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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!

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.

Easy to Grow Oxalis Triangularis 'Purple Shamrocks' Plant Bulbs (20 Pack) - Dark Purple Foliage & Light Pink Flowering Blooms for Indoor or Outdoor Gardens
Easy to Grow Oxalis Triangularis 'Purple Shamrocks' Plant Bulbs (20 Pack) - Dark Purple Foliage & Light Pink Flowering Blooms for Indoor or Outdoor Gardens
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


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