Oxalis care

Oxalis (Wood Sorrels) - Expert tips

How to Care for Oxalis (Wood Sorrels): Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

Oxalis plants, also known as Wood Sorrels, grow in a special way because they have small round parts underground called tubers, kind of like bulbs. Originating from diverse regions worldwide, such as South America, Africa, and Asia, Oxalis species have adapted to various climates and conditions. Their ability to thrive in a range of environments contributes to their popularity as houseplants.

The growth cycle of Oxalis involves periods of active growth and dormancy. This happens in a pattern that follows the seasons, kind of like a hibernation! When they are in their growing stage, they will surprise you with the most beautiful leaves and flowers. Making it an extraordinary houseplant!

Oxalis flowers

Oxalis Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Place your Oxalis in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid exposing them to harsh, direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
  2. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Adjust watering frequency based on the plant's needs and the environment.
  3. Feed your Oxalis with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Reduce feeding during the dormant period.
  4. Oxalis prefer temperatures between 15-24°C. Protect them from drafts and extreme temperature fluctuations.
  5. Maintain moderate humidity levels around your Oxalis. If your indoor air is dry, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray filled with water and pebbles near the plant.
  6. Repot your Oxalis every 1-2 years or when you notice it becoming root-bound. Choose a slightly larger pot and fresh potting mix.
  7. Use a well-draining potting mix that retains moisture without becoming soggy. A mix formulated for African violets or succulents can work well.
  8. Trim back leggy or faded growth to encourage bushier growth. Regularly remove any yellowing or dead leaves.
  9. Many Oxalis varieties go through a period of dormancy. During this time, reduce watering and stop fertilising. New growth will emerge when the dormancy period ends.
  10. Keep an eye out for pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. If you notice any infestations, treat your plant promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Oxalis Care Tips

Light & placement

When it comes to taking care of your Oxalis plants, paying attention to their light and placement is essential for their well-being. Oxalis plants thrive in well-lit environments, but direct sunlight can be too intense. Choose a location where they receive bright, indirect light.

Expert tip! Placing them near a window with a sheer curtain is ideal. Protect your Oxalis from direct sunlight, as it can scorch their delicate leaves.

Some Oxalis varieties have leaves that fold up at night and unfurl during the day. This natural behavior is fascinating to watch and is no cause for concern.


Maintaining the right watering routine is essential for the health and happiness of your Oxalis plants. Oxalis plants prefer to be kept slightly moist but not overly wet. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering again. When watering, ensure that excess water can drain from the pot to prevent root rot.

Expert tip! Keep an eye on the soil's moisture level, especially during active growth periods. In warmer months, you might need to water more frequently, while in colder months, you can reduce the watering frequency.

Remember that overwatering can be harmful to Oxalis, so always check the soil before reaching for the watering can. You can also use a water meter to keep track.

Oxalis watering


You can provide your Oxalis with a balanced plant fertiliser during the active growing season, which spans spring and summer. Dilute the fertiliser to half the recommended strength to prevent overfeeding. Apply the diluted fertiliser every 4-6 weeks. As the colder months approach and your Oxalis enters a period of dormancy, it's advisable to reduce or completely stop fertilisation.

Temperature & humidity

Oxalis plants thrive in moderate room temperatures ranging from 15-24°C. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations, drafts, or sudden temperature drops.

Expert tip! If your indoor air tends to be dry, consider increasing humidity by using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant.

During the dormant period, when the plant's growth slows down, you can slightly lower both the temperature and humidity levels to mimic its natural conditions.

Soil & repotting

Provide your Oxalis with a well-draining potting mix that allows excess water to escape easily. A succulent potting mix can work well for Oxalis plants, as this type of soil prevents waterlogging and helps to maintain healthy root conditions.

Repot your Oxalis when you notice it becoming root-bound or when its growth seems stunted. Typically, this is needed every 1-2 years. Choose a pot that is slightly larger in diameter than the current one. Gently remove the plant from its old pot, loosen the roots, and place it in the new pot with fresh soil.

Oxalis potting

Oxalis propagation

We totally get that you love your Oxalis and want to make more Oxalis babies! Luckily, there are a few ways to expand your collection!

One of the most common methods of propagation is through division. When you notice your Oxalis becoming overcrowded or when repotting, gently separate the plant into smaller sections, each with its own set of tubers and roots. Plant these divisions in separate pots with well-draining soil, and care for them as you would for the mature plants.

Another method is using the bulbils, which are tiny bulbs that form at the base of the plant. Gently detach these bulbils and plant them in their own pots. These bulbils will grow into new plants over time.

Oxalis bulbs

Most common pests & diseases on Oxalis

While Oxalis plants are generally resilient, they can still face a few common pests and diseases. Overwatering can lead to fungal diseases and yellowing leaves, so ensure proper drainage and avoid letting water sit on the leaves. You should also keep an eye out for pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. These tiny insects can infest your Oxalis and damage its leaves and flowers. If you want to identify the plague that is bothering your plant, take a look at all plant pests and see how to get rid of them!

Is Oxalis poisonous for pets and children?

Oxalis houseplants can be toxic to pets and children if ingested in large quantities. So you can put this plant in the living room just fine if you have children or pets, just make sure they don't eat your plant. It's no big deal if they bite into it, but of course preferably not.

Buy your new Oxalis online at PLNTS.com

At PLNTS.com we have some beautiful Oxalis tubers, like Oxalis Triangularis 'Sunny' and Oxalis Triangularis 'Burgundy Wine'! If you're looking to add a new green (or should we say Purple) addition to your plant family, these beauties are great! Buy Oxalis online at PLNTS.com.