Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Sophie
With a common name like ‘Polka Dot Plant’ I am sure it won’t take you long to guess why the Hypoestes phyllostachya is so-called commonly. With its delightful spotted leaves, this houseplant is pretty easy to care for. Here’s a complete Polka Dot plant care guide, including watering tips, substrate suggestions, and how to propagate more plants.
Available in all sorts of colour ways such as greens, creams, and pinks, the Polka Dot plant is a darling specimen that is fairly small in size and will make a wonderful addition to your home, particularly if you are short on space due to its fairly small and compact size.
The plants originate in Madagascar and develop a woody stem as they age. Typically purchased at just a few centimetres in height, in nature they can grow to be up to three foot. with this being said, this is unlikely in a home environment.
Polka Dot Plant Care & Watering Guide
Watering your Polka Dot Plant
Like many houseplants, the Hypoestes phyllostachya is prone to root rot if overwatered and so it is much better to underwater the plant as opposed to overwatering it. Please note that the Polka Dot is quite a dramatic plant and has a tendency to ‘wilt’ and ‘droop’ if it’s not adequately watered.
This makes the plant pretty similar in nature to that of the Fittonia (or ‘nerve plant’ as it is often called). However, if this does happen, then there is no need to worry as the plant will quickly recover within a few hours of being watered.
Best soil conditions for the Hypoestes phyllostachya
In order to prevent root rot, well-draining soil is essential. While there is no prescribed mix, the substrate should be a good blend of organic material with easy-draining things such as pumice. I personally purchase a houseplant specific mix at my local gardening store, though you can always create a soil blend of your own.
Best light conditions for your Hypoestes phyllostachya
Like many houseplants, this leafy plant enjoys bright, indirect sunlight. If the Polka Dot plant is kept too close to the sun, the soil will dry out too quickly and the leaves will burn. Conversely, if the plant is kept in too much shade, then it will soon become leggy. Furthermore, if the plant is not receiving enough light, then its leaves will have markedly less patterns.
How to propagate Polka Dot Plant
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to propagate your plant is to take cuttings. In order to propagate the polka dot plant, you’ll want to take cuttings of the plant which include at least a leaf or two, as well as a node. Then, you’ll want to place the cutting in water (changing the water every week or so) until roots which are at least a few centimetres in length start to develop.