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Get A Shamrock Plant For St. Patrick's Day

Updated on May 24, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia has years of experience with gardening and wild pests in Florida, New Hampshire, Kansas, Maryland, Australia, and South Texas.


Caring For Your Shamrock Plant

A Shamrock Plant adds lots of color and interest to your garden. And if it happens to come with a little bit of the Luck 'O the Irish, so much the better! As most gardeners will tell you it's a very easy plant to care for. The official name for these is Oxalis, but more often they are called shamrocks.

Tips for Growing

Lighting: These plants prefer bright, indirect light. Placing your plant in a window that faces West is best but if you don't have one place your plant in the window that gets the brightest light.

Water: These lucky plants prefer soil that's evenly moist. For that reason, some gardeners prefer to water from the bottom up and let the plant absorb the moisture as needed. Once you see the plant has stopped absorbing water, remove any standing water in the tray so it doesn't get over-saturated and start to rot.

Fertilizing: Oxalis like a small bit of fertilizer as they're waking up from their dormant period. (See below for more details.) A general purpose fertilizer works fine.

Re-Potting: Wait until your plant stops blooming before you move it into a larger pot.

Green Shamrock Plant - White Flowers - Oxalis - 4" Pot - St. Patrick's Day

We don't normally think of sending flowers for St. Patrick's Day but this is a great way to share the fun with friends and family who live too far away. When you can't get together to share a Green Beer, the next best thing is to share a Shamrock Plant!

Green Shamrock Plant - White Flowers - Oxalis - 4" Pot - St. Patrick's Day
Green Shamrock Plant - White Flowers - Oxalis - 4" Pot - St. Patrick's Day
This Shamrock Plant makes an ideal houseplant and it's even hardy enough to grow outdoors if you live in zones 7 - 10. A friend gave me one of these green ones. Since I live in Florida with pretty much warm year-round weather, I planted it in a bigger pot on my lanai. It has spread to fill the whole pot and blooms pretty much continuously. I'm loving it. A 4-inch pot of Shamrocks! You'll have Good Luck all year long!

A friend in Ontario, Canada has one of these. Here's how she takes care of it:

"We get them in stores, like a grocery store, at this time of year. I just know them as oxalis. They grow well here all season but need to be brought into the garage to overwinter.

Shamrock Plant - Time Lapse Video

An Oxalis Can Last Many Years

You've got to love this plant! I was given a start of the green-leaved kind by a friend in 1963. Since then I have given away lots of starts.

My sister got hooked on oxalis, and gave me a start of Oxalis triangularis--I love the pinkish flowers on that one. Since then she has become a collector of many kinds of oxalis, including one that is like a tiny tree!

Kids are intrigued by the folding and unfolding of the leaves.

Oxalis or Shamrock Plant Blooming


Oxalis Triangularis (Purple Shamrock)

Add some contrasting color to your garden border or brighten up a dreary corner inside with this unique Purple Shamrock Plant.

Oxalis Triangularis Bulbs - Purple Shamrocks - 20 Robust Bulbs - Grows Indoors & Out | Ships from Easy to Grow TM
Oxalis Triangularis Bulbs - Purple Shamrocks - 20 Robust Bulbs - Grows Indoors & Out | Ships from Easy to Grow TM
You'll get 25 bulbs in this package with directions for planting. Flowers range from white to light pink. You can put them on the windowsill of an east facing window all year long! My purple one may be going toward a rest period. I just wait for it to "rest" and reblossom again! Enjoy them! They are such happy plants! A colorful way to bring the Luck 'O The Irish to your garden and home!

A Purple Oxalis

This one is still small. Look at all the pretty, dainty flowers!
This one is still small. Look at all the pretty, dainty flowers! | Source

Your Shamrock Plant Needs A Nap

Shamrock plants grow from bulbs, and just like your Tulips, they need a resting period every now and then. Time to regroup and prepare for new growth.

If you notice the leaves on your Shamrock plant are starting to turn brown and droop it's probably going into its dormant period. A lot of people just think they've killed their plant but it's really telling you it's time for a nap.

Let the leaves dry up and naturally fall off the plant. Cut back on watering during this time but don't completely deprive your plant.

When all the leaves have fallen, place your plant in a cool, dry, dark place for 4 weeks so allow it to rest.

Then bring it back into the sunlight and water and fertilize as needed. You should start to see new growth right away.

I've had these before and really liked them. The one thing I did not know was they have a dormant stage. I can't tell you how many of these little plants I've thrown out, thinking I was just somehow killing them. Thanks for the tips.

— Nancy

© 2012 Virginia Allain

Any Tips for Growing a Shamrock Plant?

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    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love these shamrock plants! I remember working with an engineer who had one planted in an old aluminum teapot. Sweet!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Such a lovely plant, especially for St. Patrick's Day! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      @KimGiancaterino: If you get the bulbs, you'll want to start right away so it will have time to grow by March 17.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      These shamrock plants are so pretty. I've given them as gifts. Maybe I'll get one for myself this March.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Am sure St. Patrick was happy this season! :)

    • KellydeBorda profile image


      9 years ago

      Nothing like a lucky shamrock for St. Patty's Day! Green liked!

    • wheresthekarma profile image


      9 years ago

      I have two of these, a green one and purple one , I love them, they are so pretty.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I've always loved these plants. My ex husband's mom always had one in her front window, where she had sheer curtains that protected it from the sun.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      9 years ago

      I never knew about the dormancy period for the shamrock plant. I must remember to give my green and purple plants a rest.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'd love one, they look beautiful! Nice lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love shamrock plants and have a few different varieties, thanks to a landscaper/gardener friend.

    • profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      9 years ago

      Great lens! I never knew anything about these plants. Very interesting indeed. Thanks!

    • PTurner56 profile image


      9 years ago

      I had never seen a Shamrock Plant before. Very pretty! Good job on this timely lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I had no idea that you could get a Shamrock plant~ cool idea :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      9 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Shamrock plants are so pretty! Love the purple one you've shown.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      9 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I bought a small green shamrock last St. Patrick's Day. It is still alive. I got my money's worth for sure. I think it cost ninety-nine cents.

    • profile image

      Michey LM 

      9 years ago

      I never had a shamrock... maybe is time to have one.

      Great lens


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I received a lovely shamrock plant as a gift. I keep it at work. Last week, unfortunately I forgot to watering it so when I came back in Monday all the leaves had dropped. Is there any hope?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I never knew that this purple plant name is shamrock, my mom have these on her pots. They're pretty!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a beautiful plant!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great way to celebrate. I love the purple ones

    • jlshernandez profile image


      9 years ago

      I never thought of a shamrock plant. I wonder if our local nursery has them.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image


      9 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Just bought one of these. Now I know to how to take care of it. Thanks so much!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Beautiful. Looks pretty with flowers and shamrock shaped leaves!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      9 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I've had them for years, but learned a lot from this lens. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      9 years ago from Canada

      This is exactly what I was searching for today. Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

    • shandigp profile image


      9 years ago

      What a nice idea. Thanks for the plant care tips! Nice looking page, too. *squid blessed*

    • Richard-H profile image


      9 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Never thought about having a shamrock plant before. Thanks for the great article (and idea).

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have had a shamrock plant in the past, would love another one. I probably threw it away when it went dormant! I did not know that! Thank you!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice lens. I did not know you could grow them at home. Very cute plant.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I hope a lot of people read this and learn about the special traits of a Shamrock plant, I sure just learned a lot. I'm sure many poor little plants have been thrown out and thought for dead when they were just going dormant. I notice the preferred watering is like for and African Violet by watering from the bottom and I like how you caution to remove the excess water to prevent rot. I sure din't know that Shamrock plants are bulb plants, like tulips. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, many Shamrock plants will be given; may they have the luck of the Irish and be cared for properly for a long life!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Cute did not know you could get shamrock for the house nice little lens for St Patrick's day


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