This St. Patrick's Day, instead of pinching, let's PLANT something!
This morning, my husband tells me “I better wear green today. I don’t want anyone to pinch me.” What is this St. Patrick’s Day tradition about? This strange gesture began with the belief that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns which are fairy creatures who pinch people. People started pinching those not wearing green to warn them about the risks of leprechauns. It is indeed very strange.
Let’s start a different St. Patrick’s Day tradition.
We will stick with the green; however, let’s plant something instead! You may be asking what my plant of choice is for this holiday. That’s a great question.
A SHAMROCK, of course!
In Texas, we plant fake shamrocks called Oxalis. Oxalis is the botanical name for the shamrock plant or woods sorrel. These adorable plants have triangular leaves that are divided into three parts which give you a clover-type look. With the clover look and the cute little flowers that bloom around St. Patrick’s Day, it’s obvious why it’s a favorite plant this time of year.
It is available in many varieties. The most common are:
· Oxalis triangularis: dark purple leaves with pink/lavender flowers
· Oxalis crassipes: green leaves with white flowers
They will grow indoors and outside. You can plant them in containers, or in the ground. If you plant outdoors, I recommend a container so you can bring them indoors when it’s too cold or too hot (which can happen in the same day here in Texas!!). The container will also control their spread across your landscape bed. And, it helps drain the soil as they like to a most well-drained environment. They grow best in the shade with a bit of morning light (a couple hours a day is perfect). If the leaves start to look bleached out, move them because they aren’t getting enough sun.
They look great on a dining room or kitchen table (or counter). I’ve seen them brighten a window sill too. Outside, I love them in pots or in a window box with companion plants like Ivy, Hydrangeas, or Lirope.
One last call out is for my pet owners. The leaves are poisonus to pets. The leaves taste bitter, so most pets leave them alone. If you have a plant-eater dog or cat, it would be best to choose another plant or put them in the front yard where the pet can’t access them.
These make cute little St. Patrick’s Day gifts if you happen to be going to a party for the holiday or want to get something for your spouse.
I love to see pictures of what you plant and let me know how they do! The plants will bring you good luck so you won't need more from me. If you do need help, or have questions, let me know.