If you want the brightest, most lush garden space, this post is for you! The polka dot plant is an easy-to-care-for, stunningly beautiful indoor or outdoor plant. Propagating the polka dot plant is as simple as caring for it.
If you’re looking into having more plants for only the cost of your time, you must look into this propagating process! You can propagate the polka dot plant in two ways: by placing cuttings in water or soil. Keep reading to see which method is perfect for you.
Propagating A Polka Dot Plant: Why And When
Most choose to propagate any indoor or outdoor plant because you don’t need to buy another plant. Propagating plants you already have saves you a lot of money, especially if you want to have many plants in a single space.
Why propagate the polka dot plat? For one, it’s a great practice if you want to keep your plant nice and bushy. After some time, the plant becomes leggy and will lose its once busy lush appearance.
Propagating and clipping back some leaves prompts the plant to spring into action and cause new growth.
Another reason to propagate the polka dot plant is to give it as gifts. Everyone can benefit from a bit of color in their homes. House plants look pretty and significantly improve your home’s air quality.
Some may be nervous about receiving such a gift, especially if they weren’t graced with a green thumb, but not to worry, a quick refresher on how easy these plants are to care for will ease anyone’s nerves.
Where To Cut: Determining Leaf Nodes
Leaf nodes are the areas where a leaf or stem has once budded. They will appear as a small swelling or bump on a healthy plant stem. It may have a brownish or darker tint at the base and have a different texture than the rest of the stem.
When looking into propagating a polka dot plant, you’ll need to include at least two leaf nodes to increase the chances of propagation. The leaf nodes are where the new roots will branch out of, so this is very important to include multiple nodes in your cuttings.
Propagating Polka Dot Plants In Soil
Choose your polka dot plant cutting by picking a stem with at least two leaf nodes and a few healthy leaves at the top. Cut below a leaf node in one swift motion with a pair of cleaned pruning shears or sharp scissors.
Rub the cutting into a bit of rooting hormone for a better chance of propagation, then place the cutting into a nursery pot with fresh potting mix. Make sure the soil is not packed but loosely placed into the pot.
Once the cutting has been placed into the soil, moisten the soil gently with water.
In three to four weeks, give the plant a slight tug. At this point, if you feel the plant catch on something, success! You have correctly propagated a polka dot plant. If the plant comes up with a slight tug or has died, do not worry; you can always try again.
Sometimes propagation will not work, and other times it will. To increase your odds, try your hand at propagating a few cuttings at a time, worst-case scenario, you will have more plants to fill your home or gift to friends and family.
Propagating Polka Dot Plants In Water
- Sharp Plant Pruning Shears or Scissors
- Propagation Vase or Glass
- Rooting Hormone
Like the soil propagation, you’ll need to ensure the stem you choose has multiple leaf nodes and a few healthy and hearty leaves on top for a better chance at the propagation taking.
Use a clean pair of pruning shears or scissors to make the cut below one of the few leaf nodes. Once cut, you can dip the end into rooting hormones for an extra boost, but this is an optional step when placing cuttings into the water.
Place the cutting into your propagation vase or a glass of your choice, and make sure that the leaf nodes are fully submerged in the water.
You should change the water once weekly or when you notice the water having a cloudy appearance.
Within a week or two, you should notice some root growth, but it’s best to wait until the roots are around two inches long before planting into potting soil.
Plant Care After Propagation
As mentioned, polka dot plants are easy to care for and don’t require much fuss. These plants are great annuals that add stunning color to container planting and garden beds, or you can bring them indoors for fabulous house plants.
Regardless of your choice, you’ll need to know the proper care for your newly propagated polka dot plant.
The polka dot plant isn’t picky when it comes to soil types. Your run-of-the-mill potting soil will do the trick, but if you want to get fancy, you can choose a cactus mix. If you choose a cactus mix, add a bit of perlite to ensure the soil retains some moisture.
Polka dot plants are tropical plants, so they prefer moist soil. Never let the soil completely dry out, as this can put added stress on the plant.
Polka dot plants are susceptible to root rot, so never water the plants so much that the soil remains soggy. Once a week watering during warmer summer temperatures and even less in cooler temperatures will be just right.
Fertilizing your propagated polka dot plant gives them the added boost they need, especially when speaking of indoor plants since the nutrients in potting soil deplete after some time.
During spring and summer, when the plant is showing new growth, fertilize once a month. But it’s good to dilute the fertilizer or feed the plant every other month during cooler months.
When looking for a space for your newly propagated polka dot plant, these beauties prefer a filtered light if placed outdoors and bright light when placed indoors.
When placed indoors, these plants prefer a sunny spot on the window sill that will eventually get relief in the late afternoon. Unlike other house plants, the polka dot plant can handle some sun on its foliage as long as they also get a bit of indirect light.
Because polka dot plants are tropical, they like a warm atmosphere. They will do best in areas of the home that are warmer, between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Polka dot plants do not do well in drafty or cool areas, so the drafty apartment hallway is not the place for this type of houseplant.
Even though these are considered tropical plants, you don’t need to be too fussy with humidity. Typically, they prefer around 50% humidity, but they can thrive if it’s a bit above or below.
Polka dot plants would do great in a bathroom window but can live anywhere as long as they are adequately fed and watered.
Frequently Asked Questions: Propagating Polka Dot Plants
What is faster, water or soil propagation?
Technically water propagation is quicker. Just because it is faster doesn’t make it better. You may see roots show quicker, but you still need to wait for them to be at least two inches before transplanting them into the soil.
Once you do, you must watch the plant carefully as the stress of the move may kill the plant. Growing in soil reduces this shock risk, but roots will take longer to develop.
Can you propagate polka dot plants in the winter?
While you can propagate polka dot plants in winter, it’s not necessarily recommended. This is not a natural growing time for the plant, so the chances of propagation failing are higher.
It is best to propagate polka dot plants during their peak growing time during late spring and early summer.
Are polka dot plants safe for a home with pets?
Polka dot plants are non-toxic to all pets and humans, so they are safe if you have a curious furry friend running around your home.
Concluding Polka Dot Plant Propagation
Polka dot plants are stunning tropical foliage that looks great indoors and out. These fuss-free plants add a pop of color to containers or bathroom window sills without needing constant looking after them.
Propagating polka dot plants is simple with a few tools and the proper steps. Before you know it, you’ll live in a tropical polka dot plant paradise.
If you’re looking to up your chances with your polka dot propagation, check out these mini indoor greenhouses that speed up the process!