The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Oxalis

Family: Oxalidaceae.

Oxalis adenophylla Common name(s): Shamrock, Sorrel
Oxalis Genus of about 500 species of fibrous-rooted, bulbous, rhizomatous, or tuberous annuals and perennials, from various habitats worldwide. Some types of oxalis have shamrock-like leaves. Most require full sun and an evenly moist soil when actively growing. Dormant plants are kept drier. Use dilute liquid fertilizer, at weekly intervals on actively growing plants. Bulbous types are planted in autumn. Plant the bulb 1/2 inch deep and place the pot in a dark area until growth appears. When growing, move it to its regular growing area. Oxalis deppei has red flowers in spring, Oxalis cernua (Bermuda Buttercup) bears yellow blooms and Oxalis Bowiei is pale purple. The leaves close at night.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Warm - minimum 50F in winter. As much light as possible. Shade from hot sun. Grow in soil-based potting mix. Keep compost moist at all times - reduce watering in winter. Mist leaves frequently. Propagation is by offsets removed at planting time or by root division. Sow seed at 55-64 F (13-18 C) in tate winter or early spring.
Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’
Strawberry Oxalis is very compact and attractive plant for shaded windowsill. Prolific grower and bloomer with rose-pink flowers and clover-like leaves. Does well in shade or partial sun.

Could be grown in garden, too, zones 5-9. Does not reseed or run, but forms tubers that withstand cold and drought. Bright pink flowers cheer up the garden continuously from spring through hard frost.

Oxalis crassipes ‘Rosea’
Oxalis deppei Lodd.
Oxalis deppei Lodd.
Oxalis triangularis
Oxalis triangularis

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Christina
Canada
31st May 2009
I've been looking everywhere for the name of this triangular leafed plant and here it is. I would like to add that (if this is the same plant as the one I own) under the leaf is a beautiful purple color.
Bobbi
USA
24th Jun 2009
I have tons of these all over my yard and in containers. They are very hardy and the only time they wilt is during the very hot summer months. I keep them well watered and out of the direct sunlight.
Christina
Illinois USA
7th Sep 2010
I purchased a shamrock plant in March of 2010 for my office, he was tiny and is now on his 3rd pot change as he won't stop growing. He loves fluorescent light and blooms white flowers almost every day since I got him. I will try to split him the next time I repot. He spends weekends by an afternoon sun window otherwise has thrived on fluorescent. I water him at most 2 times a week and have never given him the recommended fertilizer.
Monica
USA
25th Feb 2011
I keep my Oxalis in a self watering pot. I have had it for approximately 5 years and have transplanted it once. It is the easiest houseplant I own. I thought it wouldn't last but I am happy to say I am wrong. Great plant for beginners!
Marion
USA
15th Sep 2011
Shamrock Plant - I have two Shamrock Plants, one green with white blossoms and one purple with a delicate pink blossom. Both do well with water, food and cutting back to about one inch annually which restores vigor, flowering and fullness to the plant. My green one, a gift, is more than 20 years old. The newer
purple one is from a nursery and adds a dramatic color change to a house plant collection.
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