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How to Save Your Shamrock Plant

By Tracy Morris ; Updated September 21, 2017
Wood sorrel plants are commercially sold as shamrock plants.

Legends associate the shamrock with Ireland and St. Patrick because the saint used the three-leafed plant to illustrate the trinity in his teachings. The shamrock that St. Patrick used was probably a white clover, which is a challenging plant to grow indoors. Today, the shamrock that many people purchase in grocery stores is a form of wood sorrel. Wood sorrels that appear on the verge of dying can be nursed back to health if provided with optimal growing conditions.

Move your shamrock plant to a south-facing windowsill in winter. Shamrock plants prefer direct sunlight and need bright lighting conditions indoors. Plants that appear tall and lanky are not getting enough light.

Check your plants once a week and water only if the soil is dry. Shamrock plants require very little water to thrive. Plants that receive too much water will turn yellow. Plants that receive too little water have a wilted appearance.

Turn down your thermostat. Shamrock plants thrive with temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees F at night and 75 degrees F during the day. Shamrocks exposed to warmer temperatures may also appear leggy, as if they are not receiving enough sunlight.

Check the calendar if the plant leaves are dying back. If the plant’s leaves die in late spring, the plant is entering a dormant stage for summer. Cut back on water and fertilizer to allow the plant to rest over the summer months, and move the plant to a cool, dark location. When new sprouts emerge on the plant in fall, move the plant back to a warm, sunny location and resume care.


Things You Will Need

  • Watering can

About the Author


Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.