With its bright green leaves and the contrasting pink or lavender blooms, an oxalis plant is a beautiful addition to a flower bed. Often known as the shamrock plant, the oxalis can survive in nearly any climate, as long as it gets plenty of sunshine. However, if the winter temperatures in your area drop below zero, you may want to plant the oxalis in a pot and bring it in for the winter.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Oxalis bulbs
- Compost or peat moss
Choose a place in your garden where the oxalis will get full sunshine for most of the day. Although oxalis can survive in partial shade, full sunlight will produce more blooms and brilliant green leaves. Be sure the area is well-drained. If water remains after a watering or after it rains, choose a different location.
Work some compost, manure or peat moss into the top two or three inches of the soil. Add more if the spot doesn't drain well.
Dig a small hole and poke the oxalis bulb into the hole with the top inch of the bulb about an inch from the top of the hole. If the bulb has sprouted, plant it sprout end up. Otherwise, it doesn't matter which way you plant the bulb. If you're planting more than one oxalis bulb, leave at least three inches between each bulb.
Cover the bulbs with soil and tamp the soil down lightly. Soak the area well initially and keep it damp throughout the growing season. The oxalis will bloom in about two months.
Trim the foliage when it turns yellow in the fall. This means the plant is going into dormancy, and will remain that way until spring. Don't remove blooms during the growing season.
Tips and warnings
- Oxalis can easily be grown outdoors in pots. Fill the pot with good quality potting soil; four to five bulbs will fill an 8-inch pot. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole.
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