Gardens

Oxalis

Today we are going to talk about a genus of plants known as Oxalis. These are plants that have become invasive in gardens. Among the common names we find vinagrillos, sorrels and barrabases. These are plants that are quite annoying in the orchards when we are cultivating them, but they do not harm the plantations. Oxalis is considered a weed, therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to the main most frequent species and what we can do with them.

Learn all about the genus Oxalis.

Main features

Being an invasive plant, its reproduction is quite simple. The most normal thing is that they spread very easily throughout the garden. Although they do not cause real damage to plants, they are quite annoying. It is considered a weed, but it is better to call it a non-proceeding plant. This is because it is a plant that does not proceed in the crop that we are developing. I mean, it has nothing to do with what we are trying to do.

The main characteristic of Oxalis is to have the leaves as if it were a clover. Their flowering is quite decorative, so we might think that they do not generate any discomfort for the crops. On the contrary, we have clover-shaped plants and on top with a quite beautiful flowering. However, it is the roots that cause problems. And it is that the plant is developing bulbs that break as we use a tool to remove the soil or crush the soil.

As we do some tillage work, we break the Oxalis bulbs and end up greatly increasing their expansion. After a short time, we realize that we are with the entire garden full of this plant. Once it has been expanded and installed, it is already more difficult to remove it.

Applications

To be able to deal with this type of invasive plant, it is being given a lot of benefit in gardening. Since it has really decorative leaves and flowers, it is being used for ornamental purposes. For example, there are some varieties that have a maroon color, others have yellow flowers, there are those with the largest and smallest leaves, etc.

Each type of species that forms the genus Oxalis has characteristics that can make it useful for ornamentation. In addition, they are great groundcover plants, since they do not usually grow very high. It is perfect to place on rockeries. It can be used in gardens that lack sparsely populated gaps or on gravel surfaces, to fill in stone slabs or even in some uglier corners.

Among the best known species we find:

  • Oxalis pes-caprae
  • Oxalis corniculata
  • Oxalis triangularis
  • Oxalis acetosella
  • Oxalis articulata
  • Oxalis latifolia
  • Oxalis versicolor

We are going to analyze the main care of some of the best known of them.

Care Oxalis triangularis

It is known by its common name butterfly plant. This is a plant that does not withstand warmer temperatures well. They must stay below 29 degrees. If the area where you live has frequent frosts, it is better to protect them in a greenhouse. The optimal range of temperatures is between 4 and 11 degrees. In winter they usually rest, so it is best to place them in gardens or terraces if you want to have them in pots.

We must place it in a place where the lighting is high, but without direct sunlight. The best location is the one where the light is filtered. It needs regular watering all year round, except that in winter it is hardly necessary. Since the rainfall already takes care of it and in winter they make a stop, it hardly needs watering. It is advisable to use a fertilizer with a low amount of nitrogen and once a month.

Care Oxalis articulata

It is known as pink vinegar and is used in pots and planters. It is also perfect for placing in the most humid areas of the garden and, unlike other Oxalis species, the leaves can be consumed in some salads.

Among the requirements that pink vinegar needs is a semi-shade exposure. It does not support the direct rays of the sun. Its preferred climate is the Mediterranean with warmer summers. It can be placed in full sun and summer temperatures are cooler. They resist some sporadic and not very intense frosts.

As for the soil, the best is sandy type with organic matter and that has good drainage. They must be planted in early spring. As for watering, it needs a fairly frequent watering in the warmer seasons, but without getting waterlogged. The warning to water again is that the soil does not get to dry completely. Irrigation in winter will be greatly reduced. Never let the substrate get completely dry.

A monthly subscription can be interesting. To do this, we will use a mineral fertilizer during the spring and summer months. They do not need pruning and they are quite resistant to pests and diseases. They multiply easily, so you don’t have to get too complicated.

Care Oxalis corniculata

It is known by the name of hallelujah. They are easy to grow since they spread quickly throughout the land. Its growth is quite fast and they are used in patios, gardens or as plants that cover all the less populated land.

It needs an exposure to full sun or that is quite illuminated. It does not withstand temperatures below 5 degrees constantly. Yes it can withstand a light frost. They prefer a soil with organic matter and of a sandy type. Ideally, the land should have good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

The waterings should be more regular in spring. In autumn and winter we will wait until the land is almost dry. Despite what you think, in summer you do not have to water them a lot since they go to rest. A slow-release fall compost compost is recommended. You have to see if they become invasive since they are resistant to pests and diseases.

I hope that with these tips you can enjoy this invasive plant as an ornamental element.

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