St. Patrick and the Shamrock
The shamrock, or seamróg in Gaelic (meaning “young clover”), is the national plant of the Emerald Isle. According to legend, during the fifth century, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Celts about the Holy Trinity. The three leaves attached to a single stem represented the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in one God. But there are many different types of Shamrocks and one of them is the Oxalis plant.
The Oxalis is a great houseplant, easy to care for, and one of the few houseplants that actually blooms all year long. It becomes available in early March and is valued for its interesting “good luck” three parted leaves. The delicate white or pink blossoms last two to three weeks or more.
Oxalis likes indirect or diffused light the best and moderate to cool temperatures. Maintain soil on the dry side, but water thoroughly when dry and allow it to dry down before watering again.
Most varieties benefit from a rest period after the blooming period. decrease watering and temperatures, then cut back the foliage or allow it to die down. It is very simple to propagate an Oxalis: simply dig up a few of the roots (they look like little pine cones), and replant them upright in a new pot. Keep giving them water periodically, and in a few days to weeks they will sprout anew!
Oxalis have become popular in outdoor summer plantings – often used in pots and planters. Some varieties will grow and flower for a long period of time and can be used in combination with other flowering and ornamental annuals.