Shamrock plant care instructions

Shamrocks are easy to grow and make a beautiful addition to your garden. They also do very well as potted plants. Shamrocks are all part of the Oxalis species; the ones that are most common include:

• Oxalis triangularis, with deep purple leaves and pink to white flowers • Oxalis regnelli, with bright green leaves and white flowers • Oxalis braziliensis, with deep green leaves and pink flowers • Oxalis deppei, green leaves with purple centres and pink flowers

Shamrocks are perennials. With proper care, you'll be able to enjoy them year after year.

Growing Conditions

When growing shamrocks in pots, or outdoors in your garden, you'll find they do best when temperatures are cooler; between 10.0 and 23.8 degrees C. They like plenty of light, but avoid placing potted shamrocks in direct sunlight. Water when the soil becomes dry but avoid overwatering them as this can cause the bulbs to rot.


Shamrocks will periodically go through a period of dormancy, usually several times a year, like most plants that grow from bulbs. Don't be alarmed when the leaves begin to turn yellow. This is just a sign that the shamrock is going into a rest period. Carefully remove the leaves as they die back, cut back on watering and move potted plants to a shady location. In one to three months new growth will start to appear. When this happens, start watering them again and move them back into a brightly lit location.

Shamrocks from Bulbs

Plant your shamrock bulbs 1 to 2 inches deep in a good potting soil and be sure the pots you use have good drainage. Water thoroughly when you first plant them, but after that they will only need to be watered when the soil becomes dry. In about six weeks, when foliage begins to appear, move the pots to an area that provides bright light, but don't put them in direct sunlight.

You can also plant shamrocks outdoors in your garden. Choose a spot that only receives partial sun and has rich, well-drained soil. Plant the bulbs 1 to 2 inches deep, 3 to 4 inches apart, and water them thoroughly. The plants will start to sprout in about six weeks. Continue to water them when the soil becomes dry.

Once a year, while they are in a dormant phase, you should repot your potted shamrocks. This will keep the plants from becoming rootbound and will also give you the opportunity to divide the bulbs. Gently remove the plant from its pot and carefully loosen the soil from around the root ball. Separate the bulbs carefully and then repot them in individual pots.

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