Common Names Polka dot plant, flamingo plant, freckle face, measles plant, pink dot Botanical Name Hypoestes phyllostachya Family Acanthaceae Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial Mature Size 1-2 ft. tall, 1-2 ft.
wide Sun Exposure Partial Soil Type Moist, well-drained Soil pH Slightly Acidic to Neutral (6.1 to 7.3) Bloom Time Summer or early fall Flower Color Lilac or pink Hardiness Zones 10 to 11, USDA Native Area Madagascar Toxicity Nontoxic.Polka dot plants bloom sporadically, typically during the summer, with small lilac or pink-colored flowers on spikes.Pinch off these flower spikes to keep the plant’s energy focused on growing its vibrant foliage.Warning Polka dot plants have become a problematic, aggressive grower in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.Polka dot plants prefer organically rich soil with good drainage.Avoid letting the soil completely dry out, which can cause the foliage to wilt and make the plant struggle to survive.Feed container plants with an organic fertilizer designed for houseplants once a month during the warm growing season.Pink Splash polka dot plant David Q. Cavagnaro / Getty Images.You’ll need a pair of clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to keep the plant from developing long, lanky branches.To promote a bushier growth habit, cut or pinch back the top two leaves on each stem weekly.Although flowers sound nice, it's best to clip them when they start appearing to extend the growing season of your polka dot plant.You can propagate from cuttings anytime; however, your success rate of growing a healthy plant will be best in the spring or summer.Let's examine how to propagate your polka dot plant from a stem cutting rooted in water or moist soil.To propagate the polka dot plant using stem cuttings, you will need a sterilized pair of scissors or shears.Every other week, change the water entirely to inhibit bacterial or algae growth until the root grows up to 2 inches long.If rooting in the soil, place the fresh-cut end of your cutting into potting mix or peat moss and keep it evenly moist.Cover the cutting with clear plastic wrap until the stem develops leaves or other obvious growth.Once the seedling has grown several inches—usually in a couple of weeks—it is ready to transplant into a larger container or plant outdoors.A sure sign your plant has outgrown its pot is when the roots start growing out of the drainage holes.Too large a pot encourages the roots to focus on growing below the soil line, which is not good for the plant's upward growth.Before the first frost, you can cut stems from the plant, root them indoors in a small potting container or jar of water.Common pests that enjoy polka dot plants are mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies.The shortening of daylight hours tells the plant that the growing season is coming to a close, encouraging its flower growth.Insufficient water and humidity can cause the polka dot plant's leaves to turn brown or start drooping.Hard water and overfertilization are other reasons for a polka dot plant's leaves turning brown.If you notice leaves yellowing, reduce the amount of water you give the plant and make sure you're using potting soil with good drainage. .
How To Grow Pink Polka Dot Plants Indoors
Pink polka dot plant is well worth adding to your indoor garden.Indoors, it doesn’t grow quite as quickly, but it will thrive if given the proper care.Bright, indirect light is ideal for pink polka dot plant.Place polka dot plant a couple of feet away from an unobstructed southern or eastern exposure window.Though they require even moisture, polka dot plant will easily succumb to root rot if conditions are too wet.Water when the top ¼ to ½ inch of soil has dried out.Polka dot plant requires moist air and temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit to grow well.This can be done by creating a humidity tray, misting several times a day and grouping plants together.In order to prevent this from happening, pinch the plant back on a weekly basis. .
How to Grow Polka Dot Plants Indoors or Outdoors
Polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is an evergreen shrub that is native to Madgascar.In colder regions, it is grown outdoors as a bedding annual or indoors as a houseplant.Polka dot plant grows 1 – 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide.Newer cultivars have leaves with white, red, rose or burgundy spots.Plant them in the spring after your last frost when temperatures have reached 70⁰F and the soil has warmed.Mix in a thick layer of compost when you install your plants in the spring.Water regularly, about 1 inch per week, so that the soil stays moist but not soggy.A thick layer of mulch will help the soil to retain water and prevent weeds from taking hold.The plants will get leggy so it’s a good idea to pinch on a weekly basis.Pinching means removing the growing tip on the end of each stem.Because they like shade, polka dot plants make good houseplants.A good rule of thumb is to water your plant when the top inch of soil has become dry.A humidity tray is simply a shallow pan filled with ornamental gravel.Fill the pan with water and place your plant on top of the gravel.Indoors, they can be grown in a sunny room with either an east or south facing window.The best time to take cuttings is in the spring or summer when the plants are actively growing.Make a 4 – 5 inch cutting from a stem and remove the leaves from the bottom half.A polka dot plant with red leaves, Wikimedia Commons.You can transplant your seedlings outdoors after your last frost when air temperatures have reached 70⁰F and the soil has warmed. .
Polka Dot Plant – Growing & Care Guide
If you need to the raise humidity, you can mist the leaves or place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles.When growing indoors, keep your plant in a room with an average air temperature of 70° to 75°F and a minimum humidity level of 50%.If you need to the raise humidity, you can mist the leaves or place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles.Polka dot plant grows best at warm temperatures and high humidities.Keep soil consistently moist, but not soggy.To promote lusher growth, feed container-grown plants every 2 weeks during the active growing season with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer and less frequently (about every other month) during the fall and winter. .
How to Grow and Care for Polka Dot Plants
The cheery plant is known for its brightly patterned leaves, which show off splashy red, pink, and white tones against a deep green background.The plant's small size means it won't make much of an impact in an outdoor garden but can add a pretty accent to a small-scale planter.Indoors, polka dot plants prefer rich, well-drained soil, frequent misting to recreate tropical humidity, monthly fertilizing, and filtered sun or part shade locations that keep its colors vibrant. .
Polka Dot Plant
This beauty shows off red, pink, or white leaves marked with splashes of dark green.This colorful houseplant will wilt if it dries out too much, but is quick to spring back to life when you water it again.Like many houseplants, polka dot plant also does well outdoors in shady spots in garden beds, borders, and containers. .
Gardens: Polka-dot plants add year-round color to shaded areas
Hypoestes phyllostachya, commonly referred to as polka-dot plants, are popular evergreen tender perennials from Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island.With variegated oval leaves splashed and spotted with delicate hues of pink, red, green and white, these flowering, herbaceous, compact shrubby plants can offer showy, colorful adornments to partially shaded areas of gardens all year long.Eventually the plants will become woody at the base and small, inconspicuous lavender-colored flowers will bloom and rebloom.Hypoestes phyllostachya plants also do well in containers and baskets on porches, decks and patios.They are very sensitive to frost and can grow only in temperate conditions, i.e. partially shaded locations with bright filtered light (no direct sun).Once the plants are established, feed with balanced liquid fertilizer, half strength, periodically during the growing cycle.Originally the only Hypoestes phyllostachya available had pink spots covering small, dark green foliage.They quickly produce roots when placed in water and they often will grow if just stuck in moist potting mix, sand or vermiculite.
Easy Polka Dot Plant Care and Growing Tips
The most popular polka dot plant is pink and green, although other colors are available.This easy care plant requires your attention to the amount of water you give and the proper type of sunlight.These two conditions ensure a fun and simple experience in growing this adorable plant.You will care for your polka dot plant indoors the same way you do outdoors, with one exception - watering.Potting soil, compost and peat moss are excellent for a garden bed.Your polka dot plant requires bright indirect sunlight.Another sign that your polka dot plant is receiving too much direct sunlight is burned/fried brownish edges along the leaves.An outdoor garden plant will be seasonal but generally is self-seeding if you allow the flowering heads to go to seed.If you trim the flower stems back, the plant most likely won't have time to seed itself.To keep your polka dot plant from growing leggy stems, you want to pinch it back.You can easily propagate your polka dot plants by taking stem cuttings.You can simply plant the stem in a pot of soil or in your garden (remember to water regularly).Just dip the cut end into the rooting hormone and plant it in moist soil.You can either plant the seeds in a spring flower bed or indoors under a grow light.Indoor plants can be susceptible to insects, depending on the condition of your home.For instance, older homes may have cracks and crevices, windows that aren't sealed properly, and other old age signs that allow bugs entry, whereas newer construction has a tighter envelope.Powdery mildew is the most common problem due to the plant developing wet feet.Polka Dot Plant Terrarium Favorite The polka dot plant makes an ideal terrarium favorite and adds a touch of magic with its paint splattered look.The polka dot plant loves high humidity and finds a comfy home in a terrarium. .
Polka dot plant care & info
Polka dot plant care is a breeze and this species is available in a whole range of different tones of green, silver and pink.Keep reading for everything you need to know about polka dot plant care and growing this tiny houseplant in your own home.Polka dot plants are native to Madagascar, although other members of the family Acanthaceae originate from South Africa and Southeast Asia as well.In its natural habitat, the polka dot plant grows in humid tropical forest areas in a shrubby manner.Hypoestes phyllostachya is also a naturalized species in other areas in the world, like parts of India and Costa Rica.If you want to keep those beautiful variegated leaves, you’ll need to make sure that your polka dot plants get plenty of bright but indirect light.It might take a bit of tinkering but if you manage to get the light levels right, your polka dot plant will continue producing those beautiful mottled leaves.If the air in your home is on the dry side, there are various things you can do to create a more humid microclimate for your plants.For example, you can use general potting soil mixed with perlite for drainage and throw in a layer of compost for extra nutrients.Any planter will work as long as it has a drainage hole at the bottom, although if you’re prone to forgetting to water you might want to go for plastic rather than porous terracotta.A lot of gardeners plant this species in large pots, which gives it more room to get a bit out of control.Tip: Hypoestes phyllostachya is also on Houseplant Central’s list of easy terrarium plants.In winter it will be even less, as light is limited and your polka dot plant won’t be actively growing.If the soil feels dry and your polka dot plant is looking a bit droopy, that means you’ve waited too long.Luckily, you can just flush the soil with some distilled water, snip off the affected leaf and carry on from there.Using sharp, sterilized scissors or a knife, cut a section of plant, at least two inches long, just below a node where the roots will grow from.Tip: Because polka dot plants benefit from regular pruning, you’ll have stem cuttings aplenty.One thing you can do to achieve a fuller look on your plant is just to place these cuttings back into the original planter.Don’t forget to replant the cuttings as described in the section on polka dot plant propagation!A few popular Hypoestes phyllostachya cultivars include ‘Carmina’, ‘Pink Brocade’, and the ‘Splash’ Series.Tip: Love the amazing colors and papery leaves of the polka dot plant?Don’t forget to also check out Fittonia, a similarly spectacular indoor plant that also stays small.If you have any more questions about polka dot plant care or if you want to share your own experiences with this cheerful houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! .