On this St. Patrick’s Day, the Hort Gang discusses some holiday-specific greenery. Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University Cindy Haynes says that contrary to the common belief that shamrocks and clovers are indistinguishable, they actually come from two different plant families and often live in two different environments. Clovers are described as adaptable, resilient, and are often found in people’s yards.
“There’s a real resurgence in clovers because they are a good cover crop outdoors, so there might be some that you could try to seed and have indoors for blooms for a short time. I don’ think it would make for a long-lived house plant but you might be able to keep it long enough just so that it blooms because there are some beautiful red, white, and pink blooming clovers out there.”
On maintaining and taking care of shamrocks, Haynes has more advice.
“Shamrocks are plants that do well indoors next to a window. Usually, they need a little bit of a sunny window … Sometimes they’ll go through a bit of a rest period in the summer when it starts to get hot. Some people will take them outside in the summer and put them in a shady location and they’ll manage to continue to grow for a while. But they do need to go through this less vigorous growth period and may even go dormant … Let them rest for a couple of months, and then they usually come right back and you can start this whole process again.”
On this Talk of Iowa, guest-host Jason Burns talks with Haynes and Richard Jauron, ISU Extension Horticulturist. They discuss tips for spring planting and answer listener questions.