The spotted plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a showy little plant with brightly variegated leaves that stand out from most other foliage. The most common polka dot plants have leaves with a pink base color and green spots. But there are several mottled or mottled varieties with purple, white, red and deeper colors and a lighter contrast, making the plants stand out even more. These plants are not particularly difficult to grow, but because they are native to warm climates, many gardeners treat them as annuals and replace them with new plants each year. They are best planted in spring. They can also be grown in containers as houseplants. They have a moderate growth rate and remain relatively short after maturity, especially when grown indoors. They are not considered invasive plants; However, they have a vigorous growth rate in Australia, where they are a weed and have become invasive.
Polka dot plant care
Warm temperatures and humidity are key to growing spotted plants. Expect to water regularly unless there is sufficient rainfall. This plant also needs regular feeding during the growing season from spring through fall.
Polka dot plants bloom sporadically, typically in summer, with small purple or pink flowers on spikes. Pinch off these flower spikes to focus the plant’s energy on growing its vibrant foliage.
When grown outdoors, spotted plants like a spot with some shade. Choose a planting site that is not in low light or too much light, otherwise you can expect the foliage colors to fade, reducing the ornamental value of the plant. Indoors, bright, indirect light is ideal, e.g. B. from an east or south window.
Polka dot plants prefer soil rich in organic matter with good drainage. An all-purpose organic soil mix is usually suitable for these plants. Mix in some pumice or perlite to improve soil drainage.
These plants like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil at all times. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely, which can cause the leaves to wilt and the plant to struggle to survive. Never let the soil get wet as this can cause root rot and kill the plant. Water the plant when the top half inch of soil has dried out. Give enough water to evenly moisten the soil. Potted plants need to be watered more frequently than plants in the ground. Slightly reduce watering in winter and resume your routine once growth picks up again in spring.
temperature and humidity
Polka dot plants are only hardy in USDA growing zones 10 and 11 and prefer temperatures above 60 degrees F. They should be planted outside in spring after the threat of frost has passed and brought indoors if you wish to overwinter them well before the first frost des autumn These plants like humid conditions and prefer a minimum humidity of 50 percent. If you need to increase the humidity, you can mist your plant’s leaves or place its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water, as long as the bottom of the pot doesn’t touch the water.
Fertilize container plants once a month during the warm growing season with an organic fertilizer suitable for houseplants. These plants are heavy feeders. If planting in the ground, mix a layer of compost into the soil each spring.