A Quick Guide to Grow Purple Shamrock Indoors and Outdoors

If you are looking for an unusual plant to grow, the purple shamrock can be one of your perfect options.

It features unique foliage with deep purple color and a pretty cluster of tiny blossoms.

Not only comes with exceptional dark color, but the leave of this plant also looks extraordinary with its heart-like shape.

Also known as Oxalis triangularis, this plant will indeed make a stunning addition to any garden out there.


The Origin of Purple Shamrock and Its Name

Purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis), also known as false shamrock, is one of the uncommon plants with nearly black foliage.
Purple Shamrock

Native to Brazil, this low-growing foliage plant is now popular all around the world. Its common names include Love Plant, False Shamrock, Oxalis, and Wood Sorrel.

While it is called Love Plant due to its heart-shaped foliage, the name false shamrock originates from the way people mistake this perennial with Trifolium spp. that is native to Ireland.

False shamrock has similar appearances with that Ireland clover although it is originally a Brazilian native and a member of the wood sorrel family.

What makes them different includes sun exposure requirement, root system, and their type.

While False Shamrock is a perennial, the true shamrocks are annuals.

When it comes to the root system, just like many other Oxalis species, Purple Shamrock comes with a tuberous or bulb-like one.

Secrets to Grow False Shamrock Either Indoors or Outdoors

Place the plant in an area that is room temperature and receives good air circulation and bright, but not direct, light. Soil should be kept lightly moist. Water sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food every few months.
Secret Growing Shamrock

Thanks to its attention-grabbing purple leaves, Oxalis triangularis can always be the darling of both indoor and outdoor areas.

In addition to the exceptional foliage, this perennial also produces tiny, trumpet-shaped blossoms that come in white or pink colors.

The flowers of False Shamrock typically last for several weeks only.

After that, you can enjoy the beautiful leaves that open in the morning and close during the night.

You just need to provide it with the proper indoor conditions to enjoy its robust growth and color during all seasons.

For outdoor growing, make sure to place this false shamrock in a shaded area so that it can grow normally.

Refer to the following for the details on how to grow a purple shamrock plant.

  • Light Conditions to Grow False Shamrock

Oxalis Triangularis care summary: To keep your Purple Shamrock plant healthy, grow in rich, well-drained potting mix and water when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Maintain moderate humidity, fertilize every two to three weeks, situate in bright light and keep indoor temperature between 60°F to 75°F.
Purple Shamrock Care

When it comes to indoor growing, it is always a good idea to find a place that receives bright sunlight inside the house.

If you cannot provide such locations, your false shamrock is likely to get leggy and does not grow robust.

In case you notice this happen to the plant, consider moving it to a brighter location.

On the other hand, you can consider giving the shamrock a break from indoor growth by placing it in a partly sunny outdoor location.

Make sure never to place purple shamrock in full sun even though this plant cultivates best in bright indoor conditions.

This is because a bright indoor location has windows that can diminish some of the sun’s rays.

Meanwhile, outdoors tend to be so sunny that may cause burnt to the leaves.

  • Soil Conditions to Grow False Shamrock

The purple shamrock can grow in a variety of soil types as long as it has good drainage. Its roots are prone to rotting if the soil retains too much moisture. A loamy or sandy soil is best. And for container growth, a general, well-draining potting mix should be fine.
Best Soil for Purple Shamrock

In general, your false shamrock will grow well in standard potting mixes that drain perfectly.

The soils must not be heavy and do not retain too much water for the plant to perform fine as well. If you expect the best results, utilize a rich, lightweight potting mix.

Consider adding a slow-release fertilizer so that there is no need to worry about regular fertilizing.

Without the addition of fertilizer, the shamrock will still perform well. However, you may need to do fertilizing more frequently.

Various types of potting soil tend to be too heavy and cannot drain perfectly. These will result in some issues related to rot.

Nevertheless, you can still use them by lightening the mixture prior to plant the purple shamrock.

There are some soil mixture recommendations to do so.

– First, you can blend a part of potting soil with the same amount of peat.

– Second, it is possible to mix up potting soil and mix in a similar amount too.

– Third, you can also mix each potting mix, soil, and peat one part.

Whichever mixture you would like to try to grow the False Shamrock, make sure to keep in mind that the soil must drain properly and do not preserve too much water.

If you water your plant and find that the water stays on top of the soil, depleting slowly, it means that the mixture requires to be lightened since it is too heavy.

  • Humidity and Temperature Requirements

This Brazilian native prefers relative humidity around 50% or higher. If indoor air is dry, try one of these easy ways to increase humidity for your plant. Temperature: Prefers cool temperatures, especially while in bloom; 55-65°F/13-18°C at night/not warmer than 75°F/24°C during the day.
Humidity for Purple Shamrock

Fortunately, purple shamrock is not as fussy as other indoor plants when it comes to the best levels of humidity to grow.

The average level of humidity inside your home is typically adequate to let the plant cultivate without any problem.

In case the air inside your home is very dry, consider improving the humidity using a good humidifier, pebble tray, or planting it in a group.

For the temperature requirement, your false shamrock tends to grow best between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius.

If your home’s temperature is getting too hot, the leave may wilt.

Therefore, if you are using an artificial heating apparatus to warm up the house throughout the winder, never situate False Shamrock beside the heating vent.

  • Fertilizing Requirements to Grow Purple Shamrock

Fertilize shamrock lightly once every month while the plant is actively growing, then withhold fertilizer when the plant enters dormancy. Use a regular house plant fertilizer with a balanced ratio such as 15-15-15. Mix the fertilizer at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water.
Fertilizing Shamrock Plant

You should feed your False Shamrock when it is growing actively between spring and summer. Do not provide the plant with fertilizer in fall or winter since it tends to go into dormancy.

In case your potting mix comes with a slow-release fertilizer that can feed the False Shamrock, you do not need to provide the plant with additional feedings for a couple of months.

However, if you wish to continue fertilizing the love plant with a slow-release mix, simply scatter the granules over the soil.

Do not forget to water it well after doing so.

A water-soluble blend for houseplants makes a great alternative when you want to feed the plant while watering.

To keep the Purple Shamrock grow and appear its best, you better fertilize it each two to three weeks.

Since salts may build up in the soil after a constant application of fertilizer, it will require periodic flushing to avoid burnt foliage.

You can do it by taking your planter to the sink and let the water run slowly through the soil for around five minutes.

Once the planter drains and there is no surplus salt from the soil, you can move the Shamrock back to its location.

Perform the flushing of unwanted salts every four to six months if necessary.

  • Watering Requirements for Purple Shamrock Care

During the growing seasons of spring through summer, water when the top inch of soil feels dry. During the dormant season of fall and winter, water about every two to three weeks.
Purple Shamrock Watering Tips

There is no need to worry if you forget to water your False Shamrock as it will be more forgiving than when you water too much.

Too much water that leads to mushy soil states and issues with rot will end up killing your beautiful Shamrock.

You should water your False Shamrock when the top inch of its potting soil seems dry during its growing seasons of spring and summer.

Throughout the dormant season of fall and winter, you just need to water the plant every two to three weeks.

During this dormant season, your Purple Shamrock has postponed its growth so it does not need a similar amount of water as it actively grows.

To check whether the False Shamrock requires water is pretty easy. You can simply stick your finger into the potting soil.

If you find that the top inch feels dry, pour some water until it runs from the bottom drain holes of the planters.

Do not forget to use room temperature water instead of the cold one when watering your False Shamrock.

  • Care through Dormancy and Pruning Requirements

The only pruning you need is to pinch off dead stems when the plant declines or dies back. If you notice that the vibrant purple foliage starts to brown, wait until the leaves and stems dry out.
Prune Dormant Leaves

You should not be surprised if the leaves of your Purple Shamrock start to become dry and brown after a few months of growing strongly.

This means the plant enters a dormancy period and it typically occurs in summer. During this phase, the False Shamrock will rest and recharge before another growing period.

For indoor growing, this resting period is pretty unpredictable. Importantly, a temperature higher than 27 degrees Celsius can promote dormancy.

When it happens, you need to cut back on watering the False Shamrock and leave the foliages to dry out before performing any pruning process.

Move your plant to a location that is dark and cool as well for around two to four weeks. After that, put the planter back to a brighter area.

To stimulate new growth and let the purple shamrock bounce back stronger, commence usual watering and fertilize.

Meanwhile, the pruning requirements for this perennial are low to none. You just need to pinch off any dead leaves when necessary.

How to Plant Purple Shamrock Bulbs Perfectly

Just poke the bulbs into the soil any way up is right. Water lightly just once every couple of weeks until new growth appears. In about 6 weeks from planting, your new purple shamrocks will begin to appear, and will fill in to become lush and full soon after. Weekly watering should be light.
Planting Purple Shamrock Bulbs

Now that you already know the right way to grow False Shamrock, knowing the proper method to plant a few of its bulbs will be perfect.

The general rules are to use a container that features bottom drain holes and utilize a lightweight potting mix.

After that, place the False Shamrock bulbs on top of the soil. Space them a few inches apart and cover them with soil until they are planted around 2.5 to 3.8 cm deep.

Then, water the soil and place the planter in a bright indoor location or a shaded outdoor area. Wait for around two to three weeks to see new growth appear.

Finally, make sure to maintain the potting mix humid while your bulbs are sprouting.

Once your Purple Shamrock grows perfectly, do not forget to perform repotting as it will help to keep the soil fresh. Good luck!

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