How To Care For A Shamrock Plant

This is the time that shamrock plants are in abundance in stores each March. Should you lay down a few clams and purchase one? Yes! Shamrock plants are worth it for a holiday treat and an easy-to-care-for houseplant that will rebloom again and again. 

Buying a Shamrock plant for St. Patrick's Day gets you a hardy plant that will rebloom again and again.

The first time I purchased shamrock plants, they were for my young kids. Needless to say, the plants were in their bedrooms and they didn't get much care. But never fear, these hardy plants are actually bulbs. The lack of water sent the bulbs into a dormant stage. And once a little TLC resumed, the plants were back in business. Instead of dying, they revived and turned into lush houseplants that have bloomed ever since.

Buying a Shamrock plant for St. Patrick's Day gets you a hardy plant that will rebloom again and again.

Shamrock Legend and Lore

Shamrocks were sacred to the Druids in Ireland; they had many triple deities. In the Celtic religion, three was a mystical number and the shamrock was associated with the sun wheel. Then came St. Patrick. According to Wikipedia, the first evidence of a link between St. Patrick and the shamrock plant appears in 1675 on the St. Patrick’s Coppers or Halpennies which show St. Patrick preaching to a crowd and holding a shamrock.

The Irish legend of St. Patrick says that when he was a missionary, he had trouble getting the idea of the Holy Trinity across to people. According to Laura C. Martin in Wildflower Folklore, “The chief of a tribe asked how one could be three. St. Patrick, seeing a shamrock growing close by, bent and picked a leaf and said, “Here in this leaf, three in one, this is a symbol of my faith, Three Gods in One.” The chief was impressed by the analogy and professed his faith.”

Eventually, St. Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland and the shamrock plant has been the symbol of Ireland since the 18th century. It did have some dark days when “wearing of the green” and using the symbol of the shamrock plant was associated with rebellion in the 19th century.

Today, the shamrock plant is a registered trademark by the Government of Ireland. The shamrock is to Ireland what the rose is to England and the thistle is to Scotland. In fact, the shamrock is in the United Kingdom’s Royal Coat of Arms. It grows from a single stem along with the rose and thistle. It’s a symbol of unity between the three kingdoms and can be found on public buildings and such in Britain and in Ireland. It’s even on Buckingham Palace.
  • The leaves of the shamrock plant are said to stand upright to signal a storm’s coming.
  • In Irish, shamrock comes from the word seamr√≥g which means summer plant.
  • Wood sorrel, a member of the Oxalis family, is a symbol for joy and maternal tenderness.

Shamrock Plant Care Tips

  • Don't give your plant too much water. Let the top few inches of soil dry out and then water carefully so you don't harm the delicate stems. I water my plants from the bottom.
  • At night, shamrock plants will close their leaves. Don't worry, your plant will perk up in the morning.
  • I keep my shamrock plants in bright filtered light. They sit in an east-facing window through the winter and on the deck just outside that window in the summer.
  • If your plants start to turn brown and look horrible, give the bulbs some time to rest and rejuvenate. This is usually done in the summer by stopping water and letting the plants die back for a few weeks.
  • Don't stress over giving your plants a rest. They will let you know what they need. Some people grow these plants for years and never give them a rest.
  • Shamrock plants do well in basic household humidity. 
  • From time to time, shamrock plants can be repotted in a high-quality potting soil.
  • You can remove spent flowers by snipping them, but it's not necessary for rebloom. 
Buying a Shamrock plant for St. Patrick's Day gets you a hardy plant that will rebloom again and again.

The shamrock is one of my favorite houseplants. It's easy and it re-blooms constantly. So, grab a shamrock plant for St. Patrick's Day. It just may bring you a little luck o' the Irish!


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