How to Plant Oxalis Triangularis

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Oxalis triangularis is a deciduous ground cover with small flowers and clover-like leaves. It is known for its distinctive leaves, which look like three triangles joined at a center point. All Oxalis leaves are light sensitive, opening to receive sunlight and closing at night or when under shade--sometimes looking like many perched butterflies.


Oxalis triangularis comes in two varieties: green leaves with white flowers, often referred to as Oxalis Regnellii, and purple leaves with white or pink flowers, commonly called Purple Shamrock. Their bright foliage can bring color to otherwise drab winter windowsills when grown in pots indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower pot
  • Oxalis triangularis bulbs
  • Potting soil
  • Select a container. You can plant one purple shamrock bulb per 1 inch of a pot's diameter. Plant 10 bulbs in a 10-inch pot, for example. Make sure there are drainage holes.

  • Prepare the soil. Most commercial potting mixes are fine. Getting one with a slow-release fertilizer will save you work once a month.

  • Plant the bulbs. The bulbs should be planted roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. It does not matter which end or side is pointing up.

  • Water thoroughly. Soak the soil but check to make sure it drains properly. Waterlogged bulbs will rot.

  • Place the pot. Make sure the location you select gets full sun. Some varieties will still grow in light shade but the leaves may not be as vibrant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Divide the plant when it goes dormant and you will never need to buy more; in fact, you will probably have to give some bulbs away.

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