What are the Best Varieties of Oxalis to Grow in Your Garden this season?

The oxalis genus is extremely versatile, with one variety or another being found on nearly every corner of the earth. Annuals or perennials, bulbs or rhizomes, pesty weeds or sought-after houseplants, in this post we will be exploring some of the best varieties of Oxalis to grow. We'll also share when they should be planted as well as which types of climates and gardens suit each best.

Oxalis Triangularis: The beloved purple houseplant

Oxalis triangularis is a class favorite. It's prized for its distinctive purple-colored leaves in the shape of a triangle.

  • Growing Conditions: This variety likes well-draining soil and partial shade. It does well in sub-tropical environments and as a houseplant.
  • Flowering: In addition to its striking foliage, Oxalis triangularis produces delicate pink or white flowers, depending on the cultivar, that appear in spring and summer.
  • Maintenance: Oxalis Triangularis is very easy to grow and doesn't need much maintenance, however it does go dormant in winter. During this time, they need to be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place until spring.
  • Common names: purple shamrock, false shamrock, love plant, butterfly plant

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Oxalis Iron Cross: For Good Luck

True to its name, Oxalis Iron Cross features unique leaves with a distinctive iron cross pattern. The leaves are typically green with a burgundy-brown center.

  • Growing Conditions: This oxalis thrives nutrient poor soil and tolerates full sun as well as shade. It particularly likes alpine environments, and does not tolerate water-logged roots.
  • Flowering: In spring and summer, the Iron Cross produces delicate white or pink flowers that bloom throughout the growing season.
  • Maintenance: Like Oxalis triangularis, Oxalis Iron Cross does not need pruning and will go dormant in winter. Reduce watering during this period and resume regular care in spring.
  • Common names: Oxalis deppei, lucky clover, four-leaf clover, oxalis tetraphylla, good luck plant, Oxalis deppei 'Iron Cross'

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Oxalis Adenophylla: Silvery leaves & pink flowers

Oxalis adenophylla boasts silvery fern-like foliage adorned with clusters of charming pink flowers.

  • Growing Conditions: This variety prefers well-draining soil and partial shade. Native to mountaneous regions of Chile and Argentina, it grows best in alpine areas and rock gardens. It is important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Flowering: As the snow melts, oxalis adenophylla produces an abundance of pink flowers in late winter and early spring.
  • Maintenance: While relatively easy to grow, Oxalis adenophylla may benefit from occasional fertilization during the growing season.
  • Common names: Silver Shamrock, Chilean shamrock, Pink Carpet Oxalis

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Oxalis Lasiandra: Walking on Sunshine

Native to Mexico, Oxalis lasiandra has vibrant green foliage and bright pink flowers.

  • Growing Conditions: It thrives in well-draining soil and partial shade and at high elevations, such as alpine gardens. It is important to water consistently to keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Flowering: Oxalis lasiandra blooms profusely during the spring and summer months, carpeting the ground with its cheerful pink flowers.
  • Maintenance: With proper care, Oxalis lasiandra is a vigorous grower. Regular deadheading of spent flowers can encourage continued blooming throughout the season.
  • Common names: Palm tree oxalis, Mexican shamrock

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Oxalis Versicolor: Delightful pop of color

Oxalis versicolor, a South-African native species, is adored for its red-pink and white flowers, like the stripes of a candy cane.

  • Growing Conditions: This half-hardy alpine variety thrives in well-draining soil and prefers partial shade, such as rock gardens and alpine environments.
  • Flowering: Oxalis versicolor produces red and white striped flowers, resembling a peppermint, in late summer and autumn.
  • Maintenance: Like other Oxalis varieties, it may go dormant in winter.
  • Common names: Candy Cane Sorrel

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Other questions about oxalis

Which oxalis varieties are edible?

  • Oxalis triangularis leaves and rhizomes can both be eaten raw and cooked
  • Oxalis lasiandra leaves and flowers can be consumed in small quantities
  • Oxalis iron cross, likewise, is technically edible, but can be toxic if large amounts are consumed

Are oxalis toxic to pets?

  • Oxalis triangularis is toxic to animals
  • Oxalis versicolor and oxalis iron cross are also toxic to dogs, cats, and horses

Which oxalis is best for your garden?

No matter which variety you choose, Oxalis brings cheer to any yard or container garden with its diverse shapes and colors. Following our care guides, you too can cultivate a stunning collection of Oxalis varieties that comes back year after year.