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Oxalis

SCENTIFIC NAME: Oxalis triangularis

KNOWN AS: Purple Shamrock, False Shamrock, Love Plant, Wood Sorrel, Black Oxalis

CLIMATE (LOCATION): Central & South America | Tropical & Subtropical

DESCRIPTION: This plant is small, but it's very pretty. It has triangular leaves that come out in threes. The leaves are a deep purple, almost black, and the flowers are pinkish-white.

Easy difficulty & pet toxic

Oxalis Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

Oxalis plants prefer bright indirect light, and they can even tolerate some direct sunlight in the morning or late afternoon. However, too much direct sunlight can burn the delicate leaves of the plant. If the Oxalis plant is not receiving enough light, it may become leggy and have sparse foliage. Therefore, placing the plant near a bright window with filtered light or using LED grow lights that mimic natural light can be the best option for them. Additionally, it's important to avoid exposing the plant to sudden changes in light conditions, such as moving it from low light to bright light, as this can cause the leaves to become sunburned.

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow soil to completely dry between waterings. This plant prefers distilled water.

Oxalis needs well-draining soil and moderate irrigation. Once a week, or anytime the top inch of soil seems dry to the touch, give the plant a thorough watering. Prevent overwatering to prevent the roots from rotting. Make sure to allow the soil to slightly dry out in between waterings because oxalis enjoys slightly moist soil. To avoid water pooling at the bottom of the pot, it's crucial to use a pot with drainage holes. Reduce watering during the winter as the plant stays dormant. Watering oxalis is best done with water that is at normal temperature because cold water might spot the leaves. Oxalis needs constant, moderate watering overall for best growth and health.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 60º - 75º

Oxalis plants like temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 24 degrees Celsius), which is about room temperature. But they can live in temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C) at night, as long as the temperature doesn't change too much. Temperatures above 80°F (27°C) should be avoided because they can make the plant quickly wilt and dry out. Keep oxalis plants away from cold drafts and hot radiators. Sudden changes in temperature can stress the plant and make its leaves fall off. The best way to keep your oxalis plant healthy and happy is to keep the temperature stable and avoid big changes.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 40 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Oxalis plants prefer humidity levels between 40% and 60%. They can survive lower humidity levels as well as higher humidity levels, where they thrive. Use a humidifier to increase the overall humidity in the space, mist your Oxalis plant's leaves frequently, group it with other plants to increase collective transpiration, use a pebble tray with water for localized moisture, or consider placing it in naturally humid rooms like the bathroom or kitchen. Your Oxalis plant will be more healthy if you keep an eye on the humidity levels and adapt your care accordingly.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
You can make more oxalis plants by dividing them or by using bulbils. To spread through division, carefully take the plant out of its pot and gently separate the clumps of roots, making sure each clump has a healthy stem and some roots. Move each group of plants to a new pot with fresh potting soil. On the other hand, oxalis plants make small bulbs called "bulbils" that grow at the base of the stem. Wait until these bulbils are fully grown, then carefully take them out and plant them in fresh potting soil, making sure to bury them just below the surface. Keep the soil moist and put the pot somewhere bright and warm, but not in direct sunlight. In a few weeks, there should be new growth.
Toxicity
Oxalic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in many plants, including oxalis. When consumed in excessive quantities or by individuals with certain medical conditions, oxalic acid can cause health issues and interfere with the body's calcium absorption and may lead to the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can contribute to the development of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. Those with a history of kidney stones or those who are at a higher risk of developing them may need to be more cautious about their oxalic acid intake. When it comes to pets, the oxalic acid in oxalis plants can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. Pets may experience symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea. It's advisable to keep oxalis plants out of reach of pets and monitor them to prevent excessive ingestion. If you have concerns about the specific oxalis species you have or are considering adding to your garden, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional, veterinarian, or a poison control center for more accurate and detailed information regarding its toxicity and potential risks.
Repotting
The bulbs that oxalis plants grow from are small. They need a soil mix that drains well so that the bulbs don't get too wet, which can cause root rot. When oxalis plants go to sleep in the fall is the best time to move them to a new pot. To repot, carefully take the plant out of the pot and cut off any roots that are dead or damaged. Choose a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the last one and fill it with soil that drains well. Put the plant in the new pot and make sure that some of the bulb is showing above the soil level. Put more soil mix around the bulb, but don't bury it all the way. Give the plant a lot of water and put it somewhere with bright, indirect light. Don't water the plants again until the soil is dry.
Pruning
The best way to prune oxalis is to get rid of any dead or damaged leaves and any stems that are too close together or growing in a way that makes the plant look bad as a whole. Oxalis tends to get tall and messy, so pruning it every so often can help it keep a more compact and neat growth habit. To do this, cut the plant back by up to one-third of its total height, just above a healthy leaf node. This will make the plant grow more branches and make it grow fuller. Oxalis can also stay healthy and strong if it is repotted and fertilized from time to time. You can prune the plant whenever you need to, but don't prune it in the winter when the plant is sleeping. With the right pruning, oxalis can keep its good looks and continue to grow for many years.
Fertilizing
Oxalis plants are easy to take care of and don't need much fertilizer. Oxalis plants grow best during the spring and summer. You can use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or you can use a higher-phosphorus fertilizer, which encourages flowers. Dilute the fertilizer according to the directions on the package, and then spread it on the soil around the plant's base. Don't get the fertilizer on the leaves or stems, because it can burn them. After fertilizing, give the plant a lot of water. During the growing season, fertilize oxalis plants every four to six weeks. In the fall and winter, when the plants aren't growing, fertilize them less.
Soil
Oxalis plants need soil that drains well and is full of organic matter. Mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and sandy soil is a good place to start. This kind of soil will let enough water drain away so that the roots don't sit in water and rot. Oxalis plants like slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. If you need to lower the pH, you can add some sphagnum peat moss to the mix. When repotting oxalis plants, make sure to use a pot with holes for drainage and new potting mix to make sure they grow well.
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Hanging Heights

Oxalis Lighting Requirements: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

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