Gardening Tips

Oxalis triangularis: care

Oxalis triangularis: care

Oxalis triangularis, also called little kamala, purple clovers or butterfly plant, has this last name particularly appropriate, as it is a plant of unique beauty that is especially striking when it is kept in optimal conditions. However, it is a somewhat sensitive plant in terms of climate and it is not always easy to care for it, especially if its needs are not known.

In this EcologíaVerde article we tell you everything you need to know about the Oxalis triangularis plant care so that your plant always looks healthy, strong and beautiful. Join us to learn more about the butterfly plant!

Characteristics of the Oxalis triangularis plant

East false clover It has its origin in Brazil, particularly in cool areas of this huge South American country. It is a rhizomatous plant and its commonly called bulbs keep the underground part of the plant alive in the cold months, allowing the aerial part to dry up to regrow when conditions are optimal again.

They are small in size, usually growing up to 20 cm in height, and their most striking and identifying characteristic are their pretty purple leaves, with green stems so pale they appear almost white. these leaves they look like butterflies resting when they are folded, but they have the ability to open or fold depending on the amount of light that reaches them, making this change in just a few hours, in order to adapt better and not receive more or less light than they need. Their pink or white flowers They are small and hanging, and although they are pretty, they do not usually stand out more than the leaves.

Although the plant is not dangerous on contact, planted in very large quantities it could become harmful to very young children. In the same way, if you have pets at home, try not to eat it or rub it too much, as it could be toxic to them.

Oxalis triangularis: care - Characteristics of the Oxalis triangularis plant

Climate and location for the butterfly plant

One of the most important things when growing this plant is the climate it needs. Since it comes from cool areas of Brazil, where the thermal variation is small, it is a species that does not tolerate extreme temperatures, neither hot nor cold, and will react quite badly to any case of very high or very low temperature. Thus, the ideal is to always keep it between 10ºC and 28ºC, being able to withstand slightly higher or lower temperatures, but always in a timely manner. In winter, it will tolerate temperatures as low as 5°C, but lower exposures will most likely kill it.

Taking this into account, it is normal that it tends to cultivate as potted houseplant, where it is much easier to control the environment to which we expose it. If the climate suits your needs, it is also common to grow it as potted outdoor plantsince planted in the ground it can act as invasive plant.

In summer it can be taken out on terraces if the temperature is cool, in the same way that in winter it can also be done if it is mild winters that do not drop below 5 ºC. In this way, the plant will go into vegetative rest and rest, so that in spring it will sprout again with the recovered energies. If you have your butterfly plant indoors and you cannot give it vegetative rest, it is likely that the plant will weaken, although you can try to compensate with a little extra fertilizer.

Oxalis triangularis: care - Climate and location for the butterfly plant

Light for Pxalis triangularis

Purple clover grows well in semi-shade or direct sun if it is not too intense, although ideally it should receive a lots of light, always sifted through some fine curtain or something similar. If it does not have enough light, the oxalis will have fewer leaves and its stems will be thinner, making it weaker and more likely to die from other deficiencies or from diseases or pests.

Oxalis triangularis irrigation

Except in its period of vegetative rest, like all plants that do, the butterfly plant needs a regular watering throughout the year.

The ideal frequency is given by allowing the upper layer of the substrate to dry between waterings, so that the plant does not become thirsty but neither does it get waterlogged due to excessive watering, which would rot its rhizomes. In the cold months, from the beginning of autumn, irrigation is completely suspended until spring, if rainwater falls, although it must be avoided that it is too much.

Substrate and fertilizer for the butterfly plant

The oxalis is not demanding in terms of its substrate, the only thing necessary being that it has a good drainage. you can use a universal mix with peat, coconut fiber and earthworm humus in equal parts, to which later add vermiculite and perlite. This substrate is light, has ideal drainage and water retention properties, and is also very rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms for plants, so your Oxialis triangularis will develop perfectly.

Regarding the payment, it is enough to provide a little fertilizer monthly during the warm months, or a little organic matter such as compost or earthworm humus.

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