Polka Dot Plant, Polka-Dot Plant, Freckle Face 'Carmina'

Hypoestes phyllostachya

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


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 ... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.