Does my Shamrock plant need a rest? Repot? Something else?

Corry_EngelbrechtFebruary 5, 2013

I've had this Shamrock plant for 3 years. 2 years ago I potted up and split a small section of bulbs off and put them in another pot, but haven't repotted since. In this entire 3 years, it's been big and bushy and beautiful pretty much always. However, for the last several months it's been in a steady decline, and I'm not sure why. I *have* read that Shamrocks need downtime, and admittedly, I've never given it that. I'm also reading that the yellow leaves might be from overwatering, though I thought I hadn't changed anything in the last 3 years. Would now be a good time to let my plant go dormant? Would it also be a good time to repot and split a bit off? Or should that be done while it's active? Also, only half of the pot is even growing now. Should I assume the other half of the bulbs have died, or should I assume they're dormant? I'll post a closer up picture in the next reply or two.

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A little closer shot. Also, I should mention that the small pot that I split off two years ago still currently looks gorgeous and green.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:37AM
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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

Hi Corry,

Ah, I love these plants. Yours looks so pretty on that chair. It does look like it would benefit from a rest. That that's how I grow mine; I stop watering and let it go dormant for a month or up to three when it starts declining. If it were my plant, I'd split a small piece of it off, now, and repot that small piece in good, gritty, fast-draining soil, to see what that did for it. I'd let the larger piece go dormant, then repot it when there's stronger sun, in spring. In my experience, these are resilient plants, but they need a "time out" occasionally.

What exposure are you growing yours in?


    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:06AM
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I'm not entirely certain what you mean by exposure (I'm a bit of a newb, sortof). If you mean sun, which I'm guessing you are, it's in a bright room near a south window, but no direct light. If you're talking temperature/humidity, I keep my apartment around 66, and mist daily.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Just an update: I decided to go ahead and give it a rest. After doing a bunch of reading on it, I cut all of the leaves off and put it in the corner in my bedroom (darker and a few degrees cooler than the rest of my apartment). Now I'll do my best to ignore it for a while, and pray it comes back to me. It's always been one of my very favorite plants. It's so beautiful when it's full and blooming!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:08AM
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These are among my favourite house plants. You inspired me to take my purple and my white one from the tunnel where they have been 'resting' and they are now repotted and ready to go in an east-facing window where they usually live when in the house.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Hehe, I'm glad I was able to inspire you! :P This plant is one of my absolute favorites, too. It just looks so happy when it's open and warming itself on some light morning sun. :)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:41AM
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Yes, the purple-leaved and the green with the white flowers must be among the handsomest of all house plants when they catch the sunlight. I love too the way they 'respond', closing up if disturbed, as well as going to sleep in the evening. For flowers and foliage they can't be beaten, and they are pretty easy to look after. In my opinion they are most rewarding houseplants.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:19AM
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Laura Robichaud

I have a large pot of the purple-leaved variety. I put the pot in the garden for the summer and it LOVES it. It gives a nice splash of color amongst the perennials.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:59AM
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AsarumGreenPanda(z6 MA)

Hi Corry, yes, by "exposure" I meant which direction the window faces, but it's good to know temps, too. When mine starts to decline, I stop watering and then, when the foliage has died back, I prop a plate or a saucer (not a terribly heavy one!) over the top of the pot so I don't forget and water it.

I agree they're lovely plants, generally, and also in the way that they open and close.

LauraR, I bet yours looks beautiful outside in the summer. That's what I do with mine now, too: outside in the summer, then in for dormancy in late fall. This post makes me want to start them growing early, though!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Help! I have never grown a shamrock plant before. I bought one from the store and it was already bushy and green, however the pot it was in was too small. So I transfer it to a slightly bigger pot, where it grew some and was still bushy and green. One day my two year old knocked the plant off a bench. I added more soil and fixed it and since then it has been on a steady decline. Now there are only 4 leaves left on my plant and there are still several bulbs in the dirt. I keep it in indirect sunlight but a very bright room and at about 70%. I don't know what to do!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:21PM
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