University of Maryland Extension


Shamrock in planter

Oxalis regnellii

Faith and begorrah! Think St. Patrick’s Day and beyond for enjoying delightful shamrocks. Oxalis species occur in many forms (some of which are lawn weeds, and the real shamrock is a type of clover), but this houseplant provides year round white flowers nestled among stunning trifoliate leaves, sometimes backed with iridescent purple. Give it bright, indirect light, even full sun in winter.  Normal indoor temperatures are fine, though cooler nights prolong growing and blooming.  It enjoys summer outdoors. Keep moisture levels even when it’s growing but reduce watering when not blooming/growing and allow it to rest.  If it loses its foliage, be patient; store the bulbs in a cool, dry place then return it to a sunny spot when green shoots reappear. In dry conditions, mist it to prevent spider mites.  

Text by Lew Shell

Photo courtesy of Ellen Nibali


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