Growing Shamrock - Knowledgebase Question

Lexington, KY
Question by mtink
March 25, 1999
Could you please tell me more about the Shamrock plant and how it acts? Mine is opening during the day and closing at night, and I was wondering if this is right. I had one last year and it died. I really want to keep this and was also wondering how best to keep it growing and also how big will it get. Thanks for your help.

Answer from NGA
March 25, 1999


Around St. Patrick's Day nurseries and florists sell 'Shamrocks'. These are either Medicago lupulina (hop clover, trefoil or black medick), or Oxalis acetosella (woodsorrel), or Trifolium repens (white clover). The first group are annuals, the woodsorrel and white clover are perennials. So, if your plant died last year, it was probably an annual. To keep the perennials growing, provide a sunny window or a sunny spot outdoors, and moist, well-draining soil. It's natural for the leaves of the plant to fold up at night and open during the day. You can expect the stems to grow from 2" - 10" high, with flowers to 1" across. The perennial plants will spread by underground roots and form large clumps as they mature.

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