Shamrock Plant Care – Growing My Lucky Oxalis Houseplant

By Laura Miller | January 9, 2021
Image by Pro2sound
by Laura Miller
January 9, 2021

I murder houseplants. Not intentionally, of course! But mostly from neglect. When life gets busy, I find myself walking past my houseplants, thinking I need to water them. Later – I need to water them later. 

Later has a funny habit of turning into days, then weeks. Next thing I know, my houseplants are wilted or worse. I chide myself for not having stepped off the roller coaster of life for a few minutes to properly care for my plants. But by then, it’s usually too late for any plant which isn’t inherently drought resistant.

Naturally, the long-time survivors in my household are my cacti, succulents, and yucca. Except for one soft-leaved survivor. Surprisingly, it’s my lucky shamrock plant. This common name for Oxalis regnellii comes from the superstition that these plants bring good luck. But I think my Oxalis houseplant is lucky because it has managed to survive my negligent ways.

Shamrock Plant Care

In a way, my shamrock plant is the perfect species for me. You see, Oxalis goes dormant in the summer. When I am busy cutting the grass, tending to my vegetable garden and doing outside gardening chores, my dormant shamrock plant quietly waits for my life to slow down. 

Whether we vacation for a week or visit our grown children for a few days, I need not worry about my dormant shamrock plant. No need to impose upon a neighbor or friend to water this indoor plant. Shamrock plant care is so easy in the summer. My Oxalis regnellii hardly needs much water when dormant.

Then later – when life is not so busy – I can begin watering my dormant shamrock plant again. In a few days, green growth sprouts up from the teacup planter. And soon the clover-shaped leaves of Oxalis regnellii open as they reach for the sky. Or more correctly, the ceiling.

Over the years, my shamrock indoor plant has spread to nicely fill the 12-inch (30 cm.) wide teacup planter. No pinching back or deadheading this one. It’s never cried out for fertilizer. This sweet little plant thrives in low light and without any forcing will bloom proficiently all winter long.

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  • Karen Lee
    Comment added January 12, 2021Reply

    Mine never fully come back! They die to nothing and then when they come out it’s a feeble attempt! I buy a new one every March and the same thing happens.

    • Terri Rice
      Comment added January 13, 2021Reply

      Karen, I too, have exact same experience with shamrock plant. I had hoped this little article would clue me in to what I do wrong ( overwater), but still not much luck. Maybe it’s the plants? Too hybrid maybe? Anyway, just wanted to offer my support.

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