters, legume
  • the leaves: summer green stalked with fine pinnate leaves that fold as a special feature at dusk.
  • at the end of twilight, the leaflets are set up again.
  • fine, pink flowers up to 3 cm, very numerous from July to the end of August
  • full sun location preferred, high water demand, pour more sparingly in winter
  • suitable as a container culture in the garden, optimally hibernate by 10 degrees in the greenhouse, young plants need winter protection
  • from the spring to the end of September fertilizer

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