Grow A Purple Shamrock Plant: Oxalis Triangularis

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 25, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.
Purple Shamrock Plant (Oxalis triangularis)
Photo by courtesy of Christine_Kohler

The Purple Shamrock Plant (Oxalis triangularis) is a beautiful and easy to care for option that will brighten any outdoor space. Not to be confused with regular shamrocks, the Purple Shamrock is a flowering plant native to South America that has delicate, purple-tinged leaves and can bloom beautiful white and pink flowers. In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about how to grow and care for the Purple Shamrock Plant.

What Is a Purple Shamrock Plant?

The purple shamrock plant, also known as Oxalis triangularis, is an evergreen perennial plant for its attractive leaves and vibrant purple blooms. It is native to South America but is now found in many regions of the world. The plant belongs to the Oxalidaceae family, including the popular clover and wood sorrel plants.

The leaves of the purple shamrock plant have a unique shape and can grow up to 2-4 inches long. They have a deep purple hue and are divided into three clover-like leaflets that can be green, yellow, purple or a combination of the three. The leaves are attractive and edible and are often used to add a tangy flavor to salads and other dishes. The plant’s blooms are similar to the oxalis flower, with each petal being a deep purple color.

Purple shamrock plants enjoy humid and warm climates and should be grown in full sun to partial shade. Soil should be well-draining, and the soil should not be allowed to get too dry. During the summer months, the soil should be kept moist, and the plant should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer every month. The purple shamrock plant is low-maintenance and does not require much pruning or other care.

The purple shamrock plant is an easy-to-grow plant that can add color to any garden or indoor space. Its clover-like leaves and vibrant purple blooms make it a great addition to any garden. There is no need for deadheading the plant, as it will self-seed and spread quickly. With the proper care, this beautiful and distinctive plant can be a focal point of any garden.

Selecting the Right Location

Selecting the right location for your Purple Shamrock Plant (Oxalis Triangularis) is vital to successfully growing this unique and striking plant. Considerations such as sunlight, temperature, and humidity will be all factor into how well your plant grows and flourishes.

First and foremost, your Purple Shamrock Plant will need lots of direct sunlight. Place your Purple Shamrock Plant in a bright, sunny location such as a south or west-facing windowsill. If you’re growing your plant indoors, rotate the pot every few days to ensure even sunlight exposure.

In terms of temperature, your Purple Shamrock Plant prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If planted outdoors, ensure your plant is in a sheltered spot away from cold drafts and frost.

Humidity levels are also crucial for your Purple Shamrock Plant. Aim for average household humidity levels of 30%-50%. If you live in an arid climate, you may need to mist your plant more often to keep it healthy and thriving.

Finally, when it comes to soil, your Purple Shamrock Plant will need a potting mix that is well-draining, rich in organic matter, and slightly acidic. Use a pot with plenty of drainage holes, and refresh the soil once a year.

Preparing the Soil

Choose suitable soil.

Oxalis triangularis prefer light and well-drained soil, so it’s essential to ensure the soil you choose is not too compacted or thick. Good soil should have a balanced composition of silt, clay, and sand. It should also have good drainage and be slightly acidic, with a pH of between 6.0 and 6.5.

Amend the soil

If necessary, add organic matter and fertilizer to the soil to ensure it has the necessary nutrients for your plant. Consider adding vermiculite or other soil additives to help drainage or add additional air pockets.

Water the soil

Once you’ve amended the soil, it’s essential to water it thoroughly. This will help to ensure that the soil is evenly moist, which is essential for your purple shamrock plant’s growth and development.


Planting the Purple Shamrock Plant

You’ll need to purchase a starter plant or some seeds to get started. You should also pick up some potting soil and a container with suitable drainage holes. If you’re using starter plants, look for ones with healthy-looking foliage and deep purple coloring. If you’re starting from seed, look for packets labeled “Triangularis.”

Once you’ve acquired your supplies, you’re ready to plant. Fill the containers with the potting soil, leaving about an inch of space at the top for water. If you’re planting seeds, sprinkle them across the surface of the soil and gently pat them down. For starter plants, dig a little hole in the soil and nestle the plant in. Water the soil lightly, being careful not to over-saturate it.

Caring for Your Plant

Caring for your Purple Shamrock Plant is easy and requires little effort. It’s essential to provide your plant with the right light and water to ensure it thrives and stays healthy.

Watering Your Plant

First, you should water your plant slowly and evenly until the soil is completely saturated. You should avoid overwatering, as too much water can cause root rot and other problems. It’s also essential to ensure the soil has drained before watering again.

The frequency of watering your purple shamrock plant will depend on the time of year and the amount of sunlight the plant is receiving. In the summer months, the plant should be watered twice a week. During the winter months, you should water the plant once a week.

Check the soil for moisture before watering if your plant is in a pot. The soil should feel damp to the touch and will feel dry at least an inch below the surface. If the soil is dry, water slowly and evenly. If the soil is saturated, skip watering until the soil feels dry again.

Be sure to use room temperature water when watering your purple shamrock plant, as cold water can shock the roots and cause problems. Keeping your plant’s leaves dry is essential, as too much moisture can lead to leaf spots.

It’s also a good idea to check for any signs of overwatering, such as yellowing leaves or mushy stems. If you notice any of these signs, reduce the amount of water you give the plant.

Fertilizing Your Plant

Use a balanced fertilizer.

A balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 N-P-K ratio, is recommended. Most commercial fertilizers, in either liquid or granular form, will work.

Don’t over-fertilize

Your plant won’t need a lot of fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can cause your plant to burn or become stunted. Start with a small amount and if your plant doesn’t respond, increase the amount slightly.

Water regularly

Regular watering is essential for keeping your purple Shamrock plant healthy if you use a granular fertilizer, water it well to help it break down and be absorbed into the soil.

Know when to fertilize

Fertilizing your purple Shamrock plant too often can cause it to become leggy, so wait until the soil is nearly dry and the plant has stopped flowering before applying fertilizer.

Consider a soil drench.

For a quick nutrient boost, you can use a diluted liquid fertilizer solution and give your plant a soil drench once a month or every 6-8 weeks.

With these tips for fertilizing your purple Shamrock plant, you should enjoy years of healthy and beautiful growth. Don’t forget to check your plant regularly and adjust your fertilizer routine as needed.

Pruning and Grooming Your Plant

Pruning your purple shamrock plant will encourage healthy growth. This can be done by cutting back any dead or dying leaves and stems. Pruning will also promote bushier, fuller growth and help prevent disease. You can also trim away any unwanted stems or leaves to encourage the plant to grow in a desirable direction.

Groom your plant to keep the leaves and stems looking neat. This can be done by removing any excess or dead leaves and gently rubbing away any dirt or dust build-up. Additionally, you can use scissors to trim away any leaves that may have become damaged or have gotten too long.

Fertilize your plant regularly to keep it healthy. Choose a fertilizer suitable for your type of plant, and apply it to the soil around the base of the plant every few weeks. This will help to promote healthy growth and keep your purple shamrock looking its best.

Common Problems with Purple Shamrock Plants

One of the most common issues with purple shamrock plants is over-watering. Too much moisture can cause root rot and can ultimately kill the plant. To prevent this, ensure you only water the plant when the soil is dry. Stick your finger into the soil; if it feels dry to touch, it’s time for a drink.

Another common issue with purple shamrock plants is under-watering. Underwatering can cause the leaves to appear wilted and limp, affecting the plant’s overall health. To help prevent this, ensure the plant’s soil gets enough moisture. A good rule of thumb is to water the plant once a week but adjust as needed depending on the size and type of plant.

Purple shamrock plants can also suffer from leaf scorch. Leaf scorch occurs when the leaves are exposed to too much direct sunlight. To prevent this, place the plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light.

Finally, purple shamrock plants can suffer from pests. Common pests include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies. Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests; if you see any, use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of them.


Growing a purple shamrock plant, or Oxalis Triangularis is a fun and rewarding gardening task. It may take some initial effort to make sure your plant is healthy, happy, and thriving. Still, with suitable soil, water, sunlight, and care, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful purple petals throughout your garden. Remember to check for pests and bacterial and fungal infections and ensure your purple shamrock plant gets the proper nutrition it needs to grow. With the right knowledge and care, you’ll be in for a world of beauty. So, give it a try, and watch your garden transform into a magical purple paradise.


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