How to care
for your Hypoestes
Hypoestes are eye-catching, colourful plants with brightly spotted leaves that also go by the names, Polka Dot Plants or Freckle Face Plants. Don’t go calling your friends with freckles a Hypoestes – they probably won’t get the reference. Native to Madagascar, these perennial herbaceous shrubs produce some outstanding foliage – some with dotted greens and a pink base colour, others lavender, purple and scarlet – there’s a huge range and mix that made these houseplants extremely popular in the 80s. Today, these loud-personality plants are making their comeback, thanks to their ‘gram worthy colours and easy care.
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Hypoestes are easy to grow and maintain, making it an excellent and beautiful houseplant choice for beginners.
Hypoestes thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, otherwise its leaves will burn with yellow edges, patches or holes. In low-light conditions, its colours become the most vibrant, but it’ll start to look more leggy and less bushy as it searches for light. You can always prune them to let new growth fill in.
Hypoestes like a moderate amount of moisture in its soil at all times. Avoid letting it dry out completely in between watering. Using your thumb, check to see if the top half-inch of the soil is dry to determine if it needs water.
Hypoestes thrive in high humidity conditions. To raise the humidity, place its pot on a tray of pebbles submerged in water, mist frequently or pair with a humidifier.
Hypoestes thrive in room temperatures of around 18-23°C. Avoid placing near cold drafts of dry sources of heat – abrupt changes in temperature will stress ‘em the eff out.
Generally non-toxic, but pets with sensitive stomachs might experience mild digestion issues if they go to town munching down on Hypoestes’.
Other fun facts:
- The Hypoestes was a plant that was miscategorized for years – now recognised as a member of the Hypoestes group of over 100 plants
- Hypoestes had their heyday in the 80s, are now experiencing their come back. The Valerie Cherish of plants.
- Hypoestes is also sometimes called the Flamingo plant and Measles plant. The former for its big personality, the latter for … it’s … skin-condition-looking foliage?
- The genus gets its name from the Greek word "hypo” meaning under, and "estia” meaning a house for flowers surrounded by leaves.
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