Polka Dot Plant is a stunningly beautiful little plant with coveted foliage. They are known as many other names such as Freckle Face, Flamingo Plant, Measles Plant etc. but its Botanical name is Hypoestes Phyllostachya. The Polka Dot plant is native to South Africa, Madagascar and South East Asia. Several varieties are available in the market that is spotted with different colours like white, green, pink, red and many more. Polka Dot plants are evergreen shrubs that can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. As they grow taller, they tend to become leggy and woody. When keeping them indoors, it is straightforward to maintain these plants’ size and shape by regular pruning from the top.
POLKA DOT PLANT CARE
Polka Dot plants do well in bright indirect sunlight. Too much brightness can fade the foliage colours, thus reducing this plant’s ornamental value and too little light can also fade the leaves’ variegations. The South or East facing window will be the right spot for Polka Dot plants. The plant tends to become spindly in the absence of enough bright indirect light.
I have a video version of Polka Dot Plant Care and Propagation here.
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TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY:
Polka Dots prefer temperatures between 20-30 degrees Celsius as they are native to warmer, tropical climate areas of South Africa and Madagascar. Remember to keep these plants away from cold drafts such as near windows or doors. You can mist the leaves to provide humidity to the plant during the summer months.
Polka Dot plants thrive well in organically rich well-draining soil. An equal portion of peat and compost with perlite is the right mix for these plants. Always make sure that the pot contains enough drainage holes for the excess water to seep through.
Polka Dot plants are hungry plants and therefore feeding them with diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during Spring and summer will keep them healthy and growing. Adding a layer of compost or worm castings to the soil will also encourage growth.
Polka Dot Plant Watering:
Polka Dot plants need regular watering. Make sure that the soil remains moist but not soggy at the same time. Avoid letting the soil dry out as this will cause the leaves to wilt and fall over. Overwatering can cause root rot. In winter, you can cut back on the watering sessions. Checking the soil before watering will help avoid the chances of overwatering.
COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES:
Polka Dot plants can get attacked by whiteflies, mealybugs and aphids. You can use soap water solution or soda-bicarb solution to get rid of them. Spray them in the evening and then wash them in the morning. Neem Oil solution has also been effective in getting rid of the nasty sapsuckers.
I come across many people asking for polka dot plant life span on forums like Reddit. I haven’t seen any scientific answer to this. My polka dot plant survived around 3 years now, and it’s fine. It all depends on how you take care of it, as mentioned above.
If you want to try a readymade solution to deal with insects, try multipurpose insecticide spray which helps you to control insects like Aphids, Spider Mites, Japanese Beetles, Caterpillars, diseases like Fungicide controls Black Spot, Powdery Mildew.
In addition to the insecticide, you can also use these easy to use Sticky traps to attract flying inspects for indoor and outdoor plants. These insects traps are easy to use.
Polka Dot plants are not toxic to humans and pets (like cats and dogs); therefore, they can be safely kept indoors. You still might want to keep them away from young children to keep your plant safe.
If you are looking for other non-toxic or safe plants for your home, visit this link for all plants which are non-toxic to humans and pets.
And visit this link for some of the Toxic plants you should be careful with.
Polka Dot Plant PROPAGATION AND REPOTTING:
Polka dot plants tend to get leggy as they grow old. Pruning them from time to time will help maintain the plant’s shape and size and prevent them from being leggy, which gives an unattractive look. They are very easy to propagate, as well. Just take a healthy stem cutting of about 4-5 inches and place it in water or directly into the soil. You can use the succulent potting mix for propagation. Peaty soil will also help keep the cutting moist to facilitate rooting. If you are water propagating, you can transfer it into the soil after the cutting develops roots.
You can see this video for detailed instructions on how to report Polka Dot Plant.
Polka Dot plant benefits:
Apart from their attractive spotty foliage, Polka dot plants also help purify the indoor air and are very low maintenance plants. They make a good contrast when kept with other plants.
POLKA DOT PLANTS Varieties:
There are more than 100 varieties of Polka Dot plants in the market. Some of the most popular ones are as follows:
Carmina: It has dark red patches on green leaves.
Confetti: these are fast-growing plants and come in many colours like red, burgundy, white and green. They can grow up to 8 inches in size.
Pink Brocade: These plants have light pink spots on green leaves.
Purpariana: these plants have purple shades on green leaves.
Pink Polka Dot: The green leaves have Pink dots on them.
Wit: These plants have marbling to the white leaves.
See this link for more House Plants care and propagation tips.
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