Commonly called the Candy cane oxalis, Oxalis versicolor flowers in late winter to spring and with its red and white flowers makes a great potted plant.
The flowers, when open appear white from above, a side on view shows the red stripes that adorn the leaf margins. This is a plant that requires good sun for the flowers to actually open, when closed we get more of the ‘Barbers Pole’ look and this is another of its common names.
Grow this one in in a tall pot or even a hanging basket to make the most of those red and white stripes.
Unlike some species, Oxalis versicolor is not regarded as invasive and it is really at home in a crevice garden or rock garden.
How to Grow and Care for Oxalis versicolor
A fertile well drained soil is essential, this is a plant from South Africa and although it can cope with low temperatures, down to -5C (23F) it does not like hard freezes and heavy frosts.
Good light is essential for the flowers to open, however hot afternoon sun can cause leaf burn.
The bulbs or corms should be planted at around 5cm deep and 10cm apart. They will multiply and fill the spaces fairly quickly
Once established, water once every week or two except in very hot periods when more frequent watering may be required.
Fertilise in spring with a slow release organic type fertiliser or a liquid fertiliser.