Grow your own luck. Shamrocks may be a symbol for luck and prosperity, but did you know they make great house plants too?
With St. Patrick’s day approaching it’s a great time to try your hand at growing these festive house plants. They are relatively easy, once you know what they need.
Shamrocks love light. Even artificial light is beneficial. They do best with a few hours of full sun, but if that’s not possible try 12 hours of artificial light per day in the winter. Shamrocks will start to grow tall and thin if they aren’t given proper light.
Fun Fact: All shamrocks are clovers but not all clovers are shamrocks. Shamrock literally means “little-clover.” They are members of the Oxalis acetosella (wood sorrel) family in which there are over 300 hundred species. Some varieties have three and four--leaf stems while others can have up to nine!
Let your shamrocks dry slightly between watering. The soil needs to be just barely damp. If the leaves turn yellow – particularly the lower, inner leaves – that means the shamrocks have gotten too much water. Shamrocks can wilt if they are too wet or too cold; they can also wilt if the root system is too dry. If they start to droop, they need water.
Fun Fact: Shamrock leaves will close at dusk and reopen again at dawn.
Shamrocks only need to be fed when they are actively growing. During the Winter and Spring use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer monthly. Cut back to every other month once your plant goes dormant.
Fun Fact: Shamrocks are often placed in the bouquets of Irish Brides to bring them luck.
During the winter, shamrocks do best in a cool, bright spot. They do like their leaves misted occasionally. Keep in mind that warmer temperatures (above 75 degrees) can cause your plant to go dormant.
Fun Fact: The leaves of a shamrock are said to stand upright if a storm is coming.
Shamrocks need to go dormant for the overall health of the plant and to encourage the best blooms. This typically occurs in the summer. It is best to place your plant in a dark, cool place for a few months after it’s reached its prime blooming. Stop watering and fertilizing during this time, and your Shamrock should bloom again in the Winter.
Fun Fact: Shamrocks became famous when Saint Patrick started using them as a symbol for the Holy Trinity. Each leaf was a representation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. More modernly the leaves have come to mean hope, faith, and love. If you find a 4-leaf clover the 4th is for luck, of course!
Overall, shamrocks are easy to care for. They add beauty and blooming luck to your home! If you have more questions about your shamrocks, talk to an English Gardens expert at one of our retail stores.