How Long Do Polka Dot Plants Live - How to Extend Their Life

Written by Ivy

Jan 31 2023

How Long Do Polka Dot Plants Live - How to Extend Their Life

The lifespan of polka-dot plants is how long? The polka dot plant typically completes its life cycle in a year. By pinching off the flowers as soon as they appear, you can, if it is grown indoors, lengthen its lifespan. A great way to make sure you never run out of polka dot plants indoors is to propagate new plants using stem cuttings.

The polka dot plant is simple to propagate despite having a short lifespan. You'll learn how to prolong the life of your plant using a few straightforward tips in the sections that follow.

Polka Dot Plant Lifespan


The oval leaves of the polka dot plant are variegated and covered in spots of various colors, which can range from pink, white, and red to beige and purple. In comparison to the foliage, its tiny, purple flowers are tiny. (Read More: Do Polka Dot Plant Flowers Bloom)

The polka dot plant typically has a life span of one year and dies after it has flowered. This plant, however, can exhibit annual or perennial tendencies depending on the growing climate.

For instance, it exhibits annual characteristics when grown outdoors in USDA Zones 3–10, dying off at the end of its life cycle. However, if grown indoors, it can survive as a perennial.

The natural life cycle process of flowering in plants frequently results in death. The lifespan of the polka dot plant can be increased if these flowers are removed.

By pruning, the nutrients are directed toward the foliage rather than the flowers.

Polka Dot Plant Life Cycle

Small seeds that emerge in the early spring or cuttings taken from mature plants are how Polka Dot Plants are born.

If given the proper care, they develop quickly into the adorable, speckled joys we know and love.

The Polka Dot Plant takes advantage of the longer days and more sunlight as summer approaches. (Read More: How Much Light Does a Polka Dot Plant Need)

Their rapid growth frequently results in the emergence of spindly flower spikes strewn with tiny purple or blue flowers.

These seeds eventually wither and release tiny seeds. The seeds begin to disperse as the cool autumn days approach.

As the next generation of Polka Dot Plants is safe, the parent plant stops growing.

Indoor plants find it challenging to tolerate when it goes dormant. They deteriorate and eventually disappear.

What Factors Trigger Polka Dot Plant Death?


Most frequently, a flower spike will kill a Polka Dot Plant.

If left to mature, the plant will put all of its energy into developing its flowers into seeds.

The leaves of the Polka Dot Plant become few and far between, and their form becomes leggy. When the seeds are finished, the plant will be content with its labor and pass away.

Cold Weather

Like flowering, cold weather alerts the Polka Dot Plant that its life cycle is coming to an end.

Given that these tropical Madagascar-born dappled darlings are from, it doesn't take much to send them to their grave.

The plant receives a signal when the temperature falls below 60°F for an extended period of time, indicating that winter has arrived and its work is finished.

That might not be cold by human standards, but to a tropical plant, it is almost like the Arctic. Polka Dot will consequently become aware of this and disappear.

Poor Care

Polka Dot Plants die like all other houseplants if they are neglected or treated poorly. Isn't it surprising?

Yellow leaves, wilting, pest activity, and rotten-smelling soil are additional indicators of a problem.

Keep an eye out for those if you're having problems, as many things can kill a Polka Dot plant before its time.

How Long Can a Polka Dot Plant Live Indoors?

A Polka Dot Plant can live for up to two years indoors.

The demanding nature of flowering and seed production, however, can put even the healthiest indoor specimen under stress, causing them to grow leggy and sprawling as they mature.

For an outdoor plant in a garden bed, especially if they have been mass-planted, this is hardly noticeable.

Each new generation of seeds sprouts in the spring, filling in the voids with fresh growth. The bed as a whole will endure even if specific plants come and go.

A plant's fragility can be seen by a single Polka Dot, though. They become weaker as a result and are more susceptible to pests and disease.

Therefore, it is best to respect the natural rhythms of these charmers and release them when the time is right.


Tips for Extending the Life of Your Polka Dot Plant

Remove Flowers

Polka Dot Plant flowers are the first sign of the plant's demise. If they develop into seed heads, the plant will stop expanding. When the seeds of a plant mature, the parent plant will perish.

If the flowers are removed as soon as they appear, a death spiral can be avoided. It will keep growing even without any seeds to reproduce on.

Provide Ideal Growing Conditions

Warm weather, moderate humidity, and filtered light are ideal for Polka Dot Plants. Maintain a temperature range of 65°–80°F (18°–26°C) and a humidity level of at least 50%.

If these needs are not met, they are not afraid to express their displeasure. The leaves can become aggressive in their pursuit of light if the environment is too dry, which causes them to crisp up quickly.

Pruning and Pinching Regularly

Watch for legginess and be ready to stop excessive growth if it materializes. Limiting tall growth will lessen the likelihood of flowers.

If you grow Polka Dot Plants, you should know what causes legginess and how to treat it.

They will also sprout if the light is too low, the temperature is too high, or if they have received too much or too little fertilizer, in addition to the seasonal flower spikes.

To stop any excessive growth is the quickest fix. as soon as you see flowers, pinch them.

Remove any stems that seem to be ascending to the heavens. Additionally, simply cut off any excessively spindly branches if they exist.

It will prevent the plant from flowering and make it concentrate all of its energy on its leaves.

Fertilize Routinely

Frequent fertilization is necessary for polka dot plants. The plant will struggle to maintain its foliage as each new leaf and stem draws nutrients from the soil.

I would advise adding a half-dose of a high-quality balanced fertilizer to the watering can once every two weeks for these small but enchanting plants. It will get the kind, constant support it needs from this.

Reduce fertilizer application as the weather cools until early fall. They won't need as much during the cooler months.

Treat Pest & Disease Issues Immediately

Aim to spot insects, curled leaves, and unusual leaf coloring. The Polka Dot Plant has a short lifespan, so two months is a sizable portion of its existence.

If disease and pests are not treated, a plant has a lower chance of surviving for a second year.


Your Polka Dot Plant will live forever with the aid of propagation. Cuttings continue to grow even after the parent plant has died.

Cuttings can be directly rooted in water and planted in the ground if kept warm. They're hardy plants. (Read More: How to Water Polka Dot Plant)

A stem that is at least three inches long should be cut off and placed in a fresh water container to create more plants.

The plant can be moved to the soil and a new plant with a new life can be started once the roots are two inches long.

Bring Polka Dot Plant Indoors before First Frost

Polka Dot Plants die when the temperature drops in the fall and winter. They can, however, stop growing if they are allowed to flower.

Bring your Polka Dot Plant inside as it gets cooler outside. This will deceive the plant into believing that autumn never ends, preventing it from dying entirely.

Instead, it will wait for winter even if it doesn't arrive, and you can trick it into living another year.

What is the Lowest Temp a Polka Dot Plant Can Tolerate?

Madagascar-born and unloves cold weather is the Polka Dot Plant. Unluckily, the cold will also cause its death and cause it to enter its final stages.

The Polka Dot Plant may perish if it is below 65°F (18°C) in temperature. They will determine that it is winter and slow their growth.

Do Polka Dot Plants Go Dormant?

Growing Polka Dot Plants in US Hardiness Zones 10 or 11 ensures their longevity for years, as they dormant during the winter and active during the spring.

A Polka Dot will slow down and hibernate when inside. However, they might never come out of their dormancy in the absence of light and warmth.

They'll produce a few flimsy leaves in the spring. They might disappear after that.


Do Polka Dot Plants Come Back Every Year?

Outside, in a garden bed, a Polka Dot Plant can resurrect. It possesses the full force of the sun as well as the riches of soils that are constantly being improved.

Although there are resources to aid in their recovery, bedded plants frequently perish each winter.

Despite the fact that we give our Polka Dot Plants excellent care, they are less resourceful than outside plants.

They therefore have a much lower chance of surviving after their winter hibernation.

If you give your Polka Dot Plant the best care, it might come back for a second year.

Be not alarmed if you lose a Polka Dot Plant that is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Even though it's heartbreaking, it all contributes to the beauty of nature, and no matter how hard we try, Mother Nature always has the final say.

How Do I Keep My Polka Dot Plant Bushy?

Regularly pinch or snip the top leaves of each stem off with your fingers or a pair of scissors. This will promote lateral, bushy growth as opposed to leggy growth. (Read More: How to Fix a Leggy Polka Dot Plant)

Should I Prune My Polka Dot Plant?

Leggy stems will be cut down and healthy, vigorous growth will be promoted with routine pruning. The development of flowers that appear when a plant is nearing the end of its life cycle will also be slowed by pruning.

Your polka dot plant's lifespan can be increased by cutting the flowers off as soon as they appear.
Read More: Are Polka Dot Plants Toxic to Cats


The polka dot plant usually completes its life cycle in a year. If grown indoors, you can increase its lifespan by pinching off the blossoms as they appear.

The polka dot plant's eye-catching foliage is ideal for outdoor gardens as filler or ground cover, and indoors, it adds a stunning pop of color to spaces in need of a lively focal point.

The polka dot plant might have a relatively brief lifespan, but you can lengthen it by carefully implementing the advice we've compiled.