Is Oxalis Plum Crazy invasive?
Oxalis Plum Crazy is not invasive. However, it is hardy and tolerant of both shade and full sun, so it can form thickets in the shade. It will also spread by underground rhizomes (root like stems) to form a colony wherever soil conditions are favorable.
Like other Plums, it will spread by rhizome and produce suckers from the base of the rhizome. Though the fruit is not edible, several species of birds eat them, including thrushes and doves.
These fruits drop to the ground, where they remain undisturbed for years. Collecting them is illegal in some areas as it may cause a population explosion as they go unharvest.
Oxalis Plum Crazy can be difficult to control with such methods as pinching evergreen plants or digging up the plants. It is recommended not to cut or burn these plants or attempt to remove it from your garden or yard.
Is Oxalis Plum Crazy difficult to control?
Oxalis Plum Crazy can be controlled with herbicides. These do not work very well in the ground, so the best method is to apply them by spraying. Be sure to follow all directions and clean up any chemical that splashes on the leaves of your plants.
It is important that you rotate these herbicides with other more benign, non-toxic plants, like green beans and other crops.
Over time, larger plants will get more of the sun and shade from other plants and will outgrow their habitat. Using herbicides is the best way to keep Oxalis Plum Crazy in check.
Oxalis Plum Crazy, like other oxalis, is an annual plant. As soon as the first frost hits, the mother plant will die and the seedlings will die with it. If you need to do something that would affect your oxalis plants, wait until summer to do it so this won’t be a problem.
Is Oxalis Plum Crazy edible?
Oxalis Plum Crazy produce one, white berry with seeds that are quite bitter. The berries have no real taste and are considered poisonous to humans. Dogs might like them more than people do! They can be eaten by birds in your garden.
This is due to the fruit having very high sugar content. This fruit is considered toxic, but there have been no reports of human consumption from oxalis. Oxalis Plum Crazy contains oxalic acid which is toxic to humans if consumed in enough quantity.
There does not seem to be any known toxicity issues for oxalis, though the seeds are still considered poisonous and meant for birds to swallow.
Oxalis Plum Crazy does not have a significant amount of residue from herbicides and is generally not invasive. If you are looking for the “crazy” oxalis plum, go with red or yellow oxalis.
What is Oxalis Plum Crazy?
Oxalis plum crazy is a perennial plant, sometimes evergreen, from Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Colombia. Its flowers are purple and its leaves are red.
The plant will form a clump or mound reaching 0.3-0.6m high with an equal spread. Like other members of the Oxalis family it has creeping rhizomes which will slowly extend the colony by forming new shoots around the parent plant.
Like other oxalis it is a highly branched plant with each branch having a leaf on it. Although the leaves are also more or less succulent they will be more like leaves as they originate around pegs that have hooked into the base of the branch rather than growing out of it.
The main method of propagating Oxalis Plum Crazy is by division, which can be done using a sharp knife to make splitters, or by simply pulling off small pieces that can be planted in small pots and then planted into larger containers.
Oxalis Plum Crazy is widely spread across South America and has been imported to Europe as an ornamental plant. It’s also a popular garden plant in the tropics, where it can be grown outdoors during the summer months, but will be forced to flower indoors.
Because of this it can be seen flowering in greenhouses during the winter months by tropical areas where glass is not used for heating purposes for the plants.
How do you prune Oxalis Plum Crazy?
Oxalis Plum Crazy is an easy plant to prune, even if you are a beginner. Its main growth period is in spring and early summer. Once the plant has flowered its growth will slow down, so prune at this time to promote new growth and flowers next spring.
It is best to prune the leaves in order to promote new foliage growth instead of cutting off the stems. New foliage will cause the plant to thrive and produce more flowers later on in the summer. The following are procedures when pruning Oxalis Plum Crazy;
- Cut all new growth back to the main stem.
- Cut off any diseased leaf tips or damaged leaves.
- Trim away dead stems to promote new growth, or else the plant will die.
- You can also cut out any dead flowers or flower buds and dispose of them properly.
- You can cut off flower stalks after the flowers have died, as this will promote more flowering later.
- Leave some leaves on the plant, even if they begin to turn yellow, so that it has a source of food and will produce more flowers in the spring.
Is Oxalis Plum Crazy a perennial plant?
Oxalis Plum Crazy is a perennial plant. It will die at the start of fall, from natural causes. During autumn, the foliage that is left on the plant begins to die, and will turn yellow and fall off its stem. You can let this happen naturally or you can dig up your plant before then if you want to.
You should not cut off all of the leaves, as it needs a source of food in order to produce more flowers next year. You should also avoid cutting away too many of the stems, as this will kill the plant. Cutting off too much of the stems will result in the remaining stems not being strong enough to carry the weight of more leaves, making the plant unable to flower next year.
The Oxalis Plum Crazy plant might look attractive to you now, but if you take it out before it dies (which can be done by following step 7), it will not produce any flowers next year and you will see that it is very disappointing.
How do you take care of an Oxalis Plum Crazy?
Oxalis Plum Crazy is perennial, but the individual plants live for only one season. However, the plant produces numerous seeds and new cranes grow from them, so it will return every year without any human help.
It can survive in any kind of soil as long as it is well drained and not compacted. It is also a very good plant to use as ground cover because it grows up to 1 foot tall in a relatively small area. The following are factors when caring Oxalis Plum Crazy;
The optimum soil for Oxalis ‘Plum Crazy’ is well-draining. A healthy soil will be rich in organic matter, such as coco coir, and will also include perlite or vermiculite to aid with drainage. A handful of perlite added to standard store-bought potting soil should enough!
Oxalis Plum Crazy prefers bright indirect to bright direct light. If it is planted under trees in the early morning sunshine, it will grow larger and bushier. Oxalis Plum Crazy is also a fast-growing plant, so if it gets to be too tall, it can be taken out of direct light and placed in an area where it gets lots of indirect light.
Oxalis Plum Crazy should be watered every 1-2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out halfway down between watering. Watering the crown, instead of the soil, prevents rot.
If there is concern about overwatering, check for moisture by sticking a finger into the potting soil or by placing an empty bowl next to the plant. If there are no signs of moisture in the bowl after 12 hours, it is time to water your Oxalis Plum Crazy.
Oxalis Plum Crazy should be fed every 2 weeks. Use a water-soluble balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20 with micronutrients. An organic option is Miracle-Gro brand All Purpose Plant Food, which you can add to the watering can while watering your plant.
Oxalis Plum Crazy should be repotted every 1-2 years in spring, or whenever the root system has filled its pot. If you regularly divide your Oxalis Plum Crazy, it will never need to be repotted.
Oxalis Plum Crazy can be propagated by Division, Offsets and Bulbs. Division: Spring or fall is the best time to divide your Oxalis ‘Plum Crazy’. Rootbound plants are easy to divide, just sever the roots using a sharp knife or shears. Shake off the excess soil and re-pot in fresh enriched potting mix.
Offsets: As with other members of the Oxalis family, it is possible to reproduce new plants from cuttings of offsets.
Bulb: Trim the bottom foliage of a healthy, but unbranched bulb. Then, place it in a sandy potting medium and water sufficiently to keep the soil moist but not soggy. After about 6 weeks, remove the layer of soil on top of the bulb and allow it to dry for about two weeks.
Oxalis Plum Crazy should be encouraged to grow upright. This will help it become a bushier plant and reduce its overall height.
You can cut back the top where it touches the pot or grow around the main stem to keep it bushy. As with many other plants, pruning your Oxalis Plum Crazy will increase its growth.
Oxalis Plum Crazy prefers temperatures between 65°F-85°F (18°C-30°C). If the temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius, it may be necessary to place it in a warmer area until the temperature rises. It will survive cold temperatures, if kept dry; however, it will stop growing during winter months.
Oxalis Plum Crazy prefers humidity around 40 to 60%. It will grow in less humidity, but it will not flower as profusely. Humidity can be increased using trays of wet pebbles, or a room humidifier.
Oxalis Plum Crazy is a biannual, which means that it flowers for about 6 months during the summer and then produces seed for about 6 months in winter.
After flowering, if the plant is not killed by frost, the leaves will turn to a red color and fall off. The plant should be cut back in the spring when new growth commences or it will rot due to excess moisture build up.
Pests and Diseases
Oxalis Plum Crazy is usually free of pests and diseases. It may attract aphids or spider mites if the air is very dry. If you notice pests or mites on your Oxalis Plum Crazy, use an insecticidal soap spray or an organic insecticide that is approved for outdoor use such as a pyrethrum spray.