How to Propagate Polka Dot Plant- Everything About It

One day, my friends came to my house and went through my houseplants. They liked them so much, but the polka dot plant was loved the most. They decided to buy it from the market, but I suggested not to buy it, I could help them propagate the polka dot plant.

I explained to them how I had done hard work and research to find the easiest way to propagate the Polka Dot plant. Yes, gardeners, it is possible to propagate the plant yourself. Don’t worry if you are a beginner and don’t know how to do it—I am here to guide you all.

Here, I have explained all the different methods I have implemented to propagate the polka dot plant. So, if you want to be successful in growing the plant, please read the article carefully. If you find any issues, you can ask me in the comment section.

Polka Dot Plant:

Before propagating the polka dot plant you need to know about it. The polka dot plant also known as Hypoestes phyllostachya with unique speckled leaves that add beauty to the household location where you keep it. If you are worried about the maintenance don’t worry they are easy to grow using stem cutting that can be rooted in two ways in soil or water which I have explained in detail below.

They are considered one of the best indoor plants and the best Quality is that you can also plant them in Outdoors in warm and partial shade spots.  Make sure to keep them in the right location because if the temperature is not correct it will result in scorching their leaves so always place them in indirect sunlight or dappled shade.

Growing them inside or out does not matter you can take the cutting of the parent plant and expand The plant collection.

How to Propagate Polka Dot plant- Everything About It
Botanical name: Hypoestes phyllostachya
Common Name: Polka dot plant
Special Features: Striking, freckled leaf patterns
Plant Type: Herbacious, perennial; annual bedding plant
Size: Compact and mounding; 16-22 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide
Light Requirements: Part to full shade
Bloom Time: Late summer; flowers are not showy
Hardiness: Zones 10 to 11

Ways to Propagate a Polka Dot Plant:

If you want to propagate a polka dot plant you can follow propagating either using water or soil. 

In case, you want an easy method then I suggest you propagate in water because it is a go-to method and you can watch the roots growing in the water. If you prefer to propagate in the soil, keep the soil moist and mist it every day so that it does not get soggy.

Propagate a Polka Dot Plant in Water:

The following are the steps for propagating a polka dot plant in the water:

Step:1 The first thing everyone should do is clean the scissors or shears for making the cutting.

Step:2 Make sure to have a healthy-looking leaf that has a couple of nodes on the stem and always make a cut below the node.

Step:3 No, you need to find a container or use a clear glass which will make it possible to watch the roots growing out of the cutting.

Step:4 The glass should be filled with clean water and keep at least one node under the water.

Step:5 You can keep the cutting in an area where the polka dot plant gets bright and indirect light.

Step:6 Need to change the water every week in case, you see any growth of algae in the water.

Step:7 After a couple of weeks you will notice the root growth but don’t get excited, wait until the root grows a couple of inches so that you can repot the cutting in the soil.

Step:8 After growing up the Roots you can repot the cutting into the soil and keep the soil moist so that the plant gets time to adjust without water.

Step:9 You need to mist the plant every other day, to protect the cutting from the shock of transplanting. 

Propagate a Polka Dot Plant in the Soil:

The following are the steps for propagating a polka dot plant in the soil:

  • Whether you are choosing to propagate the plant in water or soil, the first thing everyone needs to follow is to clean the scissors or shears for making the cutting.
  • Make sure always to have a healthy-looking leaf and a couple of nodes on the stem and always make a cut below the node,
  • After this, you need to find a pot and fill it with the well-draining potting mix.
  • To promote growth you can use the rooting hormone that will increase the chance of Cutting rooting.
  • Now is the time to make a hole in the potting soil for that you can use a pencil or a stick and keep the cutting inside the hole. 
  • After placing the cutting you need to moisten the soil and maintain the moisture over the next few weeks the cutting starts to develop roots.
  • You will notice in a couple of weeks you need to give the cutting a slight tug which will feel like something has caught it which means the roots are successfully grown in the soil.

When to Propagate:

The polka dot plant is used to root quickly and best during the active growing season which is the earliest spring when the temperature has risen. Propagating will boost the growth of the cutting and help to promote the root growth for the warmer season.

The best time for is considered for propagating the plant is during the spring and summer seasons but it does not mean that propagation is not possible in the cooler months, all you need to look closely at the Cutting of the plant and make sure they don’t have any rot before the development of roots for that you need to keep the plant in a bright and warm spot or you can also use a heating map that will help to boost the root growth during the cold in fall and winter season

What You’ll Need:

There is no need for a specialized tool or product to propagate the plant. Here are some basic tools that you need:

  • Always use a sharp pair of pruning shears for cutting the stem.
  • There is the requirement of Caesar or a sharp knife but make sure they are clean because using the dirty tools, especially those tools used on the diseased plant will transfer the disease to the new cutting.
  • Make sure the shears that you are using are sharp before being used.
  • The Cutting will start developing roots around the base of the cutting and we’ll have to struggle to grow if the stem is damaged and will prevent moisture absorption.
  • If they are damaged cut it will have an impact on the parent plant such as slowing the healing time and will make the plant more prone to pest and disease damage.
  • However, all your preparation also depends on how you propagate the plant, such as rooting in soil or water.
  • If you prefer to root in water you can monitor the root growth but rooting in soil tends to produce a stronger root system which has a high success rate for the polka dot plant. However, you can decide which method to select depending on your preference.
  • If you are propagating in water use a narrow glass or a glass propagation station in case it is a wider glass you need to cut the cutting longer.
  • Use a plastic wrap to anchor it in the water without submerging the leaf.
  • If you are propagating in soil use a light and well-draining propagating mix consisting of equal parts of coconut coir and perlite.
  • Place the mix in a small container or a large one in case of multiple root cutting.
  • Make sure the container consists of a drainage hole which will prevent from the condition of root rotting. 

How to Care for a Polka Dot Plant

Watering and Fertilizing Hypoestes:

  • The polka dot plant is not under the category of drought tolerant so you need to provide water or set irrigation if the rainfall or hand water is not provided to the plant regularly.
  • Make sure the slide should only become slightly dry between watering which can checked by using your finger to gauge soil moisture.
  • Make sure the plant is kept in a location of part to full shade and avoid keeping them in the afternoon sun so that the plant doesn’t get thirsty and wilt.
  • To encourage more growth of the plant you can use all-purpose organic fertilizer which can be liquid or granular according to the instructions mentioned on the package.
  • If you are keeping the plant indoors make sure to use an indoor-specific organic fertilizer.

Pinching and Pruning:

  • The best thing about polka dot plants is their Lush mounding form that is used to fill the space with patterned leaves.
  • In case you are having difficulty with their growth you can pinch the young plant which will encourage the low and Lush foliar growth and branching.
  • To pinch off the tip of the stem, you can use your fingertips or a pair of snips.
  • You can continue pruning the growing stems unless they get lengthy.
  • Actually from each pinched point, two stems are used to grow making the plant sturdier and fuller.
  • When the stem gets elongated they form buds which are sturdier and make an excellent cut foliage stem for small flower arrangements.

Pests and Disease:

The polka dot plant doesn’t get prone to pests or diseases but you need to take care of the plant from powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, white flies, and mealybugs. 

  • Make sure to take regular care and maintenance of the plant that will result in a healthy and disease-free plant that allows well-draining soil and proper airflow that will avoid the condition of mildew and rot.
  • Prune plants to maintain the overgrowth and give them room to breathe.
  • In case of finding any damaging insect always remove it by hand or apply Safer Soap or neem oil which is helpful to defend against the aforementioned fungal issues. 
  • After doing all of this still the problem of airflow and drainage does not get solved remove the affected foliage so that it doesn’t get spread all over the plant.

Keeping Polka Dot Plant Indoors:

Polka dot plants are considered excellent house plants that can grow for a year or just over the winter. The best way is to keep the plant indoors because they are pet-friendly plants that are free of toxins.

You need to select the plant according to your choice of size such as the plants which are more mature grow them in a ceramic container and which are tiny plants that are good for terrarium and fairy garden.

  • If you want to keep the plant indoors first of all you need to select a location where the plant receives medium bright indirect light but in case the location is very bright you can display Hypoestes phyllostachya in the center of the room rather than keeping them in the window because the direct sun can damage the foliage of the plant.
  • Make sure to water the plants well but don’t overwater them let the soil dry only slightly between watering.
  • You can set a tray of moist Pebbles to maintain the humidity of the plant under the pot which will make the tropical thrive or you can also place the plant in the bathroom.
  • You need to fertilize the plant during the active growing season such as April to September and try to use an organic indoor fertilizer such as Espoma.

Final Thoughts:

So after reading each step that you need for propagating the polka dot plant successfully the next step is to start the propagation.  If you don’t have the plant in your home you can buy it from a local Nursery store and start propagating the plant to create multiple plants out of it.

 I am sure after following the article your place will be filled with new plants.

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including: Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at, where gardening dreams bloom!

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