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Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1354 – Shamrocks as Houseplants   arrow


There are hundreds of species of Oxalis or shamrocks, but the most common types are the Irish Shamrock (Oxalis acetosella) and the Good Luck Plant (Oxalis deppei). Both plants have green leaves and small white or pink flowers but the Good Luck Plant has white streaks along leaf veins. Both species exhibit nyctinastic movement, where leaves fold up at night and open in daylight hours.

Shamrock plants require direct sunlight for best growth and flowering. They will bloom all winter if placed in a bright sunny window. Shamrocks prefer moist soil, fertilization during active growth, and temperatures between 50-65 degrees F at night and no greater than 75 degrees F during the day.

These plants do not have an extensive root system, so they grow best if crowded in a pot. Two to three times a year the plants will appear sick- don’t fret, shamrock plants undergo dormant periods as part of the growing process for bulb plants. Two to three times a year plants go dormant causing leaves to die. When they do, place the plant in a cool, dry place out of direct sun. After about three months, new shoots will emerge. As the plant emerges from dormancy and resumes growth move into bright light.

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