Here’s an informative article on the candy cane oxalis by Andrea Beck for Better Homes & Gardens.
It will add a little holiday cheer to your summer garden.
Fall is the best time for planting most spring-blooming bulbs, so if you want to have tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths brightening up your garden after a long winter, now is the time to start thinking about what you want to plant. While these popular bulbs are beautiful, there are all sorts of less common bulbs that are fun to grow, too. For example, you may not have heard of candy cane oxalis before, but this cute plant produces beautiful white- and red-striped flowers that may remind you of a stick of peppermint candy. And unlike tulips and daffodils, this plant blooms in mid- to late summer, so it’s the perfect way to add a touch of Christmas in July to your garden.
How to Grow Candy Cane Oxalis
Most companies that sell candy cane oxalis (also called candy cane sorrel) will ship the bulbs in the fall. Plant the bulbs 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil, and at least 2 or 3 inches apart from each other. Pick a spot with well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. One of the best things about candy cane oxalis is how versatile it is; it can thrive in sandy, acidic, loamy, or clay soil. It also stays relatively small and compact: Typically, it’ll only reach about 6 to 12 inches tall, which makes it a good choice for planting in container gardens or as a border.
Candy cane oxalis is hardy in Zones 7-9, but you can still enjoy them if you live in a colder area. Instead of planting them in the ground, just plant the bulbs in containers, then store over the winter in your garage or shed so the plants are a little more protected from the cold, watering when the soil is dry. Then, when the weather heats up again in spring, move them back outside. For bulbs planted outside, it’s also a good idea to spread a layer of mulch over them after planting to help insulate them from freezing temperatures.
The trumpet-shape flowers are the biggest draw for this adorable plant; each white petal is outlined with stripes of deep red. Especially when the flowers are still tightly closed and haven’t opened much yet, each one looks just like a swirled candy cane. Though they don’t grow very tall, they can still look gorgeous as cut flowers thanks to their unusual two-tone petals.
Especially if you can’t get enough of the holiday season, candy cane oxalis brings some of that same cheer to your garden in the middle of the summer. If you’re someone that happily tunes in to a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon in July, this plant will be the perfect addition to your yard.