Hypoestes phyllostachya 'Confetti Compact White'

Common Name: polka dot plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Acanthaceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Purple
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, plants are grown as bedding annuals or in containers. Bedding plants are best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. Pinch tips to promote bushiness. Some gardeners remove flower spikes because they are somewhat inconspicuous and tend to detract from the attractive foliage. Overwinter containers and grow houseplants in bright indoor light with some direct sun. Although bedding plants can be dug and potted up in fall for overwintering, it may be easier to simply purchase new plants each spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hypoestes phyllostachya, commonly called polka dot plant, is native to Madagascar. It is a herbaceous perennial or occasional subshrub that is noted for its ovate green leaves (to 2” long) which are spotted with rose, pink or lavender. As a bedding plant or houseplant it typically grows like an herbaceous perennial to 12-20” tall. Tiny lilac flowers are held on spikes up to 6” long and bloom sporadically in the summer.

Genus name comes from the Greek hypo meaning under and estia meaning a house for the calyxes being covered by bracts.

The specific epithet phyllostachya means "leaf spike", possibly in reference to the leafy bracts on the flowering spikes.

'Confetti Compact White' is a compact selection of polka dot plant that features white variegated foliage and small, purple flowers. Mature plants will reach up to 8" tall with a similar spread. This plant is primarily grown for the variegated foliage rather than the horticulturally insignificant blooms.

Problems

Susceptible to whiteflies, aphids, and mealy bugs, especially when grown indoors in improper cultural conditions. Watch for powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Suitable for use as an annual bedding plant, in containers, terrariums, and as a houseplant.