Friday, July 3, 2020

Polka Dot Plant

Hypoestes phyllostachya
A tropical perennial, reaching up to 2.5 x 2.5 feet, that is native to Madagascar that has long been used as a houseplant and has gained popularity as a summer bedding annual. When grown as an annual, it ca sometimes reach 2.5 feet in height in a single summer but more often the stems lean over as the grow, forming a plant closer to 1 foot tall and 3 feet across.
The oval leaves are typically deep green and heavily dotted pink, however there are some cultivars where the dotting is white or red.
It produced small terminal pinkish or lavender spikes during late summer into early autumn when grown outdoors.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 as a perennial, it thrives as an annual anywhere with hot humid summers which includes most of the midwestern and eastern U.S. It prefers partial shade and moist, fertile, light, well drained soil though can tolerate drought. In temperate regions with cooler summers, it tolerates and may even prefer full sun. They are easily propagated from seed in containers 1.5 months before the last spring frosts. Polka Dot Plant can also be brought indoors for the winter.

* photo taken on July 12 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 14 2021 in Columbia, MD

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