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Thursday, 25 December 2014

GROWING PURPLE SHAMROCK (OXALIS) IN MY GARDEN

Purple Shamrock has many names. Some of its names are Oxalis Triangularis, Oxalis Regnellii, False Shamrock, Love Plant and etc. Its most common name is Purple Shamrock.
I bought my first Purple Shamrock plant from a plant nursery. I was so attracted to its leaves because they looked so like purple butterflies.
Purple Shamrock is a dainty, elegant looking plant. It has slender, delicate stems holding up its purple butterfly-like leaves. When it is full of leaves, it looks like a mushroom top with pale purple flowers holding its head above the leaves.
The leaves are deep purple in two shades, consisting of three segments shaped like hearts joining together at the pointed end of the hearts. The stems of the leaves can grow to about a foot long.
When there is light, the leaves will open up, but when the sun sets, the leaves will fold down. The length of the stem to the leaves can grow to about a foot long.

The flowers of Purple Shamrock are small, pink to pale purple with green centre held up high about two inches above the leaves by slim, delicate stems.
There are other varieties of Purple Shamrock, and I had a green one where its leaves are green and the flowers white.
Some green shamrock has pink flowers. My green shamrock plant has died, completely gone and I am still looking out for a green shamrock for my garden.
Purple Shamrock plant needs a few hours of sunlight or at least some brightness to be a healthy plant. It needs good drainage garden soil.
Poor drainage or too dry, the plant will die. If for some reasons the plant died, do not give up hope. The plant will grow again if the soil is kept moist.
Initially, when I was having my first Purple Shamrock plant, it looked so delicate and I dare not re-pot it or separate the plant to propagate. When my first Purple Shamrock plant died, I thought it was gone for good. I dug up the soil from its pot and mixed with new soil to grow other plants.

This Purple Shamrock plant grew from the tubers that got mixed with soil used for this pot.

After a while I was so surprised to see baby Purple Shamrock growing in some of these flower pots. The tubers must have got separated and survived the mixing of soil. That was how I found out that Purple Shamrock grows from its small tubers. As long as the tuber is not damage, the plant will grow back. It is easy to grow and to take care.
To propagate Purple Shamrock, unearth the whole plant, then carefully and gently separate and divide the tubers. Plant the separated tubers in separate pots. Very soon, new shoots will grow and multiply. It needs to be fertilized regularly, at least once in two weeks. It needs sunlight to flourish and stay healthy.
Purple Shamrock can be grown in pots and looks very pretty in hanging pots. It is grown for its attractive deep purple leaves. The wider the pot, the more and wider the spread of its leaves.
I was told that this plant is toxic to pets, so to be on the safe side, it is better to place the plant out of reach of pets. And that its leaves had an awful taste, probably to deter pets from chewing the leaves.
"Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests."

(Luke 2:14, New International Version-NIV)
~     ~     ~     ~     ~
Wishing all who are celebrating Christmas

"Blessed and Merry Christmas"

and to all and your loved ones,

"Happy New Year,

fill with overflowing joy and good health."

18 comments:

  1. Nancy, this plant is so beautiful! The leaves do look like butterflies and the flowers are so delicate and pretty!

    Here's wishing you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phong Hong, thank you. Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family too.

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  2. Replies
    1. Sharon, thank you and wishing you Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year too.

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  3. This plant is so unique. Very nice. I have only seen red colour ones. Merry Christmas to you & your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have not seen the red ones. Must look out for the red and green ones too.
      Blessed Christmas to you and family too.

      Delete
  4. The purple leaves really do look like butterflies. They are so pretty! I will try to look out for this plant at the nursery because it is really pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am also looking out for the red and green ones.

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  5. We have one of these growing in our yard! My friend gave me cuttings from hers, it has done very well. Merry Christmas to my newest blog friend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ginny, thank you so much for your faithful support and your encouragement. I want to give you a big hug! Bless you dear.

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  6. Beautiful, Nancy. Merry Christmas to you. :)

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Linda. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

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  7. Hi Nancy, my pot of Purple Shamrocks is looking dull and leggy and I couldn't figure out why. I am trying to place them in a brighter spot to see if the colour deepens. I tend not to overwater and might have caused dehydration! Do you have any idea how to get the stems to be thicker and less limpy? Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brenda. You can water them daily but make sure the soil has good drainage. It needs light and I placed them under shade from direct sunlight. I fertilize them once in every 2 to 3 weeks.

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  8. Hi Nancy, where can i find oxalis in singapore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry dear, I am staying in Ipoh so I won't be able to help you. Have a good day.

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    2. Where to buy this Plant? Many nursery is selangor don't sell this plant anymore

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    3. I bought my plant many years ago in one of the plant nurseries along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh.

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Thank you for your visits and encouraging comments. They are greatly appreciated. Have a beautiful day.

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