Flowering Oxalis

Mike Rummerfield mikerumm@gmail.com
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 19:30:54 PST
RE: Oxalis

Mary Sue,
Thank you for your post; full of information.  And thank you for the
links.  You have quite a collection of Oxalis, which is not surprising,
considering it's you.

Oxalis commutata does bloom for me, somewhat.  It has become a bit weedy in
other pots.  The foliage rots easily if it becomes wet and warm,
particularly with poor air circulation.  To stay compact here it needs very
bright light/full sun.

Best regards,
Mike Rummerfield
Washington State
zone 7

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 8:37 AM, Mary Sue Ittner <msittner@mcn.org> wrote:

> This brings me to my current conundrum regarding Oxalis.  I have trouble
>> getting them to bloom for me.   What am I doing wrong and/or what do I need
>> to do to get these lovelies to be a little more forthcoming with their
>> blooms?  HELP!
> Note to those who care, in my response I'm going to use bloom and flower
> as synonyms in this post.
> I got hooked on Oxalis a long time ago and found a few things that have
> contributed to growing and flowering a number of them. I have the best luck
> with the ones that bloom in fall, but also Oxalis purpurea and Oxalis
> obtusa have long periods of bloom. I suspect we all have different
> experiences and since they grow in different areas of South Africa with
> different conditions probably there is no advice that works for all of
> them. You will no doubt get different advice from different people.
> I usually repot them every year and share the smaller ones with the BX. I
> remember how generous some of you were sharing yours with me and pay it
> forward. A few species are in my raised beds that are in pots, nestled in
> pots, and those don't get repotted very often. A few species disappeared
> with this treatment, but a few others have been very successful left
> alone.  One of the Oxalis luteola forms blooms a long time every year and
> for the first time this year Oxalis palmifrons bloomed in my raised beds.
> That was exciting as it had never bloomed before when I repotted it every
> year so perhaps not being disturbed may have been to its liking. Who knows.
> The ones I'm going to repot I leave in paper bags once I unpot them. I
> open the bags every now and then and when I see signs of activity I pot
> them up and water them. This is usually in August. Some of them can start
> blooming in August or September. Fall blooming is perfect for my climate
> since it hasn't started to rain yet and we have less fog. Unless there is
> sun and warm temperatures the flowers don't always open.  Many of the
> species I grow do better in deeper pots. Oxalis melanosticta 'Ken Aslet'
> was a shy bloomer until I started potting it in a deeper pot. This year the
> first flowers appeared in August and new ones continued into October.
> Others with three to four months of flowering this year starting in August
> to September and some still  going strong: O. commutata, O. hirta, O.
> pardalis, O. imbricata, O. bowiei, Oxalis pulchella v. tomentosa, O.
> peridicaria, O. zeekoevleyensis, O. versicolor, O. engleriana, O. assinia,
> O. caprina. O. massoniana, O. depressa.
> Others bloomed for only a couple of months, but that is still more
> satisfying than days or weeks as is the case for some of the other bulbs I
> grow.  O. bifurca, O. callosa are two in this category. Other species start
> to bloom later like Oxalis luteola and O. compressa, but may last for many
> months (five months for O. compressa last year). If it starts raining a
> lot, some of them are done, but others like O. purpurea continue. Last year
> when we had two "atmospheric rivers" I had some serious problems with many
> of the species that got such heavy rain so plan to shelter them from a lot
> of rain if we get it this year as predicted. Some years I've put the pots
> in a cold frame and closed it when we got a lot of rain. I grow several
> forms of O. flava and some do better than others (one to three months of
> flowers in the fall). O. polyphylla is not in flower for me as long as
> other species and O. glabra is a bit weedy so I don't have a pot of it
> anymore although it is appearing in other pots and usually flowers later.
> O. obtusa starts later (December to February and lasts until March).
> You should look in the archives as there is a lot of information. For
> instance there was a Topic of the Week on Oxalis with this introduction.
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/…
> Also Mike Mace wrote about his experiences:
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/…
> Sorry this is so long, but hope it helps. I think Southern California is
> ideal for growing these and as you go farther north it is probably more
> challenging. In our four years of drought I think they have been happier.
> Mary Sue
> Mary Sue Ittner
> California's North Coast
> Wet mild winters with occasional frost
> Dry mild summers
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