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How to care for shamrock plants (Oxalis sp.)

How to care for shamrock plants
How to care for shamrock plants
douneika / Flickr

Shamrock plants (Oxalis sp.) flood the market in March in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. These clover-like plants are thought to bring good luck and are just plain fun to grow. While those you find at the florist aren’t real Irish shamrocks, they resemble the real thing and are much easier to grow.

Shamrock plants produce three triangular or rounded leaves on a short stem, similar to clover. The leaves range in color from green to deep purple. Small white, yellow or pink flowers adorn these little plants during the winter. The leaves of oxalis fold up at night.

Shamrock Care

  • Place your shamrock plant on a sunny windowsill.
  • Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Fertilize once a month during periods of active growth.
  • Keep nighttime temperatures between 50 to 65 degrees F at night and under 75 degrees during the daytime. Oxalis goes dormant when temperatures soar above 75 degrees.


Shamrock plants go dormant several times a year explains the Iowa State University Extension. Foliage fades and drops and the plant looks like it is dead, but this is deceiving. Place the plant in a cool, dark area and water sparsely for two to three months. At the end of the dormant period, new shoots appear and the plant revives. More into a sunny location and resume watering and fertilizing.

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