Hypoestes Phyllostachy Plant Details & Care Tips

Hypoestes Phyllostachy Plant Details & Care Tips
Hypoestes phyllostachya
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Hypoestes phyllostachya plant, widely known as the polka dot plant, is a common indoor plant with colorful foliar displays. The plant comes in a variety of variegated leaves in various shades of silver, green, and pink. Known by some as the potted plant, it will achieve its best color in low light conditions but is grown in any type of indirect light.

Quick Details of Hypoestes phyllostachya plant

Other Common Names
Flamingo plant, Freckle face, Measles plant, Polka dot plant, Pink dot


Herbaceous, perennial


Easy to maintain and propagate


Typically visible in autumn or late summer


Bright indirect


Keep lightly moist


Average air temperature (70 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit)


Well-drained, moist


Organic fertilizer


South Africa and Southeast Asia



Common Diseases

Leaf-spot diseases, root rot, and powdery mildew

Hypoestes phyllostachya plant buying instructions

  • Buy a polka plant grown from seeds.
  • When buying a polka plant, you must look into the different varieties. These include green mottled with pink or silver or green patches that are black.
  • The most popular varieties of the plant are Pink, Carmina, Splash series, and Brocade. However, depending on your preference for patterns, you can choose accordingly.

Overview of Hypoestes phyllostachya plant

Scientifically called Hypoestes phyllostachya, the polka dot plant is an attractive houseplant with glossy variegated leaves that seems different from other flora. It is native to Madagascar, and other varieties of the family Acanthaceae created in Southeast Asia and South Africa. The typical variety of plants has green spots and pink base-colored leaves.

Some other varieties, like speckled or mottled, feature brighter contrasts and purple, red, white, and darker colors. Although being native to warm climates, you need to replace them with new plants each year or care for them as annuals, but they are not difficult to grow.

It is a plant with delicate tropical foliage that was once transferred to the role of an indoor novelty plant. However, it has become popular as an addition to spiny borders, annuals outdoors, and in container plantings.

Also, they are grown well in containers during spring. Additionally, they have a fair growth rate and remain relatively deliberate once mature, significantly when developed indoors. Polka Dot blooms in filtered, bright sunlight but also survives in low light.

The plant needs partial shade for better color rather than full sun, but low light causes the leaves to fade. Most plant species grow up to 30 inches high and wide if grown under suggested conditions.

Some common varieties of polka dot plants

There are various types of polka dot plants, including the following:

  1. Pink Brocade – This variety of polka dots has green leaves with spotted pink spots.
  2. Carmina – It offers red-spotted and dark green leaves.
  3. Splash series – It has leaves that blend greens with whites, pinks, and red splotches.
  4. Confetti – This type has green leaves with mottled pink, white, rose, burgundy, or red.

Usage and Advantage of Hypoestes phyllostachya

  • Being aesthetically appealing, it boosts creativity along with improving your mood.
  • Its natural air-purifying abilities reduce illness, fatigue, and stress, while its ability to remove toxins makes you more productive.

General Hypoestes phyllostachya Care


For Hypoestes phyllostachya, well-draining, nutrient-rich soil works well. You can mix them yourself quickly, and it shouldn’t be complicated. All you have to do is prepare a potting mix that promotes the elements and a drainage that conserves some water, so the soil doesn’t dry out too fast. Simply put, polka dot plants generally require rich yet organic soil with good drainage. To improve soil drainage, you can mix some perlite or pumice.


You will need to water it about twice a week; otherwise, watering depends on how much sunlight your plants get and how dry your home is. During winter climates, watering will be even less as the light will be limited, and plants will not be actively growing.

However, it always prefers a significant of moisture in the soil. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely; else, the plant will struggle to survive and may cause the leaves to

wilt. Ensure the soil is not soggy, otherwise, it can kill the plant or cause root rot. Water seedlings when the top ½ inch of soil is dry and enough to keep the soil evenly moist.


Your polka dot plant prefers to be placed in a location that receives some shade of sunlight if grown outside. Choose a location that is not in low light and not in too much light. For indoors, pick a bright spot, but where only indirect light appears, it could be an east or south-facing window.


Since polka dots are tropical plants, they prefer to be around 70 to 75 or even 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep them away from dry places as they do not like to be cold. When it comes to planting, be sure to plant it outdoors in spring only after the frost climate has passed. These indoor plants love humid conditions, requiring a minimum humidity level of 50%. To increase humidity, you can spray your plant’s leaves or place its pot on a filled water tray and pebbles.

Special Care:

Humidity and warm climates are essential to planting polka dot plants. Unless you get enough rainfall, expect regular watering. In addition, it requires continuous feeding throughout the spring to fall growing season. This plant likes shiny indirect light because of being sensitive. Too little or too much sunshine will likely cause the colours on the leaves to dull.


Feed your polka dot plants with a natural fertilizer designed for indoor plants. The organic fertilizer you choose should feed them well because these plants are heavy feeders. If growing in the landscape, blend a layer of compost into the soil each growing season.

Pests and Other problems for Hypoestes phyllostachya

Pest Problems:

Pests attracted to the polka plant include aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Diseases associated with plants are leaf spot disease, root rot, and crumbly mildew. Some common cum apparent signs of disease with these pests include leaves that have holes, leaves that are discolored, and tiny insects walking across the plants.

Other Problems:

  1. Yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop:- As mentioned above, excessive watering can cause the yellowing of your plant’s leaves. Besides water, wet soil can also be a reason for yellowing or dropping leaves. Additionally, over-watering can be a significant cause of mildew and root rot. Once yellow leaves appear, avoid reducing the amount of water and add well-draining soil.
  2. Dropping or browning of the leaves:- Damp weather and insufficient watering can cause your plant to turn brown or begin to droop. In addition, excessive exposure to sunlight can burn the leaves. Overfertilization and hard water are some of the reasons why leaves turn brown. To avoid this, you need to change your watering habits and adjust to a humid environment.
  3. Fading leaf colour and curling leaves:- Excessive sunlight can fade the colour of your polka-dot plant’s leaves. This attractive plant requires indirect but bright light to maintain its colour. Also, it needs to be kept away from direct and intense sunlight. If your plant is stored in a container, keep it in a shady pot. If it’s in the landscape, try to cover it.

Propagation of Hypoestes Phyllostachya

Hypoestes Phyllostachya plants can flourish from stem cuttings or seeds. If planting is started from seeds, plant them in early spring. You can propagate by cutting anytime. But the best time to grow would be in the summer or early spring. Frequent

pruning is an excellent way to maintain the healthy life of your plant.

If you find your plant is dying outside, stem cuttings are an effective way to revive your plant from the inside. In this section, you’ll learn how to propagate your polka dot plant.

  • Use a sterilized pair of shears or scissors.
  • You must have a clean pot or jar filled with water with well-draining peat moss or potting mix. For planting in soil, you must have clear plastic wrap.
  • Now, you have to eliminate a part of the stem from any part of your plant. But it should be at least a two-inch piece.
  • If you’re placing the roots in a jar of water, maintain the water level by adding water as it evaporates. Then, change the water completely every other week until the root reaches two inches tall.
  • If you are placing roots in the landscape/soil, keep the fresh cut end of cutting into peat moss.
  • Wrap it with clear plastic wrap until apparent growth is visible.
  • To verify whether the cutting has taken root, gently pull the cutting up to reveal it.
  • Its cuttings are ready to be seen again when several inches of new growth has been removed from the cutting.
Priyanka Gangwani

Priyanka Gangwani

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