Four leaf clovers do exist. You can find one if you follow these steps

Four leaf clovers are the things of legend. While ordinary clover seems to be everywhere you look during the spring and summer, people can go their whole lives without ever seeing the four leaf variety. In fact, most doubt that they even exist. That may be why years of good luck are promised to come to anyone who finds one — because finding one is impossible.

Or is it?

Believe it or not, there are steps you should take if you have your heart set on finding a four leaf clover. We’ve got the details.

First, you have to believe it is possible

If you’re going to find a four leaf clover, you have to put the full weight of your trust that it is even possible in the first place. Don’t listen to the naysayers who say its just a bunch of malarky. Go for it. And, although some people with beginner’s luck are successful relatively quickly, some people have to undergo an extended search. If your clover hunt takes a while, just keep going.

Did you know that there is only a single four leaf clover for every ten-thousand of its three-leaf counterparts?

Sure, the odds are against you finding one. In fact, some say that there is only a single four leaf clover for every ten-thousand of its three-leaf counterparts. And searching carefully through yards and yards of unceasingly green terrain, through thousands of small and identical plants, just isn’t easy. But if you want to have a successful clover hunt, you’ll need to persevere through these odds, and that requires positivity.

Use these clover seeking tips

Just as with any other endeavor, there are ways to look for clover that will increase your chances for success. Firstly, keep in mind that many people believe the best time to find a four leaf clover is in the spring when greenery is abundant and before anyone has had the chance to mow. Besides, clover plants thrive in well-watered areas. If you come across a damp spot, spend more of your search time in that spot.

Over time, as you get used to doing this kind of scan, you might find that it becomes second nature.

There are also several ways to look through a clover patch that makes things easier. For starters, don’t get down too close, but stay above and perform a broad scan. As you search, look for one that is just different enough to jump out at you. Expect it to pop as it contrasts with the broadly similar pattern of all the other leaves, and don’t be surprised if the fourth leaf of your prized find turns out to be smaller than others or if the plant has uneven petals.

Over time, as you get used to doing this kind of scan, you might find that it becomes second nature. Some clover seekers find that they habitually scan possible areas during regular walks when going from place to place.

Lastly, once you think you’ve found one, it is time to get closer. Carefully separate clover plants so you can evaluate them in more detail. Look for any kind of a fourth leaf or anything that could be different. Take your time and take in the details.

Four Leaf Clover
Tony Alter/Flickr

Beware of imposters

When you’re in the middle of your clover search, keep in mind that several plants look similar to four leaf clovers but aren’t the same plant. If your clover doesn’t match the one in the photo above, it’s likely an imposter.

What are the look-alike but false clover varieties to keep an eye out for? Some have purple instead of white markings in their center or have a reddish color to part of their leaves — usually the outside of the leaf. Once a plant flowers, it can be even easier to tell the difference between true and false shamrocks. While true shamrocks from white clover have a white, thistle-like flower, false shamrocks have flowers in other colors and non-thistle-like shapes.

Four leaf clovers can come in batches

Four leaf clovers are believed to sprout in batches. One hunter recorded that she found all of the four leaf clovers in her collection within 100 yards of one another. Another person found 21 four leaf clovers right in the limited space of her own front yard.

There’s a genetic reason why this happens that makes sense when you stop to consider how a plant variant occurs in the first place. Basically, the four leaves of an odd clover happen because of a genetic mutation. If a difference occurs once, it is more likely to occur within the same plant or within plants that are close enough to crossbreed with each other. That explains why some clover fields are simply “luckier” than others.

Keep detailed records of locations

It helps to keep records because, typically, once you find one four leaf clover, the same area is likely to have more.

One thing that may help with identifying a fertile four leaf clover area is to keep records of where you’ve searched in the past and the date when you worked through a particular area. That way, you won’t find yourself accidentally working through the same place within an unreasonably short period. That’s just a waste of your efforts.

Keeping records also helps because, as we’ve mentioned previously, once you find one four leaf clover, the same area is likely to have more. If you know what areas work well for your hunt, you can return there with better chances of success. You can also document areas where you/ve located large patches of imposter plants. You can also share your details with other clover hunters, as they share their research with you. That gives both of you a better chance of success.

What you can do with the four leaf clovers you find

You can incorporate four leaf clovers into a variety of crafts, cards, and other keepsakes that make for unique gifts.

There’s really no end to the things you can do with a four leaf clover (or multiple clovers) once you find them. Sure, you can laminate them and have them as good luck charms, St. Patrick’s Day presents, or cheery small (and free) gifts to friends who are having a bad day. You can also incorporate them into a variety of crafts, cards, and other keepsakes that make for unique larger gifts.

Another possibility for working with the plants might be, once you find a plant that retains the mutation in a field, to try to pull it by the roots and replant it in a pot or a specific growing area. Generally, clovers are hardy plants, and growing the four leaf variety on purpose can be an exciting experience. You’ll have them anytime you want without having to endure an extended field search. Furthermore, if you’re successful enough in growing them, the plants themselves might make interesting — and lucky — gifts for friends and acquaintances.

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