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HouseplantsConservatory Greenhouse

Hypoestes phyllostachya (v)
  • RHS AGM

polka dot plant

A bushy evergreen sub-shrub to 30cm tall, with thin, ovate dark green leaves heavily spotted with light or deep pink. Small, 2-lipped tubular magenta flowers are borne in terminal spikes. An ideal plant for terrariums or bottle gardens

Other common names
freckle face
measles plant
see morepink dot
flamingo plant
Synonyms
Eranthemum sanguinolentum misapplied
Hypoestes sanguinolenta misapplied
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Pink Variegated
Summer Purple Green Pink Variegated
Autumn Green Pink Variegated
Winter Green Pink Variegated
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1B
Botanical details
Family
Acanthaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Hypoestes are tender evergreen perennials, subshrubs or shrubs, with simple leaves, often attractively coloured or patterned. Plants sometimes produce 2-lipped tubular flowers, but are more often grown for their foliage

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa, Madagascar, SE Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow indoors in loam-based potting compost in bright, filtered light, with moderate to high humidity. Water freely in growth and sparingly in winter. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks in summer. See Hypoestes for further advice. An ideal plant for terrariums and bottle gardens

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings in late spring, or semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
Pruning

No pruning required. Pinch out the growing tips to promote a bushy habit

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews

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