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Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Purple Shamrock Mix - Oxalis Triangularis

There is something in my garden that I never seemed to get used to it. Often the regular surprise that comes in seasons of blooms. But never this one - nope, I'm certain that I'm not going to get bored with these.

I've been delayed some few weeks in taking these pictures. Earlier there were lots of blooms. The tiny pink bells in the midst of the purple background seemed to mesmerise my eyes - painting them as one tone factor.

But this result didn't come just suddenly.
It was months of dissatisfaction
and the non-ability to put that garden finger
and figure out how it actually should be.

Earlier I had flame-violets in this space. There did well but they started crawling down by the fence. Being leggy and so dis-proportioned that the whole mess was beyond words.

Then I tried begonias - well, it too didn't go well as they needed resetting time to time. And finally these Oxalis came and they slowly took dominion over this space. But the slow growing pace was not only the set-back. They tend to be very sensitive over the watering issues. (Make one mistake - and they punish you with a rotting bulb)

So I came up with an idea - plant other plants which able to co-exist with each other. I find some begonias & trailing plants do not have deep roots which compliments well together in the colour tones. Resetting all of them was a challenge. Some of the bulbs didn't emerge (either dormant or dead) and neither did some of the begonia manage to survive the initial shock of propagation.

Regardless, those which manage to survive - did thrive to the fullness. With much trial and error - I found another few more tips to add here.

1) Over-Watering.
The first sign of over-watering:

You will find some few leaves slight rotted and fallen from the base. (I thought it got attacked by snail or a pest munching over at the base) IF you continue to over-water - the remainder leaves too will rot at the base. By then, if you carefully dig up - the bulb had rotted away. In my case - the bulb had totally disappeared - disintergrated into the soil.

2) Lack of water.

Here you will find the leaves will be in a close posture. (like an umbrella being pulled down by the base) If you continue without watering them - they will go immediately into dormant stage
but watering immediately will revive them back.

3) In order to get the right balance - plant trailing plant which its roots doesn't go deep. That way - it will absorb most of the water (over-watered medium) And you will get a good colour mix that complement each other.

Now I'm wishing to have a few more different varieties of oxalis to give more shape, colour and composition. If you have any experience with this plant, do share your success story or your trials with this one.


  1. Hi James, this same oxalis gave me a surprise this time round with more flowers than leaves. Also my episcias (red flower) has been flowering really nicely.

    For my oxalis, like what you have already discovered, as long as the soil is well draining and free from snails, then the bulbs should be still/dormant in the soil. And they regrow slowly.

    You have nice collection of trailing plant there :-D

  2. love those trailing plants with their eye catching colors.Thanks for sharing

  3. They look like purple butterflies in your garden.

  4. Hi James! I find this species of Oxalis very challenging! One moment they are full of live and then within months almost disappeared. Sometimes, I wonder whether they're dormant as happens in colder regions and just waiting to spring back when we ignore them?

  5. hi Jacq,

    In the beginning it appeared to be challenging to me. I had planted about 5 pots of Oxalis - just to be on the safe side.
    One of the Oxalis appear to be disappearing - first signs were the withered leaves. I stopped watering it for 3-4 days and it spring back to life again after the 5th day of watering.

    I doubt Oxalis go dormant here - if it appear to be going dormant - then quickly uproot the whole thing and check because the chances are the rootmass is getting rotten.
    I thought it will eventually go dormant - but they seemed to be putting runners and taking more space on the pot.
    Perhaps - its the watering - too much water kills, and often - it appears the faster you savage and reset the soil - the more you can savage them from root rot.

  6. Hi James,

    I love this Oxalis T. too. And replant them and give as present to my friends. And now i am looking for different varieties of Oxalis, so that i can plant them together.

    From Leona, Malaysia


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