How To Propagate and Care for Pink Polka Dot Plant

Aug 7, 2023

Are you looking to add a splash of color and a touch of style to your living space or outdoors? Then, the Pink Polka Dot plant will do the trick. Pink Polka Dot, or Hypoestes phyllostachya, is native to Madagascar, Southeast Asia, and South Africa. The Pink Polka Dot plants will make your home beautiful and uplift your spirits and those of your loved ones and guests. You can create a little heaven down here with this plant’s vibrant pink speckles and unique spotted foliage!

However, Polka Dot plants need a little love and care to give you the best results. In this blog, I will share some Pink Polka Dot plant care tips, including how you can propagate it.

How to Care for Pink Polka Dot Plant

Your Pink Polka Dot plant will need a balance of everything, from watering to temperature to lighting. The good thing is that this plant needs low maintenance, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.


Pink Polka will do well in porous soil rich in organic matter. The standard potting mix is an ideal choice because of its well-draining properties. Add perlite or pumice to your potting soil to prevent water clogging.


Pink Polka Dot plants love bright, indirect light to remain healthy. Indoors, you can place the plant near a window with filtered sunlight. Outdoors, Polka Dot Plant can do well in a shaded area where it can get a little sun, especially in the morning, or where there’s spotty sun.

Finding the right light balance is crucial for Polka Dot plant growth. Too much light can scorch the leaves or cause the pink color to fade. Likewise, too little light can lead to a thin plant with faded pink spots.


The Pink Polka Dot plant loves wet but not soggy soil. The roots of your Pink Polka Dot plant can rot if you overwater, leading to decay and eventually leading to its death. At the same time, if you underwater your Polka Dot plant, you may notice drooping leaves or leaves turning brown. I always ensure my Polka Dot plant’s soil is consistently moist by watering only when the top half-inch of the soil is dry.

Temperature and Humidity

Pink Polka Dot will thrive in warm temperatures between 65oF and 80oF. Avoid exposing this plant to cold drafts or sudden temperature changes since it’s sensitive to chilly conditions. Being native to tropical regions, the Polka Dot plant does well in medium humidity of 50%. I often mist the leaves of this lovely plant or place a humidity tray near it. This helps prevent the leaf edges from browning and maintains the plant’s lush appearance.


Feed your Polka Dot plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer when it’s actively growing (spring, summer, and early fall). I fertilize my Polka Dot plant once every two to four weeks during the season when it’s actively growing. Further, I usually reduce the frequency of fertilization during the colder months when growth slows down.

Pests and Diseases

One worry that plant parents have is that their plants will get infested. The good thing about the Polka Dot plant is that you’ll only deal with the usual pests, such as mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids. Using neem oil or insecticidal soap can get rid of pests.

This plant is susceptible to diseases such as root rot and powdery mildew. Root rot occurs primarily due to overwatering. So, check how you water if you notice any signs of root rot, like wilting or stunted growth.


Pruning is essential for your Polka Dot plant’s overall health and appearance. Here are some reasons to prune your plant:

  • To encourage fuller, bushier growth
  • Removing leggy growth
  • Controlling the size and shape
  • Avoid flowering

How to Prune Your Polka Dot Plant

  • Use clean and sharp scissors, a knife, or pruning shears.
  • Trim the stems just above a leaf node (the point on the stem where a leaf grows). Prune as much or as little as needed to ensure you get your desired shape and size.
  • If your plant is leggy or spindly, prune until you reach your desired size.
  • Remove dead or damaged parts, such as brown or yellow leaves, from the branch or tip of the leaf.

Note: Once your Polka Dot plant flowers, it shortens its lifespan; that’s why it’s good to prune it to extend its life.


You might need to repot your Polka Dot plant as it may outgrow its container. One way to know that it needs repotting is when the roots start to grow out of the container. When repotting, ensure it’s during the season when the plant is actively growing and that you use fresh potting soil mix.

How to Propagate Polka Dot Plant

Polka Dot plant propagation is easy. There are two ways to grow a Polka Dot plant; from cuttings or seed.

Propagate Your Polka Dot Plant From Cuttings

You can propagate the cutting using water or soil. I prefer the former because I can see how my cuttings are rooting without rotting. Knowing whether the roots are sufficient for me to repot is also easier. Plus, it’s fun to watch the roots grow every day. However, it’s good to note that propagating in the soil leads to stronger roots.

Here is a quick guide for propagating your Polka dot plant in soil and water:

In Soil

You’ll need:

  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Healthy parent plant
  • Small pot or seedling tray
  • Clean scissors, knife, or pruning shears
  • Water


  1. Prepare your well-draining potting mix.
  2. Cut a healthy, non-flowering stem with several sets of leaves using a clean scissor or tool of your choice. Ensure that you cut just below the node.
  3. Cut the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving the ones at the top.
  4. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone (optional) to boost root growth. Then, make a small hole (1-2 inches) in the prepared soil and plant the cutting.
  5. Water the soil gently. Ensure you never overwater your Polka Dot plant.
  6. I create humidity when propagating Polka Dot plants by coving the planting pot with a clear plastic bag. However, this is optional. This creates a mini-greenhouse effect that helps maintain high humidity to encourage root development.
  7. Within 2–3 weeks, your Polka Dot plant cutting will start to grow roots. When checking progress, you can tug the cutting to avoid disturbing the rooting process. If you feel some resistance, it means the cutting is doing well.
  8. You can transplant your cutting to a larger pot when it has developed a good root system.

In water

You’ll need:

  • Healthy parent plant
  • Clear glass or container (Clear glass allows you to see the root development progress)
  • Clean scissors, knife, or pruning shears
  • Distilled, filtered, or rainwater (To prevent the buildup of harmful minerals)
  • Well-draining potting mix


  1. Cut a healthy stem with clean scissors or a knife.
  2. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting.
  3. Fill your glass with enough water to submerge the cut end of the stem without touching the leaves. Insert the cutting in the water and ensure you submerge the nodes.
  4. Put your cutting in a warm, bright place without direct sunlight.
  5. Change the water every few days to prevent it from smelling and growth of algae and fungus.
  6. You will see the roots forming from the nodes after a week or two.
  7. Let the roots grow a few inches long, and the rooted cutting will be ready for planting once they are well developed.
  8. When transplanting your plant into the pot with soil, be careful not to damage its delicate roots.
  9. Once potted, keep it in a warm, bright location with indirect light and continue with the Polka Dot plant care tips mentioned earlier.

Not all cuttings may be successful in propagating. That’s why I ensure I propagate multiple cuttings to increase the chances of success.

Propagate Your Polka Dot Plant From Seeds

Some people prefer to propagate seeds. You can get the seeds from an old Polka Dot plant. After the plant blooms, it slowly dies. You can harvest its seeds for propagation or get the seed from a plant supplier.

Here are the steps to propagate your Polka Dot plant from seeds:

  1. Fill your pot or seed starting tray with a seed starting mix. Place the seeds on the soil, and cover them lightly with soil, ensuring not to bury them deep.
  2. Water gently, and be careful not to wash the seeds away.
  3. As mentioned earlier, you can create a humid environment by covering your tray or pot with a clear plastic cover.
  4. Put the seeds in a warm and bright location, away from direct sunlight.
  5. The seeds will take a few days to a week to germinate. Your pink Polka Dot plant will be ready for transplanting once t gets a few sets of true leaves (second set of leaves after initial seed leaves)
  6. Transplant the seedling into a pot with a well-draining potting mix. Be careful not to break them or damage the roots.
  7. Continue the care tips as you would a mature Polka Dot Plant.

Take Away

Propagating and caring for the Pink Polka Dot plant is easy. And with patience and care, you can enjoy watching your Pink Polka plant transform your indoors or garden. We hope our guide is helpful and has answered your questions on how to care for polka dot plants and polka dot plant propagation.