Is Oxalis Spiralis Invasive?

Is Oxalis Spiralis invasive?

Oxalis Spiralis is not invasive. It is a native plant of the Colorado Plateau and Gila National Forest. Oxalis Spiralis are annuals that thrive in sunny, dry conditions. They spread by seed and are easily killed by cutting or digging.

The yellow-green flowers bloom May through July. If they become abundant they can reduce the number of native species by shading out other vegetation. Oxalis Spiralis can be easily removed from the landscape by simply digging or cutting.

Oxalis Spiralis is a well-known plant species in gardens and landscapes throughout the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. These plants are often grown for their bright foliage color, which changes dramatically in late summer to fall.

Oxalis Spiralis also is a perfect rock garden or xeriscape plant and can be mass-planted as a ground cover.

Oxalis Spiralis grows in full sun to partial shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soils but is not particular about soil pH.

Water regularly during the growing season but avoid overwatering. Cut back vigorously to the ground when leaves start to turn yellow in fall and repeat cutting until the plants die back for winter.

Is Oxalis Spiralis an indoor plant?

Oxalis Spiralis can be grown indoors, but will probably not thrive in a poorly-lit location. It is much more practical to grow Oxalis Spiralis in outdoor containers and they do fine as annuals rose in pots.

For best results, place them in a sunny location with humidity approximately 50% and temperature around 60°F some seedlings may come up after mild winter freezes.

Oxalis Spiralis can be grown from seed, but seeds do not germinate well. Placing the seeds in moist peat moss for a period of one week after the seeds have been dried will help to encourage germination. The seedlings will need to be thinned by removing the smaller plants.

Grow oxalis Spiralis as an annual or biennial depending on your needs for a specific landscape, garden, or xeriscape. Sunlight is the most important factor in determining whether your oxalis will grow as an annual or a biennial.

If the plant receives six or more hours of sunlight each day, it will grow as an annual. Oxalis Spiralis will also grow as a biennial if it receives less than six hours of sunlight each day.

Is Oxalis Spiralis a perennial?

Oxalis Spiralis is an annual or biennial. It does not survive the winter in colder climates. Oxalis Spiralis is an easy and exotic ground cover, but it can become invasive in some areas.

If you have sandy, well-drained soil that is not a native habitat for this plant, control oxalis by digging or pulling out the plants when they flower.

It can be propagated from seed or cuttings taken in the fall just before it goes dormant. Oxalis Spiralis is a favorite in summer gardens and can be used to add color to front of house such as a container plant, as well as a ground cover, near pathways and walkways.

Oxalis Spiralis can be grown in pots for consistent light exposure. Plant the pots in a sunny location in your yard or indoors in pots on the patio. If you are planting oxalis Spiralis indoors, use potting soil or loose mulch that is free of weeds and sharp rocks or stones.

How big does the Oxalis Spiralis grow?

Oxalis Spiralis grows to approximately 4-6″ tall and spreads by runners approximately 4′ wide. Each plant can have up to 15 leaves, which will grow from a center crown. The flowers are typically only 1″ wide but can grow up to 3″.

Since they are not adapted to survive in the winter, Oxalis Spiralis can be grown over a period of time during the summer. If the plant is planted too deeply they will not start blooming until late summer.

Once their first bloom has been produced it takes approximately 2-3 weeks for subsequent blooms to appear. If the flowers are pollinated and no seed are produced, the plants will die. Oxalis Spiralis need at least 6 hours of full sunlight per day to produce flower buds and seed.

Oxalis Spiralis is not typically grown from seed because it is difficult to grow them in this manner, particularly if they are grown indoors. It takes approximately 6 months for the plant to mature enough to produce seeds and without proper exposure; they will not grow at all.

Is Oxalis Spiralis edible?

Oxalis Spiralis is not a tasty plant, in fact, it can be toxic. It has diuretic properties and may increase urine production if ingested regularly. Oxalis Spiralis may also cause symptoms of hyperactivity in children, which can lead to hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Oxalis Spiralis flowers are edible and are often used for garnishing deserts and beverages.  Oxalis Spiralis leaves contain high concentrations of oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.  Oxalis Spiralis can increase the blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rates to very high levels.

Oxalis Spiralis has been known to have an anaphylactic shock reaction if a person is allergic to the oxalic acid. People who are allergic to peanuts and melons should not consume oxalis Spiralis.  Extreme cases of oxalis Spiralis ingestion can lead to kidney damage or failure and death, but is considered non-lethal if treated promptly.

How do you identify Oxalis Spiralis?

To identify oxalis Spiralis, look for the leaves to have a whorled pattern on them with variations in color from green to yellow and orange. The following are the features when identifying Oxalis Spiralis;

Leaves: Oxalis Spiralis has 3-5 compound leaves that can grow up to 4 inches wide. Each leaf is made up of 5-15 leaflets that alternate in a spiral pattern, hence the name “Spiralis”. The leaves always have a purple underneath portion and are covered in fine, short hairs.

Flowers: Oxalis Spiralis has tiny white flowers that grow in a spiral pattern around the stem. Flowers generally bloom during the winter and are produced in large numbers.

Fruits: Oxalis Spiralis produces yellow or orange berries, which turn from green to brown at maturity and stay on the plant until it is uprooted in the fall.

Habitat: Oxalis Spiralis is native to Africa, Madagascar and Southern Asia. Oxalis Spiralis can survive in a wide variety of temperatures, from dry to wet and from cold to warm. This plant can survive in sandy soils but prefers full sun.

Bark: Oxalis Spiralis has a tough, leathery, brown bark around the stem. It is not a woody plant, so the bark does not grow thick or large.

Roots: Oxalis Spiralis has a deep but small root system that is yellow and resembles stringy pieces of spaghetti.

How do you propagate Oxalis Spiralis?

Oxalis Spiralis is easy to propagate. It can be propagated from seed, division and cuttings.  But it is difficult to grow oxalis Spiralis from seed if you are growing it indoors.

The most common way to propagate oxalis Spiralis is through cuttings or root divisions in the fall after the plant has died back for the winter. The following are the steps when;

Propagating by division

  • Select a root that has a healthy crown.
  • Cut the root section and remove the lower 10-15% of the root mass with a sharp knife.
  • Put cut end of cut section into a clear glass jar with 1 inch of water and cover lightly with paper towel for drainage purposes.
  • Put plant into bright light in a cool room; change the paper towel every 3 days.

Propagating by cuttings

  • Remove the lower 10-15% of the root section with a sharp knife and scrape off any debris from the center of the root with a sharp knife.
  • Cut end as close as possible to where you want to place in your garden or container (where you want it to produce new leaves).
  • Cover with soil and stake securely for support.
  • Place in bright, indirect light for about 4-5 weeks.

Propagating by seeds

  • Use a two glass planter to cover the seeds with soil.
  • Place in bright light for about 4-5 weeks and then transplant into your garden or container that you want it to produce new leaves.
  • Remove the glass planter as soon as new leaves develop.
  • Water every day to keep soil from drying out.

Propagating by seeds can be difficult, if the plant is grown indoors and not exposed to any type of outdoor conditions, it will be difficult for the plant to germinate and produce seeds. If you have a greenhouse or have a large outdoor garden space this is a great way for beginning gardeners to learn about propagation and gardening in general.

How much light does Oxalis Spiralis need?

Oxalis Spiralis needs 6 hours of full sunlight every day. If it is not getting enough light, the flowers will remain on the plant for more time and not bloom. Once the seeds have been planted in soil, they will grow at a very fast rate until they are ready to produce seed pods.

Once the plants are producing seeds you can choose to either let them go on their own or harvest your seed pods by cutting into them when they are dry and browning at their end. Oxalis Spiralis can thrive in the desert, but they do best in a moist, loose soil and do not do well when there is too much water or too little water.

Oxalis Spiralis can be cultivated in pots or planted directly into the ground. They grow well in most soil conditions.  Oxalis Spiralis seedlings need misting every day or so to keep the soil moist.

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