Oxalis Versicolour Barber’s Pole
Oxalis Versicolour Planting And Growing Barber’s Pole
Barber’s pole or candy cane oxalis is botanically known as Oxalis Versicolor which means variegated, changing colour. This bulbous plant is a native to South Africa. This is a perennial ornamental plant has white funnel shaped flowers, margined with red during the bud stage giving the bud a striped red and white spiral effect. Inside of the flower is white with a yellow heart. This bushy plant grows to a dwarf height of about 8.5 inches and produces blooms in late spring that may extend to mid summer. This is an excellent plant to grow for borders as well as in pots. The plant has trifoliate leaves like a clover. The flower has five petals and opens in a twisted fashion. The buds remain closed when it is dark or cold outside. It is a good choice for hanging baskets as the stripes are visible from the underside. Oxalis versicolour are non-invasive and make the garden appear cheerful with their lovely vibrant blooms that are also suitable for rock gardens.
Caring for Candy Cane Oxalis
Growing Candy cane sorrel is easy. Take care to plant the bulbs in fertile and well drained soil anytime provided the ground is not frozen. Plant them in a location where they can enjoy full sun. Water the plant moderately till it gets established. Water the plants occasionally once they are established. The plant is not resistant to cold or frost and re-grows in spring if the bulbs are safe. Protecting the plant with a layer of straw will protect the plant during winter.
Growing Oxalis Versicolour Bulbs
Oxalis versicolor can be easily propagated by the division of bulblets produced around the main bulb of the plant. The bulbs can remain in the soil for years without attention. It is necessary to keep the soil dry during early summer till the plant starts growing and reappears in the garden. The bulbs can be grown in semi-shade or in full sun in areas with well-drained soil. They can be grown on patios in a pot or in a window box.
- The bulbs should be planted at a depth of about 3cm and the preferred planting distance is 3-10cm.
- Loosen the soil well and place the bulbs with the pointed end facing upward.
- When planting in larger areas, you can make larger holes in the soil to accommodate many bulbs.
- Cover the planting holes with soil and water well. You can see the foliages emerging after a period of about 6 weeks.
- The plant is quick to start producing attractive flowers after two weeks following the germination. Adding fertiliser and watering the plant during the flowering period, increases flower production in the following year.
Leaving the foliage till they turn yellow allows the plant to absorb sunlight and to produce nourishment for the next year’s flowering. Allow the foliage to die down after flowering. For neat appearance, cut back or pull away the dying foliage after the foliage has aged and shrunken. The plant goes dormant during summer and starts growing again in autumn. It is necessary that you get quality planting bulbs from good plant nurseries. Even though there are many online nurseries around the world and listings on Ebay supplying the bulbs at their best prices, this plant is rare in Australia.