The City Magazine Since 1975

Charmed, I’m Sure

March 2015
Charmed, I’m Sure
WRITER: 
PHOTOGRAPHER: 
Try your luck with a rainbow of “false shamrocks” this March  

The month of March is all about action in the garden. It’s time to seed warm-weather annuals, divide perennials, prepare planting beds, and spruce up winter-worn containers. Oxalis, a member of the wood-sorrel family, is an easy solution for a quick pick-me-up throughout—that is, if you can choose among more than 800 species. Here are three varieties guaranteed to make a statement with the colorful leaves that earned them the common name of “false shamrocks.”

‘Charmed Wine’ (Oxalis regnellii)
Create depth with this specimen’s cabernet-colored foliage and delicate, white trumpet flowers, which bloom in spring through early summer. A shade lover, the 2001 hybrid is both eye-catching and hardy.
Hardiness: Zones 8-11
Light: Full to partial shade
Soil: Well-draining
Water: Allow surface to dry between waterings.
Maintain: Fertilize every three weeks.

‘Charmed Jade’ (Oxalis regnellii)
'Charmed Jade’ is a delightful little plant, maxing out at 16 inches tall like its ‘Charmed Wine’ sister. Large green leaves dusted with silver provide comely contrast to white five-petal flowers.
Hardiness: Zones 8-11
Light: Full to partial shade
Soil: Well-draining
Water: Allow surface to dry between waterings.
Maintain: Fertilize every three weeks.

‘Molten Lava’ (Oxalis vulcanicola)
This sprawling filler’s chartreuse foliage turns a red-rimmed orange when exposed to extra light. Coupled with yellow blossoms in mid-spring, its six- to 10-inch profile paints a mini sunset.
Hardiness: Zones 9-11
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Well-draining
Water: Allow surface to dry between waterings.
Maintain: Fertilize every three weeks.

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