How to Water Polka Dot Plant (Frequency, Amount, Ways & Solution)

Written by LisaSmith

Dec 11 2021

How to Water Polka Dot Plant (Frequency, Amount, Ways & Solution)
Polka Dot Plants (Hypoestes Phyllostachys) are native to Madagascar and indigenous to Nigeria, which are temperate countries with warm and moist climates. Thus, Polka Dot Plant thrives well in moist well-drained soil but not soggy soil. Like most houseplants, underwatering is better than overwatering because it is a plant prone to root rot. As we all know, root rot is often the most serious problem of plant health. However, if your Polka Dot Plants don’t get adequate water, they will also tend to droop, wilt or even leggy growth. Don’t let the soil dry out completely between waterings. 

Mastering the correct watering method is one of the keys to growing attractive Polka Dot Plants with variegated oval leaves. Keep reading on how to water Polka Dot Plant.

When to Water Polka Dot Plant

Besides using your “instinct” to water the plant, there are many signs or ways telling you that it’s time to water Polka Dot Plant or not. For a busy plant lover, these are surely perfect solutions since you possibly have forgotten when you watered your plant last time.

Touch Soil

Moist soil tends to be darker in color than dry soil and so simply by looking you can get an idea of whether the soil is wet or not. However, the soil on the surface may dry quickly but lower down it could still be moisture. At this time, stick your finger into the soil about 2 inches (5 cm or the second knuckle) to feel if the soil is still damp. Water when the first half-inch of soil turns a little dry. Instead of a finger, a light-colored stick is also useful if it is wet after being inserted into the soil. 

Weight of the Pot

Moist soil is surely heavier than dry soil. First, we can water the whole Polka Dot plant thoroughly. Get a general idea of the weight of the plant after it has been watered. If the surface of the basin is found to be dry. Then you weigh the pot. If it's much lighter, there's basically no water left in the basin. Just water the polka dot plant thoroughly.

Wilting or Drooping Leaves

If observing the potting soil is not a good indicator of whether water is needed, you can also look at the condition of the Polka Dot plants. If the plant leaves appear wilting, drooping with no luster, then it is an obvious signal of water shortage. It is better not to wait until this stage, because it may cause damage to the roots of the Polka Dot plant

Leggy Growth

If you’re inconsistent with watering and the soil mix of the Polka Dot Plant often dries out between watering days, it will cause leggy growth. Because lack of watering will also affect their photosynthesis, it prevents the plant from growing a strong stem and leafing out well. Read More: How to Fix a Leggy Polka Dot Plant
Polka Dot Plant

How Often & How Much to Water Polka Dot Plant

The most golden rule of watering polka dot plants is to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. That means you will need to water the plant often unless you are growing it in a terrarium. As I mentioned before, observe your plant before you decide to water the Polka Dot Plant. The frequency of watering will greatly depend on the soil mix as well as the environment's humidity. The following tips of how much and how often to water polka dot plant is only suitable for the most common situation.

Polka Dot Plant Watering in Spring

Polka Dot plants like a moderate amount of moisture in the soil at all times. In spring, in order to encourage plant growth, a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer is typically applied once a month. So the watering should be controlled to avoid root rot. Let the top ¼- ½ inch of soil be fairly dry between waterings. Check the soil moisture every 2-3 days.

Polka Dot Plant Watering in Summer

In summer, Polka Dot Plants will experience a fast-growing season. Hot weather in summer means you need to water the plants more frequently to ensure the soil is consistently moist. At this time, water will evaporate very quickly. So when the top ¼ inch of soil has dried out, it’s time to water your Polka dot plant again. Usually, you need to check the soil moisture every day.

Polka Dot Plant Watering during Flowering

While a Polka Dot Plant infrequently blooms when grown indoors, it produces small purple attractive flowers in summer or early fall. Blooming will cost a lot of nutrition, so the Polka Dot Plant water requirements will be much higher just before flowering and during flowering. It’s generally difficult to stop your Polka Dot Plant flowering, so water more regularly at this time.

Polka Dot Plant Watering in Winter

Cut back a little on watering during winter when the Polka Dot plant usually grows slowly or enters a dormant state. Wait until the top ½ inch of soil has dried out between waterings. Check the soil moisture every week. In winter, move your plant indoors then water it. It has a weak tolerance to cold. If watering the polka dot plant in winter outdoors, it may cause frostbite.

Ways to Water Do Polka Dot Plant

Picking an ideal watering method can effectively avoid overwatering or underwatering. Always water with room temperature water.

Watering Polka Dot Plant Root

This is one of the most common and easiest ways to water Polka Dot Plants. When watering, except for flushing the roots with water to lift the roots, under normal circumstances, the spout should not be too high from the surface of the basin, so as not to wash away the soil and moss.
Watering roots
Watering Roots (Plant in Image is not Polka Dot Plant)

Watering Polka Dot Plant Leaves

This method is not suitable for watering Polka Dot plants, which may cause leaves to rot or leggy growth.

Newly propagated Polka Dot plants from division or repotted plants can be sprayed with a little water on leaves in order to make up for the lack of water absorption by the root system, which can improve the survival rate and speed up rejuvenation.
Spray water on leaves
Spray Water on Leaves

Bottom Watering for Potted Plants

Small potted Polka Dot plants can be watered by this method. Put small, miniature pots into a deeper bigger empty basin, add water to the basin, making water seep into basin soil from the drainage hole of the small pot bottom. Wait for the soil of small pots to become wet and they are watered thoroughly.
Bottom Watering

How to Save an Overwatering Polka Dot Plant?

Polka dot plants enjoy moist, airy soil. If it is overwatered, the leaves will often turn yellow and brown. Eventually, the root will rot, the leaves will fall off and the whole plant will die if not being processed in time. If it doesn’t occur root rot, you can just reduce water and adjust your water frequency. If it starts to root rot, depending on the extent of the damage, you can either repot or propagate Polka Dot Plant. If the damage is small, you can just repot your plant. While if the damage to the roots is severe, you may need to propagate a new plant.

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