How to plant Oxalis bulbs

Oxalis

Some Oxalis varieties, such as ‘Iron Cross’, are fully hardy and can be planted directly outside without frost protection. Others, such as triangularis, regnellii and the candy cane varieties are half hardy and are best started in mild conditions or in a cool greenhouse in spring or autumn.

— Oxalis varieties are fresh at the time they are supplied. Whilst they can be planted in spring or autumn, they should be planted in the season that they were supplied to you, whilst still fresh.

— The bulbs are naturally small. Plant them into pots with multipurpose compost between March and May and grow them on in a cool greenhouse or coldframe. They can be moved outside from May onwards. Alternatively, you can plant the bulbs straight outside in May. Hardy varieties can be planted directly outside from March onwards.

— Plant the bulbs 5-10cm deep into patio containers or temporary pots (if intended to plant out later). Any shoots which have already emerged should be kept intact and facing upwards. If they are long enough they will be a little exposed, if not yet long enough the shoots should be below the soil surface when planting.

— When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade with free-draining soil. Space the plants around 10-15cm apart from each other in borders or containers.

— Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly once you see the leaves appear or if the soil becomes very dry. Don’t allow the bulbs to sit in wet, cold conditions for long periods of time.

— Move half-hardy varieties to a frost-free location for winter, this can be an area in the garden which is under cover or a cool greenhouse.

Plant calendar

JanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
  • Planting
  • Flowering

Gracy knows: Oxalis

"Oxalis is very low maintenance and doesn’t require much fuss. Given mild conditions, they’ll come back for a repeat show every year."

Planting instructions