by Anna Karsten

Oxalis Triangularis Care Guide

The Oxalis Triangularis (Purple Shamrock) will quickly become the aesthetic beacon for your home by showing off its stunning purple foliage.

If you provide the purple shamrock with the right conditions, you’ll see it grow and thrive through every season. This is one of the easier houseplants to take care of, making it a great choice.

This Oxalis Triangularis care guide will walk you through all of the steps required so you can enjoy this breathtaking plant for many years.

Oxalis Triangularis Watering Guide

A common theme with houseplants is that they often react poorly to being overwatered. It’s always better to miss a watering session than it is to add one. This one is much less resilient to overwatering than most houseplants though and you can end up killing it.

When the top inch of the soil is dry, water the plant just enough so that it starts draining through the holes in the bottom of the pot. Then let the water drain away before replacing it in the larger pot. You can easily check the soil dampness by placing your finger in it.

During fall and winter, you only need to water this plant every two to three weeks. Finally, make sure you use room temperature water since cold water will damage the plant.

Light Requirements for Oxalis Triangularis

You want to place the Purple Shamrock in a location where it gets plenty of bright light. If it doesn’t get enough light, then its growth will suffer. It will become leggy rather than robust. If you see this happening, then move the plant to a brighter location.

You can also lower the light to slow down its growth if you want. Just be sure to place it in a partially sunny area so that it slows down but doesn’t become unhealthy.

I’ll end this section with a brief warning. While the Oxalis Triangularis thrives in bright light, the glass from windows can enhance direct sun rays and burn the leaves. So you will want to be mindful of this.


Soil Requirements for the Oxalis Triangularis

Keep this plant away from heavy soils. The bulbs will rot and the plant will likely die if the soil is too heavy. You want to choice soil that drains easily and quickly.

The best soil is one that is lightweight. Save yourself some time by investing in soil with additional fertilizer so that you do not have to feed the plant as often.

Since most of the soils found on the market are too heavy, you might have to lighten it yourself for the Purple Shamrock to thrive. Here are a few ways to accomplish that goal:

  • Combine potting soil with potting mix at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Combine potting soil with peat at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Combine potting soil, potting mix, and peat at a 1:1:1 ratio.

All three of those combinations work so you can choose which one you feel the most comfortable with using.

Just remember that the end result is soil that drains quickly so that it’s not left soggy. If any water remains collected at the top of the soil after watering, then it’s too heavy and you need to lighten it.

Temperature Requirements for the Purple Shamrock

This plant thrives at room temperature which is one reason why it’s the perfect houseplant. However, it’s important to note that if your home gets over 75 degrees, then the plant will start to wilt.

Temperatures inside of the home might reach this during winter. Even if it doesn’t, make sure the plant is kept away from heating vents.

Humidity Requirements for the Love Plant

Humidity requirements for the Oxalis Triangularis are fairly mild. This plant is not picky so you can grow it at average humidity levels.

If your home is extremely dry, then you can mist the leaves once or twice a week but I doubt you’ll experience humidity problems with this plant.

Oxalis Triangularis Fertilizer Requirements

You will only need to feed the Purple Shamrock during the summer and spring months. Don’t worry about it during months when the plant will be dormant.

In fact, if you used a slow-release fertilizer with your potting soil, then you can skip feeding for 3 additional months.

On the other hand, if you’re feeding it traditionally, then do so when you water the plant. Scatter the fertilizer over the soil and then water the plant.

You can also use a water-based feeding solution. The Oxalis Triangularis is not picky about feeding.

With that said, make sure you don’t overdo it either. Plus you will need to flush out the soil every month or two to make sure no salt builds up.

Just take your plant to the sink on a watering day and allow the water to drain through the soil for a full five minutes.

This will remove excess salt from the soil. Just be sure you allow it to fully drain after flushing it so that it doesn’t get soggy.

Caring For the Oxalis Triangularis

Purple shamrock is really low maintenance so just pinch away any dead foliage when you see it. This will be mostly during dormant months. That’s it.

During the dormancy period,  you’ll also see leaves turning brown and drying out. This is perfectly normal so don’t panic. Just remove the dead foliage as stated above.

What gets most people is that the Oxalis Triangularis will actually enter dormancy in the summer just before large spurts of growth.


Proper Potting Steps for the Love Plant

Here is a quick step-by-step look at potting this amazing plant:

1. Place potting soil into a draining pot and fill it about 75% to the top. Water the soil lightly so that the soil settles.

2. The bulbs should be placed on top of the soil with a few inches between them.

3. Cover them with about two inches of soil. Then water the soil once again until it drains from the bottom. Allow the water to fully drain.

4. Place the newly planted Oxalis Triangularis in a bright location so that it gets enough light to grow. You’ll likely notice growth within 3 weeks but it could be sooner.

5. Make sure that the soil is watered more than normal in the beginning so that the roots get enough water to grow. Reduce watering sessions as soon as the top layer of soil is wet. As always, don’t allow the soil to get soggy otherwise the plant will experience root rot.

6. You should refresh the soil and repot the plant every couple of years in order to refresh the soil. If you want to allow for further growth, then increase the size of the pot. Only repot during the winter months since the plant is dormant.

Disease and Pests

As long as you follow the watering steps provided in this guide, then you shouldn’t have any problems with diseases since this is a low maintenance plant.

Pests can be eradicated by using a special soap or neem. Just follow the instructions on the label and make sure you act immediately since infestations will spread quickly.


The Oxalis Triangularis is an amazing addition to any home and it’s relatively low maintenance. Its aesthetic appeal is sure to enhance your home with beautiful colors and fresh air.

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