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Purple Shamrock Propagation

Updated on September 10, 2012
Shamrocks during the day.
Shamrocks during the day.

Purple shamrock, Oxalis triangularis, is a plant unique to Brazil. It is used as a common house plant with striking purple foliage and small white flowers. Purple shamrock requires bright sunlight and a cool environment, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Propagation can be accomplished very easily by dividing the bulbs and offset bulbs. The bulbs are best divided during dormancy, but some divisions have been successful outside of dormancy periods.

Supplies Needed

  • Healthy purple shamrock plant
  • Razor/Sharp Knife
  • Rubbing Alcohol

Purple shamrock bulbs & tubers
Purple shamrock bulbs & tubers

Preparing and Performing a Division

  1. Carefully dig up or remove shamrocks from container.
  2. Gently wash the dirt away from the roots and bulbs with water.
  3. Select a bulb or offset bulb that has a few healthy shamrock shoots.
  4. Wipe the razor or knife with rubbing alcohol. This will reduce chance of disease.
  5. Carefully cut and separate the bulb from other bulbs and roots. Some bulbs may be independent from other bulbs, and carefully untangling the roots is sufficient.
  6. Place divisions into a few inches of fertile, well-drained soil.
  7. Keep soil slightly moist. Do not over-water.
  8. Sit back and wait for shoots to emerge!

Purple Shamrock flower
Purple Shamrock flower | Source

Summary & Tips

It may take a few weeks before the divisions start producing numerous shamrocks. Remember to keep the soil moist. Root rot will occur if the soil is saturated with little or no drainage.

Once established, divisions can be made whenever the shamrocks become overly abundant. One bulb can be divided, then the new bulb can be divided, and so on. An infinite number of shamrocks can be grown as long as the divisions are successful. Oxalis is invasive within certain areas of the world, so purple shamrock is best kept as a potted plant.

During nighttime, the leaves will fold. The leaves will reopen during daylight and face towards the sunlight.

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