Posted by Hannah Brand on Jun 10th 2024

Weekly Plant Chat: Hypoestes

Hey Plant Friends!

This week we are talking about Hypoestes phyllostachya, commonly known as polka dot plant. This plant is known for its colorful foliage with adorable polka dots. Hypoestes are available in red, pink, and white - a great option if you are looking to add a splash of color to your home or an outdoor shade container! Hypoestes are a easy to care for plant that work great in terrariums or if you are just starting out with indoor plants.

Family of Origin

Hypoestes belong to the Acanthaceae (Acanthus) plant family along with Fittonia and Aphelandra and are native to Madagascar; other species in the genus come from South Africa and Southeast Asia.

Plant Care


Hypoestes thrive in bright, indirect light. Bright light will promote bright leaf coloration and maintain compact growth. Place your plant in a sunny window indoors. Plant in shade containers with ferns and begonias to enjoy in the summer.


When it's time to repot, we recommend using an all-purpose potting soil with good moisture retention. We love Espoma's Organic Potting Mix. Enhance your mix with added vermiculite and worm castings.


Hypoestes like to stay evenly moist making them a great choice for terrariums. Check weekly for watering and give a good soak when the first inch of soil is dry to the touch. Never let this plant dry all the way down. Never allow it to sit in standing water as this can lead to root rot.


Fertilize in the spring and with active growth with an all-purpose fertilizer. We recommend Schultz All-Purpose Liquid Plant Food. Cut fertilizer routine in half in the fall and winter.

Hot Tips

Keep an eye out for common pests such as mealy bugs and spider mites. Check for pests weekly while watering and keep a bottle of Bonide’s Insecticidal Soap on hand for easy treatment.

Hypoestes tend to get leggy, especially when flowering. Pinch and cut back to keep desired shape.

Hypoestes are pet safe plants and non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Shop Now!

Hypoestes are available in 2”, 4”, and 6” pots in the greenhouse.

Always approachable and happy to help!