Shamrock Secrets: Tips for Keeping Your Lucky Plant Thriving

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you get a shamrock? We can tell you how to take care of it. But first, a few interesting tidbits about St. Patrick.

  1. St. Patrick was NOT Irish. He was born in Britain and was of Roman descent. His birth name was Maewyn Succat.
  2. St. Patrick made it to Ireland when he was enslaved at 16 and put to work on an Irish farm. A few years later, he ran away, returned to England, and became a missionary who returned to Ireland.
  3. St. Patrick didn’t drive the snakes out of Ireland. Scientists say there weren’t any there to begin with.
  4. We associate St. Patrick with the color green, but he wore blue!
  5. Supposedly, he used the shamrock’s foliage to demonstrate the idea of the Holy Trinity.

How to Take Care of a Shamrock

Many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by buying a shamrock or giving one as a gift, so here’s how to care for one. Shamrocks need about the same sun as an African Violet. That’s a couple of hours in the morning before 10:00 AM or afternoons after about 2:30 PM. Direct midday sun could burn them, but bright indirect light all day would also work.

Allow the soil to dry about an inch or two down, but never let the plant go so dry that it wilts. Feed during the spring with a fertilizer for blooming plants. If you have a shamrock with little bulbs in the soil (and most of the ones you’ll find in stores are a type of shamrock called Oxalis that are bulbs), then at some point, they will likely go dormant—usually in the summer. Let it dry for about three months, and then, in late summer/early fall, begin watering again.

There are a few varieties that are winter-hardy here. The bulbs for those are sold in the spring.

The most important thing about Shamrocks? Enjoy them!

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