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Hypoestes phyllostachya (v)
  • RHS AGM

polka dot plant

H. phyllostachya is 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

Other common names
freckle face
measles plant
see morepink dot
flamingo plant [3]
Synonyms
Eranthemum sanguinolentum misapplied
Hypoestes sanguinolenta misapplied
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 can be evergreen perennials, subshrubs or shrubs, with simple leaves, often attractively coloured or patterned, and 2-lipped tubular flowers in terminal or lateral racemes or solitary

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa, Madagascar, SE Asia

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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

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

Pinch out the growing tips to promote a bushy habit

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Powdery mildews can occur

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