oxalis plant care guide

Oxalis Plant: The Complete Growth And Care Guide (2021)

The oxalis is a unique houseplant, easily noticed when in a room or environment. When asked about plants that are easy to grow, both indoor and outdoor, this purple beauty is one of the first picks.

While oxalis is popular due to their distinctive colors, not many people are familiar with how to care for them or how to keep them healthy for a long time.

You did not know about oxalis before? Read on to find out all you need to know about this plant.

Oxalis Plant Background

Common nameOxalis, purple shamrock  
Botanical nameOxalis Triangularis  
Size6-8 inches tall, 12 to 15 inches wide  
LightBright, indirect light  
OriginSouth America  
Temperature55 to 67f (night)   Not warmer than 75 degrees F (Day)
HumidityModerate indoor humidity  

Fully known as Oxalis Triangularis, the oxalis plant is also known by other names like a false shamrock or purple shamrock. The oxalis triangularis is from the Oxalidaceae family, and it is the largest member. This plant has got its name from the presence of oxalid acid in the plant foliage; the oxalis originates from South America.  

Oxalis is a rhizomatous flowering plant, during summer and spring, the oxalis produces white or pink flowers, enhancing the beauty of the plant. The plants come with dark purple leaves, however, they can come in other different colors and sizes.

An interesting fact about the oxalid triangularis is that it is nyctinastic, which means that the leaves of the plant react to light. When light touches them in the morning, they open up and when it is dark, they close up. Oxalis can be grown outdoor and indoor, and sometimes, they are hard to get rid of outside, they grow back even when you do not want them.

However, with the right care, they can be long-lasting indoor; so much that they can be living for many years. Have an oxalis in your home? Getting ready to purchase one? Find out here, what you need to put in place.

[Quick Tips]

When planted on the soil outdoor, the oxalis is most times self-seeding, they are regarded by most farmers or gardeners as weed, and hence you may not need to propagate them.

Oxalis Plant Propagation Requirements

Here are the simple requirements to grow Oxalis at home.

1. Light

Oxalis enjoys direct sunlight; however, it can only take this for few hours. It is best planted and grown in bright indirect light. If you will not be available to monitor the amount of time your oxalis is spending receiving direct sunlight, you might want to keep it in direct sun.

2. Soil

When it comes to soil choice, oxalis triangular is not different from many other houseplants. The oxalis is best planted in rich, well-drained, fertile soil. You can purchase a high-quality potting mix. You can also add a mixture of peat to make the soil more porous. You need soil that will retain moisture but not make the plant soggy. Soil pH of 7.6 to 7.8 is just fine.  

3. Water

To water effectively, you must be sure your pots have a good drainage system. you should know that oxalis will not grow properly in soggy or overly wet soil, hence you should prepare to water your plants when the topsoil is dry, you can create a schedule that works best for you I.e. once in two weeks.

4. Humidity

Humidity is important to oxalis, the average room humidity is just fine for your oxalis, and you may not be required to provide additional humidity for your plant. However, you discover that your indoor environment has become less humid; you might want to mist the plant once in a while or provide other alternatives for humidity for your plant.  

5. Temperature

To keep the oxalis happy, you should prepare to place them between 60 degrees to 70 degrees temperature. The oxalis should never be placed in temperatures above 75 degrees during the day or lesser than 55 degrees at night.

6. Potting

The most important thing to note in purchasing an ideal pot for your plant is that the pot must have drainage holes. This will help the water pass through and prevent the plant from root rot.

7. Fertilizer

The oxalis can also live well without fertilizer, however, you can help them by feeding them monthly, especially during the growing season. You can use a slow-release fertilizer, at the start of the growing season and then three months later, or you can feed them with diluted houseplant liquid fertilizer. Feeding them with too much fertilizer can lead to mineral salt build-up and this can damage the plant root.

 If you notice you have fed your plant with too much fertilizer, you can flush the mineral salt out. The following are ways to flush mineral salts out.

  • Take your plant to a sink and gently place it underwater, to run for 3 minutes.
  • Allow the water to drain out from the pot and take it out to a bright location.
  • Let it dry and take it back to its usual position and continue the normal care schedule.

Oxalis Plant Propagation

You can propagate the oxalis via dividing and seed. Here’s how to get this done:

1. Dividing

The best time to propagate the oxalis is when it is in its dormancy period, all you need do is separate the bulb and replant them into a new pot.

Trim off dead or brown foliage then carefully remove the plant from the pot and shove off the dirt from the bulb. With the use of a knife, divide the plant into multiple sections; you can make as many sections as you want, as long as each of them has a piece of the root.

You can then re-pot the new bulbs into pots with the right potting mix. Make sure to immediately water the new transplant until it is damp. You can continue to water through the first growing season whenever the soil feels dry after the transplant has been done.

2. Seed

Place the seed 1 inch into the soil, you can do this when the temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure the seed is properly covered with the soil. Water the soil and keep it damp until it begins to germinate. When you notice the plant is beginning to germinate, continue to water it through the first growing season, to keep the soil moist.

Oxalis Plant Care: How To Care For Your Oxalis Plant

The following are other ways to care for your oxalis triangularis in the home and keep them healthy for a long time indoors.

  • The oxalis is naturally bushy, however, if you must prune them, the best time to prune them is after a major bloom. Simply get rid of the old flower system, this will encourage them to bloom again. You can also get rid of dead and brown leaves and foliage.
  • You may not need to re-pot the plant often, only do this every few years. When re-potting, make sure to re-pot the plant to a larger container, you can also maintain the same pot but change the potting soil.
  • The oxalis triangularis is toxic to animals and children, as beautiful as it is to have in the home, you may want to keep it at a safe distance from them.
  • With the oxalis, there is a thing as a rest period. If you notice your plant is dying off, then it means your plant is going into a state of dormancy. You don’t need to panic, the oxalis will return to life after it has taken due rest.
  • Like many other houseplants, oxalis can be affected by several pests and diseases. The most known one is root rot, and this is caused by overwatering or soggy soil. Mealybugs and spider mites can also damage the plant’s foliage. Your plant may also suffer from fungal diseases.
  • Fungal diseases on oxalis are often caused by overwatering; hence you should be careful when you water. you should make sure you treat your plants once you notice they are infected either from pests or diseases.
  • Bright light, humidity, and good soil are quite important to the oxalis.
oxalis plant care guide unassaggio

Final Thoughts

Purple shamrock is otherwise called is an easy plant to grow. With the right care and treatment, you can be sure to have this plant with you for a very long time. Many have discovered that not just are the oxalis plants able to beautify your home, they can also be used for medicinal purposes.