How to find a four leaf clover?

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”

(attributed to Seneca).

Four-leaf clovers are rare. But they are not that hard to find either. Anybody can find them (provided you live in a clover habitat; check our maps) if you follow these six instructions:

1. Go and search. Of course a four-leaf clover may just catch your eye as you walk by pondering anything but clover. That happens to some people more often than others, but overall it is very rare. To boost your chances you have to actively search for four-leaf clovers.

2. Find a patch of clovers, the bigger the better. Clovers rarely come individually; they like to grow in groups, sometimes spread across large parts of lawns or meadows. But be aware of false clovers! (see more about false clovers here.)

3. Search well before sunset. You can search for four-leaf clovers any time of the day, but the best time is between morning and about one hour before sunset. After this they ‘go to sleep’, i.e. they fold up and close their leaves, making them harder to spot.

4. Scan, don’t count. Counting the leaves of each clover will not take you very far as you will be exhausted, maybe frustrated after a short while. Instead, try to focus on the big picture and the clover will come into your eyes. Don’t watch for clovers, but for differences between them. Here is a little exercise: can you spot the four-leaf clover?

That was not too hard, probably. But how much simpler is it like this:

That’s it. The four-leaf clover has a different shape or symmetry which is quite easy to spot. We will post more exercises like this soon.

5. When you found one, look nearby. We know from our own experience that when you found a four-leaf clover chances are very high that another one will be nearby, i.e. with 10 – 30 cm. Conversely, it is a good idea to move on a bit, maybe a few meters or even to a different patch, if you could not find a four-leaf clover after a while. Chances are higher elsewhere, so do not waste your time. Look at as many patches as you can.

​​6. Relax. Searching for four-leaf clovers should be relaxing, not stressful. Try to be focussed, but not obsessed. Trust your ability to spot the four-leaf clover if it is out there, and accept the possibility that it is not.

If you found one: congratulations! The first step for keeping it in good shape is putting it between two sheets of paper, e.g. in an agenda. For the next steps see clover souvenirs.

For more information you can also watch this video:

Why was this so much simpler? Because the four-leaf clover now differs in colour and that caught your eye. In nature, four-leaf clovers do not differ in colour, but in shape from all the others. So try to focus on the difference in shape: