The gorgeous, butterfly-like plant, Oxalis triangularis, is commonly called False Shamrock. This amazing, dynamic plant is native from Brazil. Even though this plant seems to be fragile and hard to care for, it is actually quite the opposite. This plant is actually so hardy that it is known to grow through generations, if given the proper care. It is also one of the few flowering indoor plants, it blooms gorgeous little flowers.
Here are some tips to make your plant grow and thrive in your home.
Oxalis love bright indirect sunlight. They like to receive some direct morning sun. When placed indoors, placed by a door or window which receives direct morning sunlight, and bright indirect sunlight the rest of the day. They shouldn't receive more than 2 hours of direct sun, because excessive sunlight will damage it. They do prefer the terrace/balcony lighting here in Puerto Rico, so try to place them where there is plenty of light.
It is very important to let the soil dry between waterings because it is very prone to root rot. But do not let it be dry for too long. Overwatering and not enough water will cause Oxalis to go through a dormancy period that seems as if they didn’t make it. If the lighting conditions are right, and the leaves do not open completely, and soil is dry, then it is time to water it. When leaves start to feel mushy, do not open, and start getting weird dark looking spots, it might be overwatering. If overwatered, stop watering, let it dry completely and give the plant time to heal.
Oxalis need a well draining potting mix. We recommend to use an indoor potting mix, with peat moss and perlite or vermiculite, or create your own mix half peat moss, half perlite. This mix helps to retain moisture without rotting the roots. Also, adding a bit of Orchid bark or sand to the mix will help with drainage.
You can add a balanced slow release fertilizer and forget about it for the next few months. If you prefer to use fertilizer diluted in water, then you can fertilize every two weeks or once a month. Always follow the fertilizer’s instructions.
Repot once every other year to give it more space to grow. Always use pots with drainage holes. Repot in a pot that is 1” larger in diameter and in height. They don’t need much space to grow, they will grow in small spaces too. It is also good to change the potting mix every two years, but be careful with the bulbs and root system as it can be fragile.
The best and fastest way to propagate Oxalis is through their bulbs, so really get in there carefully to multiply this gorgeous baby.
Oxalis triangularis is toxic to cats, dogs and humans if ingested in large quantities. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy when consumed by animals.
•Oxalis triangularis are considered a decorative edible (can only be consumed in small quantities). It tastes pretty good!
•They produce small pink flowers.
•Oxalis leaves move in reaction to light. They close down when there’s not enough light, usually normal to do this at night, and they open back up in the morning.
•From personal experience: LET THEM BE. As we always say, let plants be. Don't give them too much attention. Attention usually means too much water. Too much water will cause root rot.
•They can sometimes enter a dormancy period, if your Oxalis seems to be “dead” it might be dormant. When this happens because overwatering it is important to stop watering completely, let it dry, and only start watering again when leaves start appearing again.