Green Shamrock          Purple Shamrok

                          Green Shamrock                 Purple Shamrok 


Saint Patrick’s Day is coming soon (March 17th) so a few words about the shamrock seems appropriate. The Irish word for clover is seamaróg, which means “clover.” (3)

 Plants sold as shamrocks in this country are generally those from the Wood Sorrell Family and are not clovers at all, but rather are from the genus Oxalis. (4) They are grown from bulbs. A bulb is the underground part of the stem that is used as storage device for the plant.  The leaves of shamrocks close during the night, folding up into a tepee. They have small white, yellow, purple or rose flowers(1). Most shamrocks come from Africa and South America (2).

                      Green Shamrork at night             Purple Shamrock        

                    Green Shamrork at night             Purple Shamrock at night


Shamrocks require a sunny spot (1), though they will do okay with some shade. 

Watering and Fertilizing

Water heavily in the growing season; then water only as needed (1) the rest of the time.Fertilize the shamrock every two to three weeks with regular house plant food when it is actively growing (2).

  Temperature and Pests

Shamrocks prefer 65 degree to 75 degree  temperatures but can go down to 50 degrees at night (2). They do not have many pest problems.

(1) Clark, David E. Ed. How to Grow House Plants.Sunset Books, Menlo Park, CA 1976.

(2) Swinford, Rachel. Fact Sheet on Shamrock, Four-leaf Clover, Oxalis. Cobb County Extension Service.





  1. Marty said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Great shamrock info.

  2. Marianna Brandt said,

    March 10, 2008 at 10:42 am

    This is great information on the shamrock and a good time to post it with many people getting one. Thanks for all of the helpful info.

  3. holly said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Those purple shamrocks look crazy. It’s wierd that shamrocks are associated with st. pattie’s day that is an irish thing, but shamrocks are from Africa and South America. Did you know that the tradition of drinking on st. patricks day was related to hospitality. When people come over to your house you were supposed to give them the best, but when there was famine they couldn’t give their guests food to eat so they gave them beer.

  4. calla05 said,

    March 13, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    My grandma has a couple of shamrock plants and when I was spending time at her house this past weekend I noticed that they closed at night. I had never noticed that before! Yeah the purple shamrocks are awesome! haven’t seen them in person but the pictures look so cool!

  5. monique said,

    November 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    dont give samples too rare of a plant keep it for you or sell

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