How To Care For A Shamrock Plant


The Shamrock plant, Oxalis Regnellii [Oks-AL-iss, Reg-NEL-ee-eye] from the Sorrel family, has a large number of variations. 

The easy grow oxalis houseplant is native to Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico.

Green foliage of the Shamrock Plant (Oxalis)Green foliage of the Shamrock Plant (Oxalis)

Remember when you were a kid and looking for the lucky four leaf clover. You were hunting for oxalis.

The leaves of this little plant resemble the Irish shamrock symbol, which makes it highly popular around St. Patrick’s Day. 

The common names of this favorite plant of Ireland include:

  • Wood Sorrel (Trifolium repens)
  • Oxalis Acetosella
  • Oxalis deppei (Iron Cross) for the dark purple markings
  • False Shamrock
  • Oxalis Triangularis
  • Oxalis Regnelli ‘Green O’
  • Oxalis ‘Green O’ Regnelli’

Shamrock Plant Care Tips

Size & Growth

This plant is compact and barely grows 6” inches tall. 

It has three to four clover-shaped leaves. 

Many people believe this plant brings good luck. 

During the nighttime, the leaves curl up and then open back during the day.

Flowering and Fragrance

This plant produces beautiful and delicate white flowers off an on all year round. 

They bloom on and off throughout spring, winter, and fall season.

Light & Temperature

These plants require indirect bright light from a west or east-facing window. 

However, in the winter season, place this plant under direct sun for a few hours.

The Wood Sorrel performs best in moderate temperatures. 

The daytime temperature shouldn’t exceed 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C), and the ideal nighttime temperature should be between 50° and 65° degrees Fahrenheit (10° – 18° C). 

During warmer temperatures, the plant enters dormancy.

These plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 6 through 10.

Watering and Feeding

This plant prefers the soil to be moist, but not soggy. 

Water the plant two or three times a month during the growing season, making sure the soil dry out completely before you water. 

Let at least 2” inches of soil to dry out. 

Always water it from the bottom as the fragile stems might get waterlogged.

Feed the plant every month during the summer and spring season using balanced houseplant food. 

Fertilizing should be avoided when the plant is dormant.

Soil & Transplanting

Grow this plant in well-draining soil. 

It prefers a sandy and loose type of soil, instead of organically fertile soil. 

When growing it directly in the ground, be sure to add a layer of mulch or compost.

Repot the plant after one or two years when the plant is in its dormancy period. 

Make sure to use the same pot or opt for one size bigger. 

If you are removing offsets, which reduces the plant size, then it is best to use the same size pot. 

Grooming and Maintenance

Taking care of this plant is simple, particularly when you understand its period of dormancy. 

The Shamrock plant doesn’t go dormant in winters like the majority of other houseplants; instead, it goes dormant during the summer season.

If you notice the leaves dying, then the plant needs darkness to rest. 

Stop watering and fertilizing the plant with it is in the dormant state. 

The dormancy period of Oxalis plants may last from a few weeks to three to four months. 

It mostly depends on the soil conditions and cultivar of the plant.

Once new growth start appearing, it is the end of the plant’s dormancy. 

Start watering the plant and place it on a sunny windowsill or on a spot getting plenty of direct light. 

Begin the usual care for this plant, and you will soon witness plenty of stunning blooms and lush foliage.

How to Propagate Oxalis

The propagation of the Wood Sorrel is done using division and seeds. 

Plant the seeds during early spring in well-draining soil. 

Water deeply and regularly until the plant establishes.

Divide the shamrock plant by pulling the roots apart gently in small clumps. 

Once the division is done, start potting the divisions in small containers. 

Avoid burying them too deeply. Cover with soil and water deeply.

Oxalis Pest or Diseases

This plant is usually pest-free but tends to attract spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids. 

Use a green solution to get rid of aphids and spider mites. 

Create a mixture of half part alcohol and half part mild soapy water, and add in two to three tablespoons of mineral oil. 

For whiteflies, use sticky insect cards.

The two main diseases to look out for are chlorotic ring spots (yellow-colored rings on leaves) and fungal rust (orange or brownish discoloration of leaves). 

If the plant gets infected, take out the plant and use a mild bleach mixture to scrub the pot. 

Wash thoroughly and repot the plant with fresh soil and spray Neem oil on the leaves.

Is This Plant Toxic or Poisonous?

These plants have mild toxicity for both humans and animals if consumed in high quantities.

Shamrock Plant Uses

This houseplant looks excellent on a windowsill and also outdoors. 

It works well with different varieties, including the purple shamrock and other garden plants. 

This plant is a popular gift choice for Easter and St. Patrick’s Day.

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