Houseplants forum: Polka-dot plant cutting question

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Connecticut (Zone 6b)
Zella
Feb 9, 2017 9:39 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-02-09/Zella/716660
So this is my cutting of my mom's polka-dot plant. I started to root it in water and I THINK it started growing roots but I was worried about root rot from it being in water since I think these types of plants are susceptible to that if watered too much.
So I moved my cutting to soil. Then it looked like it was doing BAD it lost 4 lower leaves. A week ago I was like "OK clearly this plant isn't gonna make it might as well take it out and reuse the soil for another plant" but when I dug a bit and went to pull up I was met with resistance. So although I can't see it I am guessing it did grow roots. THEN it started shooting out flowers... *blinks* I don't know why. My mom's plant isn't flowering (I just checked) it does have maybe 3 spots where flowers may bloom but none yet.

So after my long spiel my question is this: is it good my new cutting is flowering or bad? It has just a few leaves left (as you can see) I rather it focus on growing leaves to catch the sun so it can grow.
Should I pinch the flowers off (3 of them look mostly dead by now anyway)

Advice or suggestions would be appreciated
Thankies!
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Feb 9, 2017 2:07 PM CST
Hi Zella, I'm wondering if your Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is in a pot a bit too large for it's size?

As for the fact that it's currently blooming with only the two leaves at the top of the stem ... I don't know it that is good or bad but if your cutting has produced healthy roots, that's definitely a good thing! The reason for leaf loss once you moved it from water to soil may be due to the shock of the change in environment.

My opinion is that it should be planted into a smaller pot, placed in bright light in a warm location and wait and see what happens. Be watchful with the watering; keep the soil just moist but not soaking wet and hopefully your plant will begin to leaf out and show it's pretty little self!

I've never had much luck with the Polka Dot Plant myself so hopefully someone who grows them well will be along soon with advice and suggestions!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Connecticut (Zone 6b)
Zella
Feb 9, 2017 2:19 PM CST
Thumb of 2017-02-09/Zella/4f1315

2nd photo that isn't just focused on the flowers lol I think I have a good pot size.

I take care of my mom's main polka-dot plant and before I got my hands on it... yeah it was about to die. It looks very good now though so I think I handle these plants very well (hopefully)
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 9, 2017 2:22 PM CST
I don't think I've had any luck trying to propagate blooming stems of this plant, but vigorous new spring & summer stems do take root easily. If it has taken root, everything should be fine and it's just waiting for warmer, longer days to grow new foliage for this year. The ones I bring inside for winter always lose the previous years' stems over winter and grow new ones.
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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purpleinopp
Mar 31, 2017 8:23 AM CST
I hope your stem was able to put down some roots. Any signs of life?

This is the start of the time of year when these plants are sold as annuals, usually more inexpensively than "house plants" of the same size pot, relatively easy to find, if anyone needs MORE MORE MORE! :+)
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 31, 2017 2:13 PM CST
When stem cuttings are propagated in water, they develop roots that have a cell structure that allows them to survive in water without rotting. They can stay that way for a surprising period of time. Lucky Bamboo are a good example of cuttings rooted in water and maintained there indefinitely.

When you move water rooted cuttings to soil, the roots have to make an adjustment at the cellular level so they can survive in soil. They are quite vulnerable at that time and subject to root rot even though they have recently been growing in water. It is best to use the smallest pot available, typically two inches so that there is not an abundance of soil that takes too long to dry out.

With Hypoestes, it also helps to keep the rooted cuttings "tented" in clear plastic to maintain the humidity during the transition period.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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