How to Care for Your Polka Dot Plant

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Also known as the Pink Polka Dot Plant because of its eye-catching brightly spotted leaves. It’s the ultimate mood-lifter little plant that will brighten your home! Learn how to care for your Polka Dot Plant.

Polka Dot Plant, or botanically known as Hypoestes phyllostachya, is one of the common houseplants that’s considered as one of the ‘it’ plants of 2021 because of its cheery and colorful foliage that comes in several striking color combinations like green & pink, green & red, green & white, and pink & white. Polka Dot Plant is a highly hybridized houseplant producing a variety of colors and types of leaf spotting, that’s how it got its other name: Freckle Face Plant.

A native to East Asia, Madagascar, and South Africa, the Polka Dot Plant thrives in warm indoor environments, such as bright indirect light to lower-light environments. The Polka Dot Plant is well worth adding to your indoor plant collection. It’s easy to care for and a fast-growing houseplant.

Fun Fact: The Polka Dot Plant falls under the category of vining plants, which means you can train it to climb up a trellis or totem.

There are many different types of the Polka Dot Plant, according to House Plants Expert:

  • Carmina: has bright red spots on the leaves.
  • Confetti: smaller in size and has a variety of colors on their leaves that looks like confetti.
  • Pink Brocade: has pink spots.
  • Purpuriana: has purplish leaves.
  • Splash: has large spots of colors in pink, red, or white.
  • Wit: has marbled white leaves.

Prune your Polka Dot Plant to prevent it from becoming leggy and thin-looking. The Polka Dot Plant blooms flowers, but some people choose to trim off the flowers that may bloom because they take the energy of your Polka Dot Plant. It’s easy to propagate the Polka Dot Plant. Cut off some of the leaves and dip the ends in a rooting hormone. Put it in peat moss and keep it moist until it creates roots. Once the Polka Dot Plant’s roots are established, treat it like a mature plant.

Here’s everything you need to know on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant.

Botanical NameHypoestes phyllostachya
Common NameFreckle Face Plant
Pink Polka Dot Plant
Polka Dot Plant
Plant SizeThe Polka Dot Plant grows 1 to 2 feet tall and roughly 1 foot wide.
Types of Polka Dot PlantsCarmina
Confetti
Pink Brocade
Pink Dot
Purpariana
Red Splash
White Splash
SunlightThe Polka Dot Plant requires bright, indirect light to keep its colors vibrant.
WaterIt prefers constantly moist but not soggy soil.
HumidityThe Polka Dot Plant grows well in environments with a minimum relative humidity of 50%.
TemperatureIts ideal temperature range is 70°F to 80°F.
ToxicityIn general, the Polka Dot Plant is non-toxic.
FoodFeed your Polka Dot Plant only after they established a root system with a liquid, all-purpose fertilizer product once a month during the growing season.
Pests and ProblemsThe Polka Dot Plant is prone to aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Get rid of these pests by using a green solution at about half of its strength. It’s also sensitive to overwatering, which can cause powdery mildew and root rot.
Omysa Plant Care TipPlant your Polka Dot Plant in a rich airy peat-based soil that drains well.

Polka Dot Plant Care Tips

The Polka Dot Plant is best planted in the spring and it remains relatively small when grown indoors, once it’s mature. We love the Polka Dot Plant because it’s a great addition to dish gardens and terrariums, mixed with other humid-loving houseplants. Plus, it’s a practical way to add beauty and color to your home since it’s relatively inexpensive to buy. However, it has a short lifespan, so many gardeners toss it away when it goes dormant. If you want to know more, follow our guide on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant, from sunlight requirements to common problems and their solutions.

Sunlight

First, on our list on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant is to provide it with bright, indirect sunlight and lots of filtered light. Avoid growing your Polka Dot Plant under direct sunlight because it could risk burning its leaves.

Common Problem: If the color of the leaves of your Polka Dot Plant is fading, this could mean that it’s getting too much direct sun. Another sign is burned or brownish edges along with the leaves.

Solution: Place your Polka Dot Plant in a room with lots of filtered light, such as in an east-facing or south-facing window. If your Polka Dot Plant is getting too much direct sun, it will cause the beautiful leaf colors to fade. However, if it isn’t getting enough light, it will get leggy.

Water

Next on our list on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant is to water it when the top half-inch of the soil is dry. It prefers constantly moist but not soggy soil. Avoid letting the soil completely dry out because it can cause the plant to struggle and wilt. It’s important to avoid overwatering it since it’s sensitive to root rot.

Common Problem: If your Polka Dot Plant has bacterial and fungal diseases, it could be a sign of overwatering. While wilted leaves could be a sign of underwatering.

Solution: Check if the top half-inch of the soil is dry. If it is, then it’s time to water your Polka Dot Plant.

Note: Some houseplants can be sensitive to salts in tap water, so it’s best to use distilled water or a water filtration system. However, if this is not possible, leave the water in an open container overnight.

Humidity & Temperature

Adding to our list on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant is to put it in a room with a minimum relative humidity of 50% since it will grow best in a humid environment. In case you want to increase the humidity, we suggest that you mist it often, place it near a humidifier, or use a pebble tray.

Polka Dot Plant prefers room temperature, between 70°F to 80°F.

Toxicity

In general, the Polka Dot Plant is non-toxic. It’s safe for pets, but that doesn’t mean they won’t feel a bit sick, once they ingested any part of the Polka Dot Plant.

Food

Polka Dot Plants are happiest when fertilized regularly since they have a hearty appetite. To encourage lusher growth, feed with a liquid, all-purpose fertilizer product every 2 weeks during the growing season. Every other month during the fall and winter. Remember to feed your Polka Dot Plant only after they established a root system.

Note: Even though the Polka Dot Plant is a fairly heavy feeder, it’s important to follow the prescribed amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.

Pests & Other Problems

Watch out for aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Get rid of these pests by using a green solution at about half of its strength. It’s also sensitive to overwatering, which can cause powdery mildew and root rot.

Note: Learn how to recognize and treat common houseplant pests with our 7 Most Common Houseplant Pests and How to Get Rid of Them guide.

That’s a wrap on how to care for your Polka Dot Plant. Will you add the Polka Dot Plant to your home?

Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

Whatever houseplant you choose to transform your home into a lively oasis, you’ll definitely need a stylish planter to display your plant baby in. No matter what your style, there’s an Omysa planter that will be perfect with your garden and home’s décor. From ceramics to fiberstone, check out Omysa’s Shop and add it to your cart!

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