Greetings to our fellow gardeners. We hope that you are having a pleasant day. What’s that? You want to learn about how to propagate your polka dot plant? Well, aren’t you lucky.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about how, when, and how to propagate a polka dot plant.
On top of that, we have covered plenty of information you will need to know about caring for these delightful flashy shrubs.
So, without further ado, let us begin.
What Is A Polka Dot Plant?
The polka dot plant is a member of the hypoestes species and originally hails from Madagascar, East Africa, and South Africa.
They are now very common houseplants, this is largely due to their gorgeous colorful foliage and the striking freckled patterns adorning their leaves.
Polka dot plants are herbaceous perennial shrubs.
As they grow older their stems get more woody and can get up to three feet all depending on the space they have to grow.
When Should You Propagate A Polka Dot Plant?
It is best to propagate these plants between the summer and spring months, but you can take cuttings from the polka dot plant at any point in the year.
The reason you should propagate in the summer or spring is because at this time of year you will likely get better results due to the fact that this is when polka dot plants actively enter their growing phase.
How To Propagate Polka Dot Plants
Okay, it is finally time to get down to the nitty-gritty. How exactly do you propagate a polka dot plant? In this section, we are going to explore two of the main methods you can use. The soil method and the water method.
So, without further ado, let us get started.
The Water Method
Water propagation works by placing your cutting in water to allow the cutting to grow roots before you plant the cutting in the soil.
This method is usually successful and often works better than soil propagation. But that is not always the case.
With that in mind, let us start by looking at what you are going to need for water propagation.
What Do You Need?
- Cutting Implement – You will need a sharp pair of scissors, gardening clippers or even a knife so that you can take a cutting from your mother plant. The cutting implement should be sharp and sterile so that there is less risk of disease getting to your mother plant.
- Cutting – You will need a cutting from the mother plant that is about two inches long. The cutting will need at least two leaves at the top and a few nodes where the roots can sprout from.
- Glass Container – You will need a glass container to hold your cuttings in while you wait for roots to sprout.
- Water – You will need distilled or filtered water to put in your container. Filtered or distilled water will have fewer chemicals that could negatively impact your cuttings.
- Plant Pot – You will need appropriately sized plant pots for your cuttings once they are big enough to be transplanted.
- Soil – You will need organically rich soil with good drainage for your polka dot plant once they are big enough to transplant.
Step 1 – The first thing you are going to need to do is to harvest a stem cutting from your mother plant.
You can take this cutting from anywhere on the plant as long as there are two healthy leaves attached to the two-inch sprig and there must be a few modes where the roots can form.
If your mother plant is large and healthy enough it might be worth taking several cuttings as the more you have, the more likely you will be to have success.
Step 2 – After you have your cuttings you will need bottles or jars with water in them. Place your cuttings in the container and make sure that there is enough water inside to cover one of the nodes on your cutting.
Step 3 – Once you have your cuttings in water, your next step is to move the containers to a spot where the cuttings can get plenty of bright yet indirect sunlight.
If your polka dot plant gets too much direct sunlight it can cause algae growth to occur. This growth is not harmful to the plant, but it does not look particularly nice.
Step 4 – Now all you have to do is change the water once a week so that your cutting can get all the nutrients it requires from the water.
After about one week you should start to see roots start to sprout from your cutting. This is because the polka dot plant is quite an aggressive grower.
Step 5 – Once your polka dot plant cuttings have roots that are well-developed you can go ahead and plant them in an appropriately sized plant pot filled with organically rich soil with good drainage.
Make sure to give them a little water and start caring for your new baby polka dot plant.
The Soil Method
Soil propagation is the process by which a cutting is placed directly in the soil and a new plant eventually grows. It is a super easy method and yields great results most of the time. But…what do you need to get started? Let’s take a look!
What Do You Need?
- Cutting Implement
- Polka Dot Plant Cutting – You will need to take a cutting from a mother plant, whether you get your cutting from your friend’s plant or your own, make sure that you get one that is at least two inches with several leaves at the top and some nodes where the roots can form.
- Plant Pot – You will need a few small nursery pots for your cuttings and later on when the cuttings are big enough you will need pots that are more appropriately sized.
- Soil – You will need a coarse soil for these plants, some recommend that you use a cactus mix that will work well for polka dot plants. Just make sure that the soil is well-draining so that the water does not get trapped and cause root rot to occur.
- Rooting Hormone – Rooting hormone is not necessary but if you have some handy it is recommended to use on your plant as it helps your cuttings to be able to form roots more efficiently and quickly.
Step 1 – Assuming you have a mother plant, the first thing you need to do is get a clipping. Better yet, if you can get a few clippings you will have more chance of success.
When you harvest your cutting, much like the water method, make sure that you have a two-inch stem with at least two leaves attached and a few nodes on the stem.
Step 2 – Now you need to prepare your pots, fill them with a well-draining soil and make sure that the soil is moist before you put your cutting into the soil.
Step 3 – With your prepared pots, you can now poke your cuttings into the soil. Make sure that you have them securely in place in the soil. Press down lightly to compact the dirt around the cutting.
Step 4 – Now all you need to do is place the pots on a nice warm windowsill with plenty of indirect sunlight. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy and after a few weeks, you should have root development.
Step 5 – After a few weeks, your cuttings should have developed roots, you are not free to transplant your baby polka dot plant into a more appropriately sized pot. Make sure to give them enough water and all the sunlight they need.
How To Care For Polka Dot Plants
Now that you know how to propagate your polka dot plant, you might want to know how to care for them. Below we have listed a few things you should keep in mind when caring for one of these flashing plants:
Polka dot plants like to be watered at least twice a week and misted at least three times a week. These plants prefer to have their soil consistently moist.
Just make sure that it does not get soggy, otherwise, you run the risk of root rot sets in. If you allow this plant to dry out you may notice that it quickly starts to wilt.
These plants like indirect light, if you give these plants too little or too much sunlight you will notice that the vibrant color starts to fade.
This is why you should make sure that your polka dot plant gets plenty of indirect sunlight. but not direct sun.
These plants like soil that is rich and well-draining. Some people suggest cactus potting mix, but even an all-purpose organic soil mix will be suitable for a polka dot plant.
Perlite and pumice will help to improve the drainage of your soil.
These plants enjoy warm temperatures, around seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for a polka dot plant. Ideally, these plants like it warm and humid.
So if you have a nice spot that gets enough indirect sunlight, and you keep your polka dot plants warm and moist you are sure to have a happy polka dot plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is finally time to have your most burning questions, concerning polka dot plants, answered. So, let us get right to it!
How Long Do Polka Dot Plants Take To Propagate?
Polka dot plant propagation will take about two weeks if they are taken care of properly and have ideal conditions.
The ideal conditions would be a nice warm spot with lots of indirect sunlight on top of that you will need to make sure that your plant stays warm and moist to ensure that they propagate.
One thing you could do to help with this is to use a plastic wrap on your propagated cutting to help the plant retain moisture and to keep it pleasantly warm.
How Do You Keep A Polka Dot Plant Pink?
You can keep your polka dot plant pink by making sure that it gets enough indirect light. If you do this your plant will stay a wonderfully vibrant pink.
In addition to that, the sunlight will help reduce the likelihood of the plant becoming too lanky.
Do Polka Dot Plants Like To Be Misted?
Polka dot plants like soil that is constantly moist but do not like to be set in soggy, waterlogged soil. So, humid conditions are ideal for this plant.
Because of this, polka dot plants do like to be misted every so often. It helps to keep the soil nice and moist without drowning your poor plant.
Why Do Polka Dot Plants Flower?
Polka dot plants will flower when they start to reach the end of their life. This is common for hypoeste plants.
So, when you notice flowers on your polka dot plant, it can mean one of two things. Either your plant is going to die soon or they are entering a dormant phase of their lives.
Are Polka Dot Plants Succulents?
No, these plants are from Madagascar and are herbaceous perennial shrubs.
As they get older these plants tend to develop quite woody stems, in addition to that the polka dot plant can grow up to three feet tall depending on where they are planted and how much room they have.
Polka dot plants are a striking and beautiful herbaceous plant that would certainly make an eye-catching addition to your garden.
So, why wouldn’t you want to propagate these brightly colored plants? They are super easy to propagate, so even a novice gardener will be successful in propagating these delightful plants.
Well, that is all for this article. We hope that you have a fantastic day and we encourage you to get out there and propagate some polka dot plants. It really is so easy. So, what’s holding you back?