If you want to add a little to your St. Patty’s Day luck, a pot of clovers can be just the ticket. Clovers can be grown in your apartment — on the balcony in the summer and on a window ledge during colder months — bringing a little of the luck of the Irish right into your home.
While there is no way to guarantee that your plant will sprout a four-leaf clover (four-leaf and five-leaf clovers are genetic mutations), growing clover is actually easier than many other plants you might consider for your home.
You can start your plants from seeds with just a little work. You will need to make sure that your seeds are White Clover seeds, rather than one of the numerous other varieties. You will also need a small pot or tray, filled with moist, well-drained soil.
Once you’ve planted your seeds, it’s important to make sure that you help your plants along. Master composter Debra Yergen, of Yakima, Washington, says, “The secret is to feed your plants and follow soil saturation recommendations. Too many people water them without feeding them, and water them too much or not enough.”
With clover, it’s important to keep the soil moist — but saturating it with water will drown your plants. Once leaves begin forming on your plant, you can also use an all-purpose fertilizer to feed the plants. After you’ve been growing your clover for a year, Yergen recommends changing out a third of the soil: “Nothing grows very well in old soil that is lacking in nitrogen and other nutrients.”
There are other plants that are considered lucky. Wood Sorrel has often been associated with St. Patrick’s Day — it and clover are just two of the plants referred to as shamrocks.
But lucky plants also come from cultures outside of Ireland. The Chinese associate good luck with lucky bamboo, which are especially easy to grow in an apartment. Many gardening supply stores stock lucky bamboo — starting them from seeds can be a bit complicated, but if you don’t wish to purchase a bamboo plant of your own, you can start a new one from a cutting of an existing plant.