Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea is often used as a gift plant this time of the year for Saint Patrick’s Day. It is easy to grow but there are a few requirements to assure success. Shamrocks are native to South America.
Blooming Time: Spring. Flowers are lilac in color.
Culture: Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea like cool air and moist soil while they are growing. A suitable compost for shamrocks consists of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand. Bright indirect light is best, but they will grow in lower light levels. Fertilize weekly while they are growing with a balanced fertilizer. No matter what you do, they will seem at times to be unhealthy and lose their leaves. When this happens, they are "tired," so let them "rest." Shamrocks are bulbs, and they require a dormant period every once in a while. Restrict all watering. As with any bulb, let the leaves die back naturally. Do not remove any leaves until they are brown. Let the bulbs stay dormant for 3 to 4 weeks, then water and fertilize. In most indoor-grown shamrocks, this dormant period occurs 2 to 3 times a year.
Propagation:Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea are propagated by the division of the bulbs. The key is to wait until the bulbs are at the end of a dormant cycle. Then take them out of the pot, and remove the small side bulbs. Replant these in shamrock compost just under the surface of the soil and water well.
Oxalis regnellii atropurpurea was featured as Plant of the Week March 12-18, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.