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Polka Dot Plant Propagation – By Seeds, Stem in Water

If you are searching for Polka Dot Plant Propagation so before that let me tell you Polka dot plant is a flowering plant as the name suggests it was grown because of its gorgeous leaves that are unique and colorful. The scientific name of this plant is Hypoestes phyllostachya And it is Particularly from 2 regions Southeast Asia and South Africa. It was also called freckle face and mostly they prefer warmer environments rather than the colder ones. Leaves if you see have dots with another color it can be pink, green or red basically multicolor foliage. Because of its huge popularity, gardeners like me do polka dot plant propagation so that we can multiply it and also share it with the neighbor if they need to grow some of these polkas.

Polka dot Propagation Gardener tips

Polka dot plants are easy to propagate by 2 methods used for many years now. It can be done using cutting or seed and the best time for propagation is summer or spring. In Both the techniques your Polka dot cutting needs proper water and for starting days it needs to be moist in well drained soil , check pot holes also. They need indirect sunlight for some days and no direct light as root germination can only be done if the soil is moist as consistent water retention is needed. But don’t overdo watering or make it moist.

When You Pinch off 2-3 leaves then roots start producing more and in this case they will also increase the rooting. These plants are grown in 66 to 79 degree F temperature and from the starting days medium levels of humidity can work.

polka dot plant propagation
James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to Propagate Polka Dot Plant using Seed

When starting propagating polka dot plant using seeds you need to make sure the growing seed heads dry and then take out the seeds. These seeds can be taken out anytime once they are dried and then you can store and sow only in growing season like spring or summer. For soil , Make a well drained potting mix with the perlite which increases the drainage so your plant doesn’t get rot, it’s good for the younger seeds also.

Polka dot plants can germinate roots in warm temperature but for seeds it needs some moisture and humidity to grow roots. The ideal temperature would be 65-75 degree F for the plant and for seeds it can also germinate in below 55-70 degree F. It takes about 10-15 days to show any growth. To boost the rooting you can use a plastic bag and cover over your plant and make 3-4 holes in it so our polka dot plant can get air. Place the pot in a shade area and don’t put them in direct sunlight. 

Once it starts growing and becomes big then report it outside of the house in a partial sunlight area and make sure your soil is good and fertile.


They are also dramatic why? because if you don’t give them water the next thing you see is plant wilting or looks like dying but it’s the indication that the polka dot plant needs water and when you fulfill their request they are back growing again.

Polka dot Plant propagation in Water

For water propagation, all you need is a bottle with water in it. Polka dot plant propagation is low maintenance and without ever making your hands dirty you will propagate. Use a Sterilized cutting tool and cut a 2-5 inch stem , make sure it is healthy without any disease. These cutting won’t take months or weeks to grow, it will grow roots in some days , only you need to put the stem inside the water bottle. 

Remove any leaf that is on the base of 2 inch (if you take 5 inch stem cutting). Also For backup take 2 cutting not one.  When you cut the bottom leaves you are allowing the nodes to open and develop roots from there. Place it in the window where it will only receive indirect sunlight , soon you may see it started producing leaves and then the stem. Once it has some roots you can place it in the pot. Change water every 3 days so it doesn’t get bacterial infections.

Now you have successfully learned the method , try it.

Polka dot Plant Cutting

You can take polka dot plant cutting anytime of the year and mostly we gardeners prefer spring as this is when plants have both the environment and also germination of many of the plant species happened in this time. These 2 seasons I have told are best and give good results. You can take any stem cutting or any part of the plant but make sure it should be 2-3 inch(5-7 cm) tall stem cutting and remove any leaves from the base. Don’t cut off any leaves from the upper portion of the cutting.

Once you put the stem cutting inside the potting mix, now use any plastic bottle(2 ltr) and cut its bottom part and now you need to cover the plant with this plastic bottle and make some small holes on the bottle to only get plants some air to make humidity. Put them in a shade place and check every 3 days its condition, you may find its leaves start to grow. Once it’s established you can repot it into a larger pot size and place it in partial sun.

Polka dot plant cutting wilting

If polka dot plant soil gets too dry or you may ignore watering then it may result in wilting or dropping of leaves. Also remember not to overwater your plant polka dot want soil to be moist and not soggy, Excessive water leads to another problem like leaves turning yellow. When the next day of watering check if the soil is dry about 2 inch? If it’s dry then pour water else don’t overwater.

Polka dot plant care

Caring is easy and making sure the polka dot plant gets water in time and placing it in a place where it doesn’t get infected by any pest. Avoid any water excessive watering issues, even overfertilizing. Read an detailed article on how to care for polka dot plant.

How to pinch back polka dot plant

Pinching is done using a finger to grab a stem or leaves, in Polka dot plant you can take out any leaves or stem by your hand, use your thumb, index and middle finger to pinch back any overgrown part of the stem or any uneven foliage of polka dot’s. You can also use pruners that may give you help , but mostly we gardeners can also do it with our plant for plants like polka we can easily do by pinching back and using both hand one to grab the other part of the plant so it doesn’t take out the whole plant.

Can you propagate Polka Dot plant in water?

Direct answer would be Yes, Propagating Polka dot plant is easy and doesn’t make your hands dirty. What you need it pair of pruner , small glass and water in it. Cut any stem which is healthy and of 3-5 inch size. Put it inside the glass of water. Wait for some days 8-13 days to germinate it. With Glass you can see its actual growth of rooting. else you won’t see root development in opaque glass or containers.

How long do polka dot plants take to propagate?

Polka dot plant propagation takes at least 10-15 days to show any root growth. Once they are produced lots of roots you can then replant it in a new container with a potting mix , 20% add perlite for drainage. Then place it in partial shade and see it growing and enjoying. It is fast to germinate when it comes to propagation.

Wrap Up

I Hope you get the solution by reading all the problems I provided on “Polka Dot Plant Propagation “, If you want to see other posts please check below.

Amelia Clark

I am Amelia Clark, An experienced gardener with 6 years expertise and this is my blog talk about plants and flowers. See more about me.

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