How to Care for Oxalis Plants


Because of its bright green leaves divided into four sections, oxalis is commonly called the shamrock plant. Oxalis is an easy-to-grow plant that might even develop tiny white flowers that hide beneath the foliage. Oxalis grows from bulbs, and like all bulbs, requires a period of dormancy each year. Don't throw the plant in the garbage when it appears to be dying because with proper care, it will come back better than ever.

Step 1

Put oxalis in a sunny window, but keep it out of hot afternoon sun. Oxalis will do best in temperatures that don't exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with night temperatures around 60 F.

Step 2

Keep the potting soil just barely moist. Allow the potting soil to dry out slightly between each watering, and don't water the oxalis plant until the soil feels dry to the touch.

Step 3

Fertilize the oxalis monthly during the growing season using a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer applied according to the directions on the container. Don't fertilize it during fall and winter.

Step 4

Give the oxalis plant a rest period when it begins to look droopy and wilted. It's normal for the leaves to die back, so when they do, stop watering. When the leaves turn brown, move the pot into a dark, cool room for three months. After that time, move the oxalis back into bright sunlight, and return to regular water and fertilizing.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer


  • University of Wisconsin: Shamrocks
  • Shamrock, Wood Sorrel, Latin Name--Oxalis
  • The Garden Helper: Growing and Caring for Shamrock Plants--Oxalis Deppei
Keywords: oxalis plant, shamrock, oxalis

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.