Friday, September 7, 2012

Byron's Oxalis

This striking purple and magenta Oxalis is another one of my friend, Byron's plants. It is kept in front of a sunny window to ensure its rich color. He has had it for many years. Obviously, it is thriving. It blooms with a profusion of very sweet, small lavender/white trumpet-shaped flowers from time to time.

There are many species of Oxalis, also known as shamrock plants. Most will live, quite easily, as houseplants. Most likely Ireland would be guessed as their native land. Ireland does have native species, yet they naturally grow in many other countries. They are indigenous to several South American countries, South Africa and parts of North America.  

Around St. Patrick's Day, you can usually find them for sale wherever plants are sold. Yes, they are also available with solid green leaves! 

Care Instructions-- 
  • Prefers direct sun.
  • Water thoroughly when the top of the soil is dry. It is quite forgiving, so if it dries out and wilts, it will mostly likely rebound quickly. 
  • Plants in a 6" (10 cm) diameter pot should take about a pint (1/2 liter) of water, when necessary
  • Even if the foliage has completely died, these sturdy plants can be revived.
  • You can let them die back at the end of autumn, store them in a cool place for a month or two to let the bulbs rest for awhile.
  • Fertilize regularly.
  • Pinch off dead leaves and flower stems at their base on the soil surface, when necessary.

***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here: 

The Indoor Garden TV show


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