This houseplant is one that I like to call an ‘indoor/outdoor’ plant because depending on the time of year, it occupies both of these spaces… at winter it lives in my kitchen, but come Spring it sits on my balcony until late Autumn. It’s the oxalis triangularis, more commonly known as the false or purple shamrock, or love plant.
I first came across this plant in a beautiful display outside Liberty [photo above] and couldn’t stop thinking about it. A few weeks later I saw a small cluster of purple leaves in a relatives garden, growing amongst some herbs and couldn’t believe my luck! I dug it up (…I did ask first) and drove home with it in a pot, where it then lived on my balcony. Come winter it died back completely and resembled nothing more than a pot of dirt! I was a bit concerned so brought it indoors and left it under my kitchen table until the weather got warmer. For a while it still looked like I was looking after a pot of dirt …but out of nowhere up sprung the plant! It’s grown really well this year (quadrupled in size) with lots of long lasting pink-tinged white flowers blooming amongst the pretty delicate leaves. I plan to separate the plant up into smaller pots after its next dormant period so that it can live more comfortably indoors … because it’s got quite large!
This one is quite easy to care for. I feed the love plant once every 7-10 days with baby bio and water it lightly every 3-4 days. In the evenings don’t be alarmed if the leaves ‘close’… they open up again during daytime!
This plant prefers a shaded spot rather than bright sun and can live happily both inside and outside in spring and summer.
A note on it’s dormancy period – you will know this is approaching when the leaves stop opening up in daylight. If the leaves die back then you can cut the plant back at this stage. Make sure not to water it at this point or the roots will get waterlogged. When you notice active growth the plant can be fed and watered as normal again.
Thanks for reading!