Luck of the Clover

By Tayla Mann, UMaine Extension Staff, Administrative Specialist

The four-leaf clover has become a well-known symbol of luck, 4-H and St. Patrick’s Day. But not many of us know the folk-lore and facts behind this little green plant. The chances of even finding a four-leaf clover among the rest are 1 in 10,000! This is why the clover has been given its lucky persona. And if you pass it along to a friend, your luck will double!

It is a known fact that clovers tend to grow by the millions in large patches of yards and fields. This transferred into the 4-H clover emblem we all know today. Becoming patented in 1924 for representing the growth of millions of members in the USA.

Though these little green gems are like a diamond in the rough to most, they are actually considered a genetic defect that occurs in the root of the clover plant. However, most clover patches grow from one plant system, so the chances of finding more four-leaf clovers in that spot is very likely. Regardless of their leaf number, clovers are self-sufficient. This tiny plant takes nitrogen from the air and uses it for growth with the help of special rhizomes in their roots. This can make them a little selfish. If planted at home they prefer to be in separate containers from other houseplants.

Most people wouldn’t consider planting clovers in their home with patches popping up all over. However, if you live in Maine and still have snow on the ground they are a perfect addition of luck and green cheer this St. Patrick’s Day! The trick is to refrigerate your seeds 24 hours before you plan to put them in soil. The seeds will think they have just been through winter. Use moist, well-drained soil and keep in a sunny spot. They will pop up in a few days!

Whether you’re searching fields or trying to plant some

in your own home the four-leaf clover still remains a lucky treasure!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!