Oxalis drooping, leggy, no blooms!

horkus1(7)June 21, 2011

hi Everyone!

I am brand new here - and so excited about all the information I am finding. I can easily see my entire day slipping away while I read on and on about every plant out there!

I searched for answers to the issues I am having with my Charmed Wine (plum colored version of Oxalis with white blooms) but what I came across was sometimes contradictory and none of it hit on my main troubles. So, thanks in advance for any and all advice and here goes...

I bought this plant about 6 weeks ago and he was full/lush with three or four blooms. He pot was about 8 inches and his health seemed great. I replanted him into a 12" hanging basket, put him in my sunroom (lots of diffuse sunlight all day) watered him well until he seemed established and then backed off on it a bit. Now he looks awful. His limbs are drooping, none of the faded blooms were replaced and his purple coloring has turned patchy in some places. I have noticed a few bits of new growth but he is just not healthy anymore.

I guess my questions are - does this seem like too much light? Too much water or both? If not enough light, should I put him outside? I am in Atlanta and it is HOT right now - 97 degrees today - and I am unaware of their heat tolerance. Should I prune him back and if so, how far back is safe to do? Is it possible he is going dormant as I have read these plants do sometimes?

Again, thanks for your help!

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zzackey(8b GA)

I wish I knew what to tell you! I have one just like that. It was beatiful all winter. It did like alot of water. I repotted and moved a beautiful green one with pink flowers and I've almost killed it. I always thought they were easy. they may not like change. Have you fertilzed it any? Maybe give it a small dose....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 4:41PM
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familyman2004(z8 MS)

I grow the older version purple oxalis in the ground in part sun and have done so for many years in 100+ degree heat and humidity. They can take quite a bit of sun much more than I would have suspected. I am also growing some in pots for the first time but will probably transplant them into the ground later this summer.

When I first got mine what I read was that they liked part sun but if you planted them in a place that recieved more sun than they were accustomed to they would lose their leaves but grow them back and the new leaves could tolerate more sun.

I suspect they are not recieving enough light and or the hanging basket is getting too dry they are notorius for that.

They are also easy to divide just dig out a clump and put in another pot.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:36PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Oxalis often just sort of gives up until you give it a dry rest & start over. When the plant gets droopy & stops blooming - let it go completely dry, then cut it back to the soil line. It's a good idea to divide or bare-root/repot at this time, then start watering. It will come back strong & bloom well for you until the next time it decides to pout.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:28PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I'll try it! Mine looks almost dead now anyway. She was in all her glory this winter. Bloomed her little head off! Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Thanks for all the advice - I am definitely going to give that a try. I am letting him dry out now and anxious to see how he does after I cut him back. They are such pretty plants when they are doing their thing - I can't wait to see blooms again.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 4:58PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Remember to lift it from its pot before you start watering again and remove the old soil. Repot into fresh soil & water sparingly until the plant starts to take off. I took care of my mom's like this for years, but I had to take the plants away from her and take them home so they could dry out & rest because she couldn't stop herself from watering it. Lol I would always bare-root/repot & get them restarted for her before I returned them. ;-)


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:13PM
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Al, you are such a good son, any mother would appreciate that.
And I have a regular green oxalis, one with white blooms and those triangular leaves. It is several years old now, and has survived outdoors for our last two cold winters in zone 8b.
It now sits in some bright shade and has gone through a recent grow/bloom cycle, so I expect to see it pout any time now.

When I moved some leriope to a new bed, I discovered that some oxalis was tagalongs, and now they look great in the bright shade bed. I love the easy nature of the oxalis, and will try to get one of the purple leafed kind, if the weather ever moderates.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 3:09PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

How long do I stop watering it for?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 3:27PM
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