What Is the Average Life Span for Polka Dot Plants?

Polka Dot Plant ( Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a time-bound plant. Unfortunately, the majority of plants that are that are grown indoors only last a few years and most die within one year.

Does this need to be the situation? What is the maximum time they can live under ideal conditions? Can you make them live for longer?

If you don’t allow your polka dots flower, they could last for two years or longer. Additionally, you’ll have to ensure they’re kept in warm, humid and well-lit areas and make sure they’re receiving the right nutrition and water.

Polka Dot Plant Life Span

Polka Dot plants are perennials which means they can last for a long time if they are planted outdoors. They bloom in summer, and produce seeds, and then go into hibernation for the winter. Then, they re-emerge in spring, resuming the cycle.

However, indoor Polka Dot plants should be considered an annual plant that will last just a few years or so.

Then the dormancy and flowering cycles become an unending dance with the seeds that are produced in the autumn sucking the plant’s life away.

The parent plant dies and, most of the time dies when seed disperses.

It is possible to keep the Polka Dot alive for another year if you take care. However, the inside Polka Dot Plant will die in the end of the second year.

Polka Dot Plant Life Cycle

Polka Dot Plants start with tiny seeds that germinate in springtime or as a cut from an established plant.

They soon develop into the delightful, speckled delights we know and cherish if properly taken care of.

As summer draws near as it gets closer, it is time to make sure that the Polka Dot Plant makes the most of the longer hours and more sunshine.

They are prolific, frequently producing spindly flower spikes that are that are dappled with tiny blue or purple flowers.

The seeds ripen and develop tiny seeds in the course of time. As the autumn days cool down and the seeds begin to spread.

The parent plant ceases to grow since it is safe to grow the new generation. Polka Dot Plants is secure.

It goes into a state of dormancy which is hard the indoor plant to endure. They wilt and then end up dying.

Hypoestes phyllostachya bright leaves close up

How Long Can a Polka Dot Plant Live Indoors?

A indoor Polka Dot Plant has a maximal lifespan of about two years.

But even the most healthy indoor plant can be strained by the demanding nature of seed production and flowering They can become sluggish and sprawling as they age.

It’s not noticeable when you’re looking at plants that are planted outdoors in a garden particularly when they’ve been planted in a mass.

In spring, every generation of seeds sprouts and fills the gaps with new growth. The individual plants can be gone however the whole bed will endure.

But, even a one Polka Dot in a plant will show its weakness. In the process, they become weaker and more susceptible to diseases and pests.

It is best to be respectful of the natural rhythms of these charmers as well as let them loose at the moment they are ready.

What Factors Trigger Polka Dot Plant Death?


The flower’s spike can be the most frequent reason for the Polka Dot Plant’s death.

The plant will dedicate all its energy the transformation of the flowers to seeds when it is allowed to grow.

The leaves of the Polka Dot Plant are becoming slender, and the shape gets lopsided. When the seeds are finished, it will then be content with its work and will die.

Cold Weather

The cold weather, similar to the flowering, signalizes for the Polka Dot Plant that it is at the end of its cycle.

The fact that these gorgeous dappled beauties come from Madagascar’s tropical regions, and are destined to die, it isn’t a big dip.

Low temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period of time indicate for the plants that winter is here and that its work is done.

Although it’s not cold in human terms but it’s almost the Arctic for an exotic plant. Therefore, it is likely that the Polka Dot will notice and disappear.

Poor Care

If you don’t take care of or abuse the Polka Dot Plant, it will be dead like other plant in your home. It’s not surprising?

Other indicators of a problem are yellowed leaves and wilting, insect activity, and a foul-smelling soil.

There are many things that can cause the death of the Polka Dot plant before its time to be killed, so be on the lookout for the signs if you’re experiencing problems. I’ve listed some of the likely culprits below.

How To Extend the Life of Polka Dot Plants

Remove Flowers

Polka Dot Plant flowers are the first indication of the plant’s death. The plant will cease to grow when the flowers turn into seeds heads. Plants that are parent plants will cease to grow when its seeds are mature.

You can stop the death spiral by making sure you remove the blooms when they begin to appear. There will be no seeds to reproduce on and thus will continue to expand.

Provide Ideal Growing Conditions

Polka Dot Plants thrive in warmer temperatures, moderate humidity, as well as indirect sunlight. So, ensure that you keep the temperature between 65 and 80 degrees (18-26degC) and an humidity of at minimum 50%.

They’re not afraid to voice their displeasure when these requirements are not met. If the conditions are dry, the leaves can become brittle quicklyand be aggressive when seeking sunlight.

Pruning and Pinching Regularly

Be on the lookout for signs of legginess and be ready to cut back the growth that is excessive if you notice. Reduce the chance of blooms by limiting the height of tall growth.

If you are a grower of Polka Dot Plants, you must know the causes of the legginess and the best way to treat it.

Apart from the flowering spikes, they can also grow if the light is not enough or temperatures are too high or if they’ve received too much or not enough fertilizer.

The most efficient solution is to trim any growth that is excessive. Make sure to pinch flowers when you notice them.

Take out any stems that look like they are headed for the sky. If they’ve got many spindly branches, remove them.

It forces the plant to concentrate on its leaves, preventing it from producing flowers.

Fertilize Routinely

Polka Dot Plant needs regular fertilization. Each new stem and leaf absorbs fertilizers from soil, and the plant will fight to maintain its leaves.

I would suggest a half-dose of high-quality balanced fertilizer that is in the watering system to be used every two weeks for these small charming plants. This will give the soft steady support that it requires.

As the temperature cools decrease fertilizer usage until the beginning of fall. In cooler seasons you’ll require less.

Treat Pest & Disease Issues Immediately

Be on the lookout for unusual colors of leaves curled leaves, unusual leaf color, and even insects. Two months is a substantial portion of the Polka Dot plant’s life span in a very short-lived plant.

Pests and diseases reduce the chances of a plant surviving another year if not treated.


Propagation can make your Polka Dot Plant live forever. Even when the parent plant dies it will continue to continue to grow.

If they are kept warm, the cuttings will grow roots in water and are placed directly into the soil. They’re tough plants.

To grow more plants Cut off a stem that is at least 3 inches long and place it into a clean pot of water.

When the roots are 2 inches in length, you are able to transfer the plant to soil and begin an entirely new plant that has a new beginning.

Bring Polka Dot Plant Indoors Before First Frost

Temperature drops in winter and fall cause Polka Dot Plant death. If they are allowed to bloom the plant will stop flowering.

When the temperature cools take the Polka Dot Plant inside. This trick your plant to believe that that autumn is never over, so it will not end up dying completely.

Instead, it’ll wait for winter, even when it’s not here and then you can fool it into believing that you can live another year.

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

Polka Dot Plant Polka Dot Plant is from Madagascar and isn’t a fan of cold temperatures. However, cold weather can also cause its final stages to occur and lead to death.

If temperatures fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18degC) The Polka Dot Plant may die. They’ll realize it’s winter, and slow down their growth.

Do Polka Dot Plants Go Dormant?

Polka Dot plants that are that are grown in the the US Hardiness Zones 10 or 11 can thrive for a long time and will sleep through the winter months and then waking up in the spring when the temperature is warmer.

In the indoor environment the Polka Dot will slow down and go into hibernation. However, without light and warmth, they might not come out of dormancy.

In the spring, they’ll grow some weak leaves. Then, they’ll likely to die.

Do Polka Dot Plants Come Back Every Year?

The Polka Dot Plant can come back to its former glory in a garden bed outside. It is a plant that has the energy of the sun as well as the riches of soils that continue to improve.

There are resources available to aid them in recovering, however it is normal for bedding plants to die every winter.

However well we take care of the Polka Dot Plants, they are less resource-rich than other plants.

So, following their winter hibernation, they stand less chance of returning.

But you can be sure that the Polka Dot Plant may return for another year provided you provide it with the highest level of care.

If you have to part with the Polka Dot Plant near the close of its lifespan Don’t panic.

Although it’s heartbreaking but it’s all natural part of the beauty of nature, regardless of how hard we work, Mother Nature always has the ultimate decision.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)