Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Polka Dot Plant, Polka-Dot Plant, Freckle Face
Hypoestes phyllostachya 'Carmina'

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hypoestes (hy-poh-ES-teez) (Info)
Species: phyllostachya (fy-lo-STAK-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Carmina

Synonym:Hypoestes sanguinolenta

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By langbr
Thumbnail #1 of Hypoestes phyllostachya by langbr

By IndoorGardner
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By IndoorGardner
Thumbnail #3 of Hypoestes phyllostachya by IndoorGardner


7 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive IndoorGardner On Jun 2, 2007, IndoorGardner from Falls Church, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this little plant. I had no idea that it flowered. I bought it because of the pretty colored foliage. Yesterday I noticed the little purple flowers starting to emerge. I then pulled one of my garden books out and did some reading. There is a lot I did not know about this plant. I had no idea that it had to remain constantly moist. I actually found that out the hard way. It recovered quickly but I lost some bottom leaves. Live and learn. The book suggests repotting new plants as soon as you get home, which I did. It also suggest that you repot again mid-summer. Well guess what? She cant wait that long. She is growing out of the pot after only one month. I guess she likes me. :) Since she likes it so moist I have ordered her a self watering pot from The Gardener's Supply Co. No more falling down from lack of water. The book also says that once the plant flowers it quickly deteriorates and the average plant life is 2 years.

Positive hanna1 On May 27, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this dainty colorful plant in my part shade garden. Its leaves look fantastic around green. They came back for me from last year. A great addition.

Positive Kauai17 On Feb 5, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Planted some last year and they took off. Had to cut them back quite often, but it was well worth it. They make a good ground cover with cute little purple blooms on them. They also just started coming back out now that he cold weather is disappearing.

Positive Barandy On Apr 30, 2004, Barandy from Franklin, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

We have this plant inside in a dish garden w/Peperomia "Ripple" and Fittonia "Mini White". The different colors and textures really compliment each other. Also have a Benjamini Ficus (large) inside and we plant little ferns and Hypoestes, etc., around the base to cover the dirt. One year the Hypoestes climbed a little way up the trunk. Very decorative and easy to care for.

Positive nipajo On Apr 28, 2004, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I live in dallas tx., and have planted these plants in the ground every year, they have never come back but for some odd reason this year they have. They are redder than when I first bought them. They did produce a flower and that may have been the reason they came back. I have them in full shade.

Positive MotherNature4 On Apr 26, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We purchased the 'Carmina' cultivar about 6 months ago from Lowe's. It has grown very well here in central Florida. Several softwood cuttings have rooted and are now ready to go. 'Carmina' glows red when light shines on the leaves. The common pink "freckle face" reseeds like a weed in the yard, but we love it, too.

Positive PatioPotter On Apr 25, 2004, PatioPotter wrote:

Here in Los Angeles, we can grow these outside in part shade with little to moderate water. Every year they keep coming back. We trim off any old gangly growth as soon as we see new growth.They seem pretty easy to grow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Castro Valley, California
Elk Grove, California
Bartow, Florida
Covington, Louisiana
Omaha, Nebraska
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Katy, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Falls Church, Virginia

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