Acacias are useful garden shrubs where space is not a problem, but they have never been popular house plants. The spreading branches bear feathery leaves or spiny false leaves known as phylloclades, and in winter or spring the characteristic yellow flower-heads appear.
These are clusters of small powder-puffs which are much more popular in flower arrangements than in house plant collections. Keep the plant under control by cutting back straggly and unwanted growth once flowering has finished, and keep it robust by feeding and watering regularly during the growing season. If you can, place the pot outside in a sheltered spot in garden once summer arrives. Bring plant back indoors in fall.
Acacia armata is the best-known type of this outdoor plant, growing about 3-4 ft high. The “leaves” are dark green and the scented flower-heads appear in late spring. Acacia dealbata (the Mimosa sold by florists)is a larger plant bearing 9 in. long feathery fronds. The delicately scented fluffy flowers are present between mid winter and early spring. Acacia podalyriifolia is a vigorous silvery-leaved species which bears its golden-yellow blooms in winter. All of these Acacia types are generally trouble-free and easy to grow.
Temperature: Average warmth. Keep fairly cool in winter – minimum temperature 50°F.
Light: Provide as much light as possible.
Water: Water freely from spring to fall, sparingly in winter.
Repotting: Repot in spring every 2 years after flowering.
Propagation: Take semi-ripe (not woody) cuttings in summer. Seeds sown in spring at 70°F germinate quickly.