Botanical name: Hypoestes phyllostachya
Synonym: Hypoestes sanguinolenta
Common names: Polka Dot Plant, Freckle Face
Polka Dot Plant also called Freckle Face is a popular houseplant that is grown for the beauty of its spotted leaves whose coloring is vivid in bright light.
In a well-lit spot with some direct sunlight, the leaf coloring of Polka Dot Plant will be vivid while in a shady place the foliage will be all-green.
The basic variety of Polka Dot Plant has pink coloring but newer hybrids are available with red or white coloring.
There are many varieties of Polka Dot Plant available like Pink splash which is green and pale pink. Red splash which is green and red. White splash which is green and white.
Other varieties of Polka Dot Plant are Camina with dark-green leaves spotted with camine-red. Confetti Blush which has white-veined olive green leaves.
The Polka Dot Plant can grow to a height of 1-2 ft, forming bushy and compact tufts. The leaves are opposite, oval and pointed.
Polka Dot Plant may produce small, solitary pink or purplish flowers. After flowering the plant may become dormant therefore reduce watering until new growth starts.
Polka Dot is native to South Africa, Madagascar and South East Asia.
Buy beautiful and healthy Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) from Etsy.
Polka Dot Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight to enhance the leaf color. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Polka Dot Plant liberally during the growing season and keep soil moist at all times.
Reduce watering for your Polka Dot Plant during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Ensure the pot for your Polka Dot Plant has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot.
Average warmth with a minimum of 180C is ideal for your Polka Dot Plant. Protect the plant from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Polka Dot Plant thrives in a humid environment inorder to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Polka Dot Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
You can also grow your Polka Dot in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained inside a terrarium. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.
Feed Polka Dot Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing period.
Withhold feeding for your Polka Dot Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Polka Dot Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.
Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger to repot your Polka Dot Plant.
Ensure the pot for your Polka Dot Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your plant.
Pruning Polka Dot Plant involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain your plant neat and tidy.
To encourage a bushy, compact growth for your Polka Dot Plant, regularly pinch off the growing tips.
Cut back tall stems to prevent your Polka Dot Plant from becoming leggy. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Polka Dot Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from seeds or from stem cuttings.
Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Polka Dot Plant. Strip off the lower leaves.
Insert the Polka Dot Plant cuttings in moist rooting soil and place the set up in warm shaded place.
Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed.
Transfer the rooted Polka Dot Plant cuttings to individual pots and begin routine care.
For a fuller Polka Dot Plant, plant several cuttings in one pot.
Sow the Polka Dot Plant seeds at the beginning of the growing season in moist soil.
Place the set up in a warm shaded place and maintain the soil moist until the Polka Dot Plant seeds germinate.
Once germinated, move the set up to a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist until the Polka Dot Plants are well established after which routine care can begin.
Polka Dot Plant brown leaf tips and edges are due to dry air. You need to raise humidity for your Polka Dot Plant to prevent brown leaf tips and edges.
To raise humidity for your Polka Dot Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Polka Dot Plant wilting and drooping leaves are due to underwatering.
Water your Polka Dot Plant thoroughly and maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Polka Dot Plant losing leaf color (leaves are all green) is due to low light.
Move your Polka Dot Plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunshine inorder to enhance leaf color.
Polka Dot Plant yellow leaves are an indication of root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil.
Ensure that there is proper drainage of both the pot and the soil and never allow your Polka Dot Plant to sit in soggy soil.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.