With Halloween just around the corner, things could not get more festive than with Oxalis triangularis a.k.a. False shamrock. If you are a big admirer of unique, edgy plants as much as we are, this buddy right here is a must-have in your collection!
Oxalis triangularis, also known as False shamrock or Purple shamrocks, is a species of flowering plant in the Oxalidaceae family. The plant originates from several regions of South America, with the largest distribution in Brazil. It grows mostly among rocks near streams at moderate elevations.
False shamrock has become a pretty popular ornamental worldwide thanks to its uncommon, but beautiful foliage and easy-going nature. Besides this, its foliage is basically alive. But we do not want to ruin the mystery just yet! Keep reading to find out more interesting facts about this fabulous plant!
About Oxalis Triangularis
- With its hypnotic purple foliage, the Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionacea (Purple shamrock) cultivar has gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
- Its genus name “Oxalis” comes from the Greek word “oxys”, which means “sour”. This name refers to the slightly acidic taste of the entire plant. Its common name “False shamrock” describes the clover-shaped leaves of this interesting plant.
- Oxalis triangularis is quite versatile, bringing a gorgeous dash of colour to various landscape decorations. It is a wonderful addition to woodland gardens, borders, or as ground cover specimens. Oxalis triangularis can also look superb indoors in a container, and it’s how many gardeners prefer to grow it.
- False shamrock can make for a great companion to other eye-catching species of plants. The most popular companions include Amaryllis, Caladium, Carex, Japanese Painted Fern, Lilac, Violets, Wood Spurge, and other Oxalis species.
- Some people use the leaves and flowers of Oxalis triangularis as decoration elements for salads. The leaves are edible both raw and cooked, and they have a somewhat acidic taste from the oxalic acids they contain. Likewise, the cooked or raw rhizomes have a sweet flavour.
- Although it does not generally affect the overall health of humans or animals, oxalic acid can cause discomfort if consumed in large quantities. For safety purposes, grow this plant in a spot where your curious children or pets cannot reach them.
Oxalis Triangularis Features: An Overview
- This plant belongs to the large Oxalis genus that contains over 550 species of flowering plants. It shares this genus with other lovely species like O. adenophylla, O. albicans, O. corniculata, O. lasiandra, O. pes-caprae, or O. tetraphylla.
- Oxalis triangularis is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows from bulbous roots. The plant can reach from 6 to 20 inches (15-50 cm) in height and 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) in width.
- Its clover-like foliage consists of many medium-sized, lush, glabrous, trifoliate, and heart-shaped triangular leaves that appear on long petioles. Depending on the variety, the leaves can exhibit various shades and mixes of green, purple, burgundy, pink, and black.
- The leaves of False shamrock look very much like the wings of butterflies. Sometimes, a darker-coloured triangle can show up in their centres. The leaves usually close during the night and open up once the morning sunlight touches them.
- The blooming season of Oxalis triangularis may last from autumn through spring. It produces umbels of tiny, delicate, 5-petaled flowers on slender stems. The blossoms can be either white, light lavender, or pale pink.
Growing Oxalis Triangularis
Oxalis triangularis is an excellent companion to have around, especially during its active growing season. This plant brings long-lasting interest throughout the year, usually from early autumn until late spring. As a rule, you will have to pay more attention to your O. triangularis in this growing period than during the summer months, when this plant typically goes dormant. However, it still remains a super low-demanding plant overall, so no worries!
Light-wise, False shamrock can grow in a wide variety of conditions. This plant needs at least four hours of full sunlight, but will also do just fine with some partial shade during the day. If you live in an area with particularly hot climates, it would be wise to protect your outdoor False shamrock against harsh afternoon sunlight. In indoor settings, the plant will perform well near or in front of the brightest window you can find.
When it comes to temperatures, Oxalis triangularis is hardy only in the USDA zones 8 to 11. Make sure you avoid exposing your plant to cold drafts, strong winds, heaters, or air conditioners. In general, it prefers temperatures that range from 60 to 75 °F (16-24 °C) and can withstand temperatures that drop to 50 °F (10 °C) at night.
- QUALITY BULBS: 10 Healthy Bulbs of Oxalis Iron Cross Shamrock. Grow Indoors or Outdoors
- GOOD LUCK PLANT: Shamrocks are known universally as a good luck plant, brings fortune and wealth. Bloom year round indoors.
- MADE IN USA Buy with confidence from CZ Grain. You get authentic Iron Cross Shamrock Bulbs shipped from Iowa. Satisfaction Guaranteed.
- GROWING TIPS: All Natural Soil Like CZ Grain Soil, or Fox Farms Ocean Forest Soil is very good soil!
- -Plant Details: 16 Bulbs - Purple Shamrocks Bulbs for Planting (Oxalis Triangularis Bulbs ) with Box packaging.
- -Bloom Season: Purple shamrocks (Oxalis Triangularis) are often seen around St. Patrick's Day, and often called The Good Luck Plant due to their four leaf clovers. But don't stop there, continue to enjoy purple shamrocks gaiety through the year.
- -Plant Features: Oxalis triangularis is also known as ‘Charmed Wine’. their leaves are a great visual addition to the garden year round. With unusual shape and vivid color, the leaves are a stellar purple, with deep rose patterning and a zippy geometric shape.
- -Planting Tips: Choose a position with full sun to light shade, and position tubers approximately 3-4 inches apart and at a depth of 1-1½ inches. Also suitable for indoor containers, it should be offered moderate water during periods of active growth. They are very easy to grow and require almost no care.
- -Our Promise: We guarantee it has a 99% germination rate or a full refund.
Last update on 2023-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
In the regions that are outside of its hardiness zones, you will have to bring your Oxalis triangularis inside before any frost, typically in autumn. If you want to give your plant the time of its life indoors during the winter months, provide it with environmental conditions that mimic those from its natural habitat.
While outdoor-grown False shamrock specimens are carefree in terms of pests and diseases, houseplants are more susceptible to these kinds of issues. The most common pests that may bother your houseplants are spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. In case of infestation, you can treat your helpless plants by applying insecticidal soap weekly until the intruders go away.
Another problem that may occur while growing a False shamrock is powdery mildew. This fungal disease shows its presence through white spots on the stems and leaves. The best way to avoid this from happening is to ensure good air circulation and moderate humidity levels.
Planting Oxalis Triangularis
You can find grown-up bulbs of Oxalis triangularis in nurseries or markets, making this plant much easier for you to plant wherever you want. The perfect time to plant your newly bought specimen is in the spring. If you have more bulbs, we suggest you plant each at a distance of 3 to 4 inches (7.5-10 cm) from the other ones to avoid overcrowding them. After the planting process, do not forget to water the soil to give your plants a nice start.
In terms of growing medium, False shamrock loves those substrates that are more on the acidic side. Although loamy or sandy soil is the best option, this plant can grow in a wide range of soil types as long as they also come with sharp drainage. If you want to grow your False shamrock in a pot, plant it in one that has at least one drainage hole at the bottom.
During its active growing period, from fall through spring, False shamrock will benefit from regular fertilizing. Feed your beloved plant with either a liquid or slow-release fertilizer according to the package instructions. When False shamrock goes dormant, its foliage will start to deteriorate. As soon as you notice this, stop feeding your plant until new leaves begin to show up.
Oxalis triangularis does not grow nor spread like crazy, but it will still require a round of repotting once every two years or so. Remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off all the loose soil from its bulb. After this step, you can transplant it into a new container that is slightly larger than the current one.
Watering Oxalis Triangularis
Young Oxalis triangularis will show the prettiest results if you water it regularly to maintain its soil constantly damp. But! Although this plant loves moisture in general, soggy conditions or over-watering may result in root rot with time. To avoid this, all you have to do is give your Oxalis triangularis a touch of water only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Great news, though! Once the plant has settled in its new home, it becomes more forgiving and also fairly tolerant of drought for short periods. However, this does not mean that you should take its pure and generous heart for granted.
During its active growing period, False shamrock will appreciate a nice drink whenever the top inch (2.5 cm) of its soil has dried out. When the plant goes dormant, usually throughout the summer months, you can water it a bit only once every two or three weeks.
Propagating Oxalis Triangularis
The best thing about a mature, established Oxalis triangularis is that you can propagate it through division, which has plenty of benefits. Firstly, this method will prevent your plant from getting overcrowded with time. Secondly, you will have more of these stunning plants to keep you company for a very long period. And, believe us, the results are as rewarding as easy and fun this process is! What could be more exciting?
Since False shamrock goes dormant during the summer, you must propagate yours once you notice new signs of active growth, usually in autumn. Dig your plant out of its growing medium and be careful not to damage its roots in this process. Divide the bulbs into two or more sections (depending on the size of your plant) using a sterilized knife or garden scissors.
Once you have the root sections, replant them absolutely anywhere you want them to spend the rest of their future days. After this step, make sure you spoil your tiny Oxalis triangularis plants with a deep drink to help them settle in their new environment.
Oxalis triangularis a.k.a. False shamrock is absolutely breathtaking and fairly easy to grow, care for, and propagate. As long as you can simulate the environmental conditions from its native habitat at home, this plant will do nothing but love and thank you forever.
Do you already have Oxalis triangularis in your plant collection? Share your experience in the comment section!