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Care of the plant Hypoestes phyllostachya or Polka dot plant.

Care of the plant Hypoestes phyllostachya or Polka dot plant

The genus Hypoestes, family Acanthaceae, comprises 200 species of herbaceous plants native to tropical regions of the Indian Ocean. Some species are: Hypoestes phyllostachya, Hypoestes aristata, Hypoestes taeniata.

Common name: Polka dot plant. This species is native to South Africa, Madagascar, and south east Asia.

They are small perennials very interesting for their beautiful foliage, especially in young specimens. The green leaves are oval in shape with a pointed tip and are dotted with spots of cream, red or pink. They are slow growing plants. They bloom from late summer to early winter; the small flowers they produce are not decorative.

They are used as indoor or greenhouse plants.

Hypoestes phyllostachya needs a light exposure but no direct sun. If there is not enough light, it loses its color. The temperature should not be less than 10 ºC.

The soil can be a normal garden substrate with coarse sand and peat. Transplant every year in spring.

Water frequently with lime-free water so that the substrate is always damp (never overwater). The ambient humidity must be; spray the leaves every 2 days, especially in spring and summer.

Prune in fall or spring to maintain a compact appearance and to eliminate flowers.

Fertilize biweekly during the spring with mineral fertilizer for indoor plants.

They can be attacked by aphids and mites if there is not enough humidity or by fungal diseases if there is excess humidity.

They propagate in summer or spring from cuttings from the tips of the stems (8-10 cm).

Images of the plant Hypoestes phyllostachya or Polka dot plant

Hypoestes phyllostachya
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Hypoestes phyllostachya
 

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