It is the time of year when many of our growing impulses move indoors. The flowering beauty of outdoor plants has run its course for the year.

Many good gardeners say they can’t grow houseplants. They should start with easy ones.

One of the easiest is oxalis, which is sometimes called the shamrock because of the shape of its leaves. It is a member of the wood sorrel family.

I just ordered bulbs to grow Oxalis triangularis, or purple shamrock, because it has deep purple leaves and white or pink flowers that brighten up the house as the days get darker.

You can also buy it as a houseplant, and it is easy to divide when it gets too large for its pot, so a friend might give you one.

Oxalis may wilt if you let the temperatures in your house drop overnight while you are snuggling under your blankets and quilts, but it perks up quickly. If watered too much, the bulbs can rot, so make sure the top of the soil is dry before watering.

It likes bright light but not full sun.


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