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 polka dot plant indoors
When I give my garden talk on decorating your home with houseplants, polka dot plant (hypoestes phyllostachya) is one of my favorite examples.Add to the polka dots on the plant the fact that this species comes in several striking color combinations.Use pink polka dot plant to play up the colors and design patterns of your indoor furnishings.Bright, indirect light is what pink polka dot plant requires.Place polka dot plant two feet from an unobstructed eastern or southern window.At the same time, be sure not to keep the soil soaking wet, as the plant will also succumb to root rot.Also remember that the smaller the container polka dot plant is in, the more quickly it will dry out.Polka dot plant requires relatively humid conditions and temperatures of 75 to 80 degrees.Prevent this from occurring by pinching back the leaf tips on a weekly basis. .
Polka Dot Plant Care (Hypoestes Phyllostachya)
The first known and popularized variety of Polka dot plants had small leaves with pink spots in contrast to its dark green base leaf.The flowers can be removed as they tend to take up all the plant’s energy and eventually make it leggy.Hypoestes Phyllostachys has been extensively used to cover garden beds for a pop of color or as centerpieces in houses.Common names: Polka dot plant, freckle face, morning glory lobelia.Avoid overwatering and feed your plant with diluted liquid fertilizer regularly.Common problems: Mealy bugs, aphids, leaf scales, powdery mildew, and root rot.To keep the colors of Polka Dot plant leaves bright and vibrant good light conditions are a must.Indoors, a spot near a window with morning sun will give your plant a good amount of healthy sunlight.Keep in mind that flowers can cause the plant to be leggy as it expends too much energy on allowing them to bloom.One of the most important things when it comes to polka dot plant care is a good watering routine.The leaves easily wilt or turn crispy if the potting mix stays dry for too long.Frequency of watering will greatly depend on the soil mix you are using as well as the humidity of your house.The air humidity of your home is what determines if this your Polka dot plant care will be easy or not.Dead leaves attract pests and fungal growth and can harm the healthy parts of your plant.If you just brought your plant home, you can wait a couple of weeks before you start fertilizing.Polka dot plants need regular feeding, especially during the growing season.Use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength and incorporate in one of your watering schedules.This will help maintain the bright color of the plant and promote good and fast growth.Most general potting soils fit that description and are good enough for Polka dot plants.If you want to improve drainage of the general potting soil you can mix in some perlite or pumice.Roots will also start poking out of the pot, which means that the plant needs to be repotted in a bigger container.Remove the bottom leaves closest to the nodes as this will attract pests and diseases.Keep your propagations away from direct bright light until they form roots and the plants bounce back.When grown from seeds, Hypoestes usually tend to initially produce green leaves and eventually colored ones.Polka dot plants tend to attract a few pests, such as mealybugs, aphids, and scales.If you are not sold on using industrial pesticides, diluted alcohol works wonders for mealybugs and scales.Motile when young, scales tend to permanently cling to the leaf as they mature and absorb its nutrients.Sickly Polka dot plants look droopy even after watering and may start showing signs of yellowing. .
Polka dot plant propagation
If you want to propagate a polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) with as little effort as possible, the water method is your best friend!And it doubles as home decor: plant cuttings in a nice propagation station are a great statement piece.Just make sure that the section you use has at least two healthy leaves at the top and a couple of nodes, which are the bumps that new roots will sprout from.Direct sun is a bit too much and can increase algae growth, which is not harmful but also not the nicest thing to look at.Change the water out once or so a week to get rid of any gunk buildup and promote healthy growth.The standard rule of thumb is to wait until the roots have grown at least two inches before repotting into soil.A coarse soil, such as a cactus mix, will do fine fo a polka dot plant.Water needs to be able to flow out of the container to prevent issues with root rot, which can quickly kill a houseplant.If you really want to give your cuttings a boost, you can place them in a clear plastic storage box (that still allows light to enter).Once you’ve successfully propagated polka dot plants, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the basics of what they need to survive and thrive!If you can’t get enough of the beautiful pink, silver or red patches, then you’ll need to make sure your plants have plenty of light.Without sufficient bright, indirect sunlight, the variegation will gradually fade away and your plant will start growing leggy.As mentioned above, polka dot plants aren’t too picky when it comes to soil, although your mixture should be well-draining and rich in nutrients.Whatever mix you use, you can toss in a handful of compost or worm castings for that extra nutritious kick that your plants will surely appreciate.When it comes to watering polka dot plants, they like the soil to be lightly moist at all times but never soggy.Like many houseplants, polka dot plants benefit from getting extra nutrients during the growing season (spring and summer).During the fall and winter months, when houseplants like the polka dot plant aren’t actively growing, you should stop fertilizing.If you have any more questions about polka dot plant propagation or want to share your own experiences with these colorful houseplants, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. .
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.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.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! .
Polka Dot Plant Care: How To Grow And Care For It