Plants

Polka Dot Plant

Hypoestes phyllostachya

Summer temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for polka dot plants. The location should be very bright but not be subject to direct sunlight.

Location

Summer temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for polka dot plants (Hypoestes phyllostachya). The location should be very bright but not be subject to direct sunlight. These delicate plants do not enjoy the cold at all. If the temperature falls below 59 degrees Fahrenheit, it will begin to suffer. These plants are also sensitive to cold draughts. A protected, bright and pleasantly warm location in a window is ideal. To prevent the root ball from getting too cold, you can place Styrofoam under the pot.

Growth

The attractive Polka Dot Plant has leaves sprinkled with shades of white and red. As leaf coloration wanes with age and the plants gradually become sparse through a lack of light, it’s best to propagate new plants from cuttings each year.

Watering

From spring to fall, the balls should always be moist but never wet or completely dry. Water more sparingly in winter. Regular spraying with room-temperature water is recommended.

Fertilizer

Polka Dot Plants are undemanding. Simply feeding the plant with a small amount of fertilizer every three weeks in summer is plenty.

Diseases

Polka Dot Plants are robust. These plants rarely fall foul to aphids. If the pink dots on the leaves grow pale, the plant is generally suffering from a lack of light.

Origin

Madagascar. Here, they grow to be decorative bushes of up to 20 inches in height.

Propagation

They are easy to propagate through cuttings, which can either be rooted in potting soil or a glass of water. Prune young plants several times.

Repotting

If you want to grow Polka Dot Plants over several years, put the plant in fresh, loose potting soil in February. Remove or trim any aged shoots or those have gotten too long. However, it’s better to propagate new plants from cuttings each year.

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