How to Grow and Care for the Lucky Clover Plant in Containers

Luckly leaf clover Oxalis tetraphylla

Intro: The 6- to 12-inch-tall lucky clover plant is known by many names, including iron cross, shamrock plant, lucky leaf and good luck plant. If growing in a feral state, it is often called four-leaf sorrel and four-leaved pink sorrel. Lucky clover, which is native to Mexico, is not a clover at all, but resembles a green four-leaf clover with an iron cross-shaped purple coloration in the center. The resemblance to the lucky four-leaf clover is what gives this Oxalis species its common names. This container plant blooms throughout the spring and summer with pretty little pink flowers. The good luck plant does well in plant containers indoors next to a sunny window or in a bright spot with indirect sun in a balcony container garden.


Scientific Name: Oxalis tetraphylla (aka O. deppei)

Plant Type: Perennial bulb

Light: The good luck plant requires indirect bright light.

Water: Do not overwater your good luck plant; keep the potting soil moist but never soggy. Let the potting soil dry out between each watering. When the lucky clover plant’s leaves start to die back, it is going into its dormant state. While the plant is going into dormancy and during dormancy, do not water.

Hardiness Zone: Zones 8 to 9. This container plant does best between 55 to 75 degrees. In a warm climate, the bulbs can be overwintered underground, but in colder climates, dig up the bulbs and keep them in a cool, dry place to plant again in the spring. Some bulbs may survive a mild winter outdoors with just some frost. If you have room, you can just move the lucky clover plant’s container into a cool, dark and dry place during the plant’s dormancy.

Fertilizer: During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize your Oxalis plant monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Do not fertilize during the dormant fall and winter seasons.

Pests and Diseases: Spider mites are the most common garden pests that will affect your good luck plants. Rust may also affect your Oxalis plants.

Propagation: The bulbs will multiply underground. Divide the tuberous roots in the spring by pulling them apart into smaller clumps. The good luck plant can also be grown from seeds.

Misc. Info: While this lemony-tasting plant’s flowers, leaves and roots are edible, consuming too much of it will decrease the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients (due to the plant’s oxalic acid content), including calcium.


Additional information