The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Acantaceae.

Common name(s): Polka-dot-plant
Hypoestes Genus of 40 species of woody-based, evergreen perennials, subshrubs, and shrubs from open woodland in South Africa, Madagascar, and S.E. Asia. Hypoestes is grown for its spotted leaves. This plant needs some direct sunshine - in a shady site the foliage will be all-green. Young plants make attractive small bushes - prune regularly to keep them 1-1,5 ft high. The lavender flowers are not attractive - cut stems when flowers appears. Reduce watering until new growth starts to provide rest peroid. Hypoestes
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 55 F in winter.Brightly lit spot. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Reduce watering in winter. Use soft, tepid water. Misting is necessary. Sow seed at 59-64 F (15-18 C) in spring. Root softwood or tip cuttings in late spring, or semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Hypoestes phyllostachys
Sunshrub with ovate, downy, dark green leaves, spotted with pink, 2in (5cm) long. Tiny, magenta or lilac flowers, are not attractive. Hypoestes phyllostachys

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Ontario, Canada
20th Jul 2007
I was surprised when my plant flowered & just as surprised when it seemingly died shortly after. Being lazy, I merely left it in the window & watered it when watering its neighbours. Eventually I cut it back to the soil & was amazed when it came back from the great beyond; it is now a lush new plant!
18th Apr 2012
I just bought 10 potted hypoestes home (each about 4 inches high) and didn't know how to care for them. That is until I paid your website a visit, and read how simple the care is for these plants. I had to surf for the care information because the plant withered away shortly after being watered. The next morning, after some sun, they blossomed. These are terrific and amazing plants and I recommend them to those who are just starting their own garden at home.
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