With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I figure I’d talk about Shamrocks aka Oxalis. Most people believe that it is only a houseplant, which is a common misconception. Oxalis is great for adding color and texture to flower gardens that have sun to partly shaded areas. They also are great in rock gardens, where the soil is moist, but well drained. Some varieties can be very evasive, so make sure you read the tag, when you purchase your Oxalis. Though, if you find an evasive plant that you just have to have, plant it in your garden while it is still in the pot. This will prevent it from spreading out and into the rest of your garden, (just make sure you water it well.) Maintenance of Oxalis is quite easy; remove any faded or yellow leaves to keep the plant looking tidy. Fertilize occasionally. Make sure it is well watered, though they will wilt in heavy full sun locations. You can prevent this by planting them in a sheltered location. I like to plant them next to a larger plant that can help shade them. If you purchase varieties that are; tuberous or rhizomatous, i.e. bulb-like, which are usually not hardy to our zone 6, you can dig them up and store them in sand over the winter in a dark, dry place, and replant them come spring. My favorites are Purple Shamrock: Oxalis regnelli var. triangularis, it has purple leaves and white flowers. And Oxalis adenophylla, it does not have the traditional shamrock leaves, but it has tiny finger-like ones. In the spring it blooms with purplish pink flowers, which look great in my rock garden. Happy Planting & St. Patrick’s Day! …another note about St. Patrick’s day, this is the best time to plant your peas and beans in your vegetable gardens!
Carrie Longacre is a Mommy to a very active toddler, Hannah, and wife to her Landscaper husband, Marc. Carrie has been gardening ever since she could walk and has a degree in Horticultural Business from Penn State University.