The Oxalis triangularis is a variant of the shamrock plant and is best known as the purple shamrock. If you do not know the purple shamrock, you might have also bashed the triangularis for being an invasive plant.
In this article, we will talk about everything about the Oxalis triangularis and why it could be one of the greatest additions to your thriving garden.
Before we get to the technicalities of taking care of the Oxalis triangularis, let us first get to know about it through some quick facts.
- It has religious origins. Rumor has it that the Oxalis triangularis can be traced back to the time of St. Patrick when he was trying to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish using an Oxalis stem with three leaves.
- It is photophilic. The Oxalis is an amazing plant because its leaves and flowers close and open depending on the amount of light it receives.
- It is also called as the love plant. It is called as such because of its heart shaped purple leaves, which by the way, makes it one of the most attractive houseplants.
Where to buy Oxalis triangularis?
The triangularis is one of the easiest plants to grow and one of the most easy to maintain. As such, it can now be ordered and shipped through the major international online shops like Amazon. It is also mostly available in local greeneries and plant shops worldwide.
1. When to plant
The best time to plant the triangularis is during early spring when it could still grow its first leaves after four to six weeks.
It is not advisable to plant it after spring because it will go dormant and its leaves will close in the daylight making it not grow.
2. Where to plant
It can be grown both outdoors and indoors because it is both cold and sun hardy. This means that it needs to be in a strategic place where it could get full sunlight every day.
The good thing is that, you don’t have to worry about it during the colder seasons because it can thrive where it is planted as long as it could get bright light.
3. How to plant
Using seeds, fill the pot with as much as you can. One inch apart is okay since the triangularis can also tolerate overcrowding.
For four to six weeks, lightly water the pot twice every week. After the sixth week or as soon as you see small leaves sprouting, you can water the triangularis more lightly with an interval of once every two weeks.
It will go dormant for a few weeks so don’t worry if they look wilted because after their dormancy period, they will come around like nothing happened.
Like all other houseplants, the triangularis needs a fast draining soil because it is not dependent on too much water. The best potting mix recommended for this houseplant is humus.
2. Light and temperature
The triangularis requires bright light or six to eight hours of full sun a day. As for temperature, it can tolerate cold temperatures but it can go dormant if it drops to below 13 degrees Celsius or when it goes higher than 30 degrees Celsius.
3. Water and humidity
All it needs is light watering. Close watering intervals will be needed during its active growth phase which is six weeks after planting. Twice a week watering during this phase is required.
After it grows more leaves and height, watering shall be lessened to once every two weeks. There’s no such thing as too humid for the triangularis. Just follow the temperature requirements and then you’ll be all good.
You will need a liquid fertilizer for the triangularis specifically during active growth phase. During this period, feeding it once every two weeks is required. When it enters dormancy, fertilizer is a big no.
Propagating must be done during its dormancy phase. You will have to use offsets for propagation. Propagation can be done after one to two years of the main plant.
There are three instances which will signal you to prune: when the tips of the leaves become dry; when it becomes overcrowded and messy, when it has burnt leaves. Normally, pruning happens after a year.
Growing Problems and Diseases
The most common problem and disease of the triangularis are fungal diseases. They occur when the foliage turns red and not purple (this is called rusting), when the tips of the leaves turn brown (burnt leaves) or when spots become visible in the leaves (ring spots).
The triangularis is a favorite of aphids and whiteflies because they could easily take shelter in its overcrowded leaves.
Is oxalis triangularis good for the soil where it is planted?
The answer is actually yes. According to Million Trees, the oxalis enriches the soil with the mineral called phosphorous. It is an essential mineral for active growth phase and is good for grass.
Can the oxalis survive winter frosts?
There are various Oxalis variants and not all of them are cut out for winter. But fortunately, the Oxalis triangularis will survive winters as it has winter tolerance of up to zone 6 of USDA hardiness.