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My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Purple Shamrock - Oxalis triangularis

My friend had passed this plant to me sort of to rescue it and somehow it had managed to "jump start". The best part another friend had passed to me few of the bulbs and I now have 2 pots of these. These are my tips in keeping these successful:

1) Most of the time, these plants are bought from the nursery.
So my personal advice, remove all of the bulbs carefully from the soil and replant them in good soil mix (50% black soil & 50% brown soil).
This advice applicable only for Malaysian gardeners.

Let me explain - the current nursery plants (those commercial ones) are actually planted with a coconut fibre mix which somehow kills the plant in long-term duration.

You can also use this coconut fibre mix and mixed it together with (50% black soil & 50% brown soil) mix.

This also applies to roses, cactus & succulent species.
Anytime you find your plant is slowly dying (leaves turning yellow) chances are its a root rot and its just might be too late.
And for plant such as Oxalis, its already dead as the life line is on the bulb.

Coconut fibre composite is not suitable for oxalis especially when it comes to watering as it doesn't drain out faster causing water stagnation and bulb rot.

Well, I got it started from this when I got it first (click here)
to currently this.

If you find your oxalis dying especially bulb rot - change the soil.
But do investigate whether its dying or going dormant just like Caladiums.
When its dormant, it just springs back again after few months.
How do you know its going dormant - you will notice the leaves remain closed (folded) and no new ones emerged.

The second most important thing to watch out for is: WATERING.
Over watering kills this plant.
(Let me repeat this again..) Over watering kills this plant.
So, its best to slightly water them and water them on alternate days.
Or you can water them heavily (using the water hose) and water in that style twice weekly.

In anyway, these plants adapt to a watering system in your garden, if they had adapted well, stick to your watering routine, but you find the plant is dying then you may have to make some changes.

Another thing that I have noticed is they don't do so well in relocating to a new place.
Once they find there is a shift of lighting, they tend to go dormant.
A dormant period may last a month but it may vary from different locations and climate changes. So, if you find the leaves suddenly disappear - don't throw the pot away as it will spring back to life. (that is, if it didn't rot away)

This will be a good time to undo the soil and collect all the bulbs and replant & propagating them.
This is one of the lovely unique plants in my garden. I may have to return this revived plant back to my friend, the only problem is that this plant grows ever so slowly in my garden.

By the time I had it over, this plant might have gone dormant.


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Purple oxalis have pretty flowers. They yellow ones with green foliage is a notorious weed here. You see them anywhere.

Stephanie said...

I see that you are growing this plant in a hanging basket. That's so pretty! I grow mine at a very warm and bright place. And place the potted plant on a rack. Love it when it is growing and sending out a few flowers. Now the bulbs are resting. I used same mix soil as yours. 50% black and 50% red soil. I didn't add the coco fibre. It's a very pretty plant!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Kakdah has them in a few pots... very similar to yours. Interesting because they keep flowering...

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Very informative James. Yeah, most of us novice gardeners would throw away the plants or give up once the leaves started disappearing. Thanks for sharing your experience and invaluable lessons/tips.

Autumn Belle said...

James, you do have magic fingers! The flowers are really beautiful, so are the leaves. I bought a diseased one and it died after 2 weeks. Before it died, it infected my peace lilies too. Looked like white spots disease. Now I'm looking for replacements. Thanks to you, I have managed to buy a dwarf Ylang-Ylang in Klang and it is growing well and flowering now. The fragrance is exquisite.

DLSL Photography said...

'Oxalis' - such a lovely name! We only called it 'bunga kupu2'. But ours perished out of neglect. Well, at first it was ok, then it kinda disappeared, then it reappeared and now it's definitely gone! Being the occasional gardeners, we now stick to hardy plants...

Malar said...

Beautiful plant! Thanks for the information !

James David said...

Thank you for your lovely comments.
Appreciate it very much.

Jacqueline said...

Wow! James, your oxalis is so beautiful, thanks to your magical tlc! This is one of our favourite plants! Just love the colour variegation and leaf shape.
Our plant is thriving well too but some of the leaves (not all) are slightly brown-tipped, like dried-up! What may be the cause, you think? It's in a hanging pot, located at our courtyard, with passing filtered sunlight.

Unknown said...

Lately my flower display a shimmer of sprkling green on the leave. Anybody know what it is.

Suria Garden said...

Suria, Kuching

Hi...i need u advice
My oxalis leaf, looks crsipy and curled
I plant it indoor
it happened after i water them

James David said...

The display of sprinkling green on the leave happens when the plant is in shade.
Also the leaves does curl and crispy - it happens.
Eventually they will turn dormant and you many need to repot
Then take out the corm and replant it - new sprouts will appear and the plant will be better.

shaoming said...

Hi James
I just started getting a slight greenish thumb and found this purple oxalis stunning. I don't seem to be able to find them in nurseries here in PJ/KL. Would you know how I can find one?

Ming, KL

James David said...


This plant is sold like in season. Not available in nursery always. Do check for them within 3 months time. I'm pretty sure you will able to find it. It's a common plant

shaoming said...

Thanks! Really appreciate it

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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