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Growing oxalis bulbs from eBay

Growing oxalis bulbs from eBay

I usually buy my plants fully grown and by selecting them in person but I recognize that sometimes you really want a particular species or cultivar.  I'm always on the lookout for more interesting subjects to time lapse so when I heard there were other kinds of oxalis plants, I went searching on eBay...

Here's the listing: I made two orders, one for the 'Hardy Silver' (pictured) and the other was for the 'Iron Cross' variety.

Here's the listing: I made two orders, one for the 'Hardy Silver' (pictured) and the other was for the 'Iron Cross' variety.

Let it be known that I'm somewhat of a procrastinator so when I received these bulbs back in August, I just stored them in a cool, dark place until I carved out some time to pot them up...in November. 

Yes, bulbs can last for months if you store them correctly - cool and dark.  Yes, these can sprout in November because all they need is warmth (which they will get indoors) and strong light (my south facing window, which gets sun but is blocked by a sheer curtain).  My goal for growing isn't to get fruit or any particular size/shape so that's why it doesn't matter that I'm starting these in the middle of winter.  I'm only interested in stems and leaves.

Yes, bulbs can last for months if you store them correctly - cool and dark.  Yes, these can sprout in November because all they need is warmth (which they will get indoors) and strong light (my south facing window, which gets sun but is blocked by a sheer curtain).  My goal for growing isn't to get fruit or any particular size/shape so that's why it doesn't matter that I'm starting these in the middle of winter.  I'm only interested in stems and leaves.

My standard potting procedure: cut a piece of landscape fabric to cover the drainage holes of a plastic nursery pot.  Landscape fabric is cheap, easily cut to size, and does a good job of letting water through but not soil.

My standard potting procedure: cut a piece of landscape fabric to cover the drainage holes of a plastic nursery pot.  Landscape fabric is cheap, easily cut to size, and does a good job of letting water through but not soil.

Adding some perlite to potting soil for increased drainage properties.

Adding some perlite to potting soil for increased drainage properties.

Oxalis bulbs can be planted somewhat shallow - I've seen them work just fine even with a bit of the bulb peeking up above the surface.  I used chopsticks to arrange the bulbs as evenly spaced as possible then covered them with thin layer of soil.

Oxalis bulbs can be planted somewhat shallow - I've seen them work just fine even with a bit of the bulb peeking up above the surface.  I used chopsticks to arrange the bulbs as evenly spaced as possible then covered them with thin layer of soil.

Watering the bulbs in - one of the rare times I will use the brass rose on a Haws watering can.  Side note: in order to get the soft rain effect, the brass rose must be pointed upwards, which is the intended orientation - just go to their site, you won't see any pointed downwards.  The Compact Tidy Tray does an excellent job at keeping things tidy (of course!), which is especially useful when it's too cold to do plant tasks outside.

Watering the bulbs in - one of the rare times I will use the brass rose on a Haws watering can.  Side note: in order to get the soft rain effect, the brass rose must be pointed upwards, which is the intended orientation - just go to their site, you won't see any pointed downwards.  The Compact Tidy Tray does an excellent job at keeping things tidy (of course!), which is especially useful when it's too cold to do plant tasks outside.

November 11, 2017 - Here are the newly planted oxalis pots sitting next to my currently established purple oxalis plant.  I'm excited to see the new colors/patterns!

November 11, 2017 - Here are the newly planted oxalis pots sitting next to my currently established purple oxalis plant.  I'm excited to see the new colors/patterns!

November 16, 2017 - First sprout!  Since I've ensured the right light, I'm able to confidently water the plant lightly whenever the surface appears dry.

November 16, 2017 - First sprout!  Since I've ensured the right light, I'm able to confidently water the plant lightly whenever the surface appears dry.

November 25, 2017 - Hey! These are all purple!  Oh well, I guess you can't trust some sellers...funny thing is when I went back to try to find the listing, eBay said it had been taken down due to errors - go figure!

November 25, 2017 - Hey! These are all purple!  Oh well, I guess you can't trust some sellers...funny thing is when I went back to try to find the listing, eBay said it had been taken down due to errors - go figure!

November 30, 2017 - Purple oxalis are still wonderful so I'm really not complaining about having more.  Perhaps I will look for other sellers or keep checking my local suppliers...

November 30, 2017 - Purple oxalis are still wonderful so I'm really not complaining about having more.  Perhaps I will look for other sellers or keep checking my local suppliers...

I hope you feel inspired to try growing something from bulb or seed!  Special thanks to my patrons on Patreon!  Patrons get personalized plant advice from me :)

[Disclaimer] Some items featured in this post were given to me to use and review:

Purple Heart Propagation

Purple Heart Propagation