A favorite houseplant among many is the Oxalis Triangularis. In your area, it may be more commonly known as the False Shamrock, Butterfly Plant, Love Plant, the Purple Shamrock, or Purple Wood.
With its deep purple triangular-shaped leaves and its dainty white to pink color blooms. It is a great plant to spruce up your kitchen window or your backyard garden.
One thing that is unique to the Oxalis Triangularis is that in the morning when it receives sunlight their leaves will open up, but when it no longer gets sunlight, such as at night, the leaves will close right up. A pretty amazing sight to see.
With that being said there are a number of questions many gardeners want to know about this beautiful plant. For example, do oxalis bulbs multiply on their own? Do you need to soak the bulbs before planting them? What is the best way to propagate them?
In this post, we hope to answer those questions for you.
So let’s jump right into it!
Table of Contents
What is Oxalis?
Native to South America the Oxalis is a houseplant or an ornamental garden plant that can grow up to 1 and a half feet tall and 2 and a half feet wide. Sometimes because of its shape, many people think that it is part of the shamrock family. However, it is part of the wood sorrel family and there are over 800 species.
Oxalis are grown from small bulbs. Some called these small bulbs rhizomes or even corms. However, you want to call them, to me they just look like tiny pine cones.
Do Oxalis Bulbs Multiply?
The answer: Yes, both annual and perennial oxalis bulbs will multiply on their own with little to no intervention. This can lead to problems if left unattended in a garden as they will slowly spread on their own. Some to the point that they will actually overtake the garden. For this reason, some refer to these plants as invasive.
However, on the flip side because they will multiply and spread with very little intervention they are extremely easy to propagate. Even a gardener with very little experience will have no problem propagating their oxalis plants.
This nicely leads us to our next topic.
How To Propagate Oxalis
Propagating the Oxalis Triangularis by Dividing the Bulbs
One of the easiest ways to propagate your Oxalis Triangularis is simply to divide up the bulbs. This can be done during its dormancy period. All bulb-type plants have a dormancy period or a time to rest.
Oxalis Triangularis tend to go dormant after the spring and summer growing seasons. You will know that it is a dormant state if the leaves no longer open when exposed to sunlight.
They will also enter a dormant state when the temperatures are warmer than 80 degrees or the soil is dry for an extended period of time.
If you notice that your Oxalis Triangularis has entered into a dormant state, this is the perfect time to propagate the bulbs.
The process is similar to repotting a plant. Simply, remove the bulbs from the pot and plant them in a new pot about 1 inch or 2 inches deep. I would recommend planting the bulbs about 1 inch apart.
Give them plenty of water and place them in bright, but indirect sunlight.
Propagating the Oxalis Triangularis by Dividing the Plant
Another easy way to propagate your plant is to divide the plant. This can be done when it is a dormant state or when it is not in a dormant state.
The steps are pretty simple and straightforward.
First, remove the plant from the pot. You will quickly notice the biggest challenge we are going to have here is the huge clump of interwinding roots.
Next, you are going to gently divide the plant into different sections. While you are doing this be careful to not damage any of the roots. If the roots have become too tangled and it is almost impossible to divide them up into portions, you may use a pair of scissors to cut them free.
With that being said, try your best not to damage the roots.
Lastly, place the new section in a new pot. Give it plenty of water and bright, but indirect sunlight.
As with any plant, a big change like this can shock the plant. For that reason, don’t be surprised if you see that the leaves are starting to close up. It just needs time to adjust to its new surrounding.
Just give it time and it will come back to life!
Propagating the Oxalis Triangularis From Petioles
The last and final method that we are going to talk about in this post is to use a petiole to propagate your plant. While it is relatively easy, I must say that it does require a little patience and that patience may not always be rewarded.
The first thing that you are going to do is to pluck a petiole or stalk from the plant as close to the base as possible.
Next, place that petiole in glass with lukewarm water and place the glass in bright, but indirect sunlight.
Be sure to change the water every two weeks. After about a month you will see the petioles starting to produce roots.
After about 2 months you can plant them in a new pot.
It is important to mention that you may or may not have success will all the petioles produces roots. For that reason, I would recommend plucking several petioles at a time.
Additionally, some gardeners have had success coating the cusp of the petiole with cinnamon and rooting powder before placing them in water.
Oxalis Triangularis are beautiful flowers to have in your garden or in the house to brighten things up. However, by following the suggestions mentioned above you can successfully propagate your plants.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oxalis
Do you need to soak the oxalis bulbs before planting?
No, there is no need to soak your oxalis bulbs before planting. Just place your bulbs in a pot about 1 to 2 inches deep. Give them plenty of water and place them in bright, but indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that they Oxalis like well-draining soil.
Can you split oxalis triangularis?
Yes, you can split your Oxalis Triangularis and it is probably one of the easiest ways to propagate your plant. Simply remove the plant from the pot and then start dividing up the plant. Be careful not to do any harm to the roots.