Caring for Your New Hypoestes Polka Dot Plant
Known for their distinctive and brightly colored dotted leaves, Hypoestes Polka Dot Plants are recognizable from a half mile away. They add a wonderful contrast to standard green houseplants and look great in pots with other foliage. Caring for Hypoestes is not overly complicated, but they do require a bit more attention than just weekly waterings.
Hypoestes like to be moist, but not overly saturated and they do NOT do well with drought conditions! This plant does not like to dry out, which means you will need to keep an eye on the moisture levels. Be sure to empty the drainage tray as well, so it is not left sitting in water, as that can lead to root rot. Add a little style to your watering routine with this watering can.
Light and Humidity
Because this is a tropical species native to Madagascar, humidity and light conditions are very important. Hypoestes are not very tolerant of improper conditions! They require medium to bright light and high humidity. They will not do well in low light for long. Consider placing it on a tray filled with pebbles and water if your home is on the dry side.
Soil and fertilizer
Keep the Hypoestes in clean, well-draining soil. Since they prefer to be slightly on the dry side, it is imperative that the soil drains well, otherwise it can lead to root rot. Make sure to empty the drainage tray as well, so it is not left sitting in water. Hypoestes should be fertilized in spring and summer with your general houseplant fertilizer.
Cleaning and pruning
Clean the leaves of your Hypoestes by gently wiping it with water and a soft cloth. Pruning encourages new growth AND helps keep your plant looking nice! Simply use clean, sharp scissors to cut the stems to the appropriate length. Hypoestes are prone to pests, so give them a good wash in the shower every now and then to keep them healthy and keep bugs at bay.
Hypoestes can be propagated from cuttings placed into clean water, making them simple to grow. Just be patient, because it can take some time for roots to appear. For an added boost, you can dip the edge of the stems into a growth hormone before potting.
Look to increase their space only every 12-18 months or so. Try to repot during the spring or summer, during the growing season. You can tell it needs to be repotted when water start running straight through it when you water – this means that it is rootbound and there is very little dirt left!
Gently extract the plant from its current container and then put it in one 1-3” larger in diameter. Add more dirt, and you are set!
With proper care, Hypoestes are simple to grow in your home, and they add amazing depth and color to any room! Plus, Hypoestes are great for air purification. They need bright, indirect light and regular watering. A word of warning: Hypoestes is TOXIC to pets and people, so keep them out of the reach of your furry friends and kids!