How to Take Care of Pink Splash Plants

Overview

They say that polka dots never go out of style and that is certainly true with pink polka dot plant--also referred to as the pink splash plant. This tender perennial is native to tropical regions of Madagascar and is grown as an annual in many parts of the U.S. As a houseplant, its pink and green foliage provide color throughout the year. It thrives under normal household conditions and requires little care other than watering and an occasional pinch to control wayward stems.

Step 1

Pot pink splash plants in lightweight potting mixture with good drainage. Mix equal parts commercial potting soil, peat moss and either vermiculte to perlite to create your own soil mixture.

Step 2

Place in an area that receives moderate to bright indirect light. Choose a location a few feet from a sunny window where light is diffused by sheer curtains or the plant is lightly shaded by vines or shrubbery from the outside. An eastern or northern windowsill provides bright morning light without exposure to afternoon sun.

Step 3

Water when the soil feels dry at an inch below the surface of the pot. Pink polka dot plants prefer moist soil but suffer if soil remains soggy. Watch for signs of wilting.

Step 4

Pinch back the center leaves of new growth periodically. Pinch young plants when 4 to 6 inches high and repeat in three weeks to encourage new growth along the stems. This creates dense-compact foliage.

Step 5

Trim away any overgrown branches with a sharp knife or scissors to maintain the overall shape of the plant. Pink splash plant grows to heights of 3 feet in the wild and tends to become leggy as it ages. Control size and shape with with routine trimming and pinching.

Step 6

Fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants once a month from April or May until late fall. Allow the plants to rest for several months and resume fertilizer in spring when the plant begins rapid growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • When exposed to high temperatures and lack of water, this plant appears to melt and may collapse on the windowsill. It revives to the erect stage quickly with immediate water. Repeated stress from lack of water will eventually kill the plant, but a single episode rarely does permanent harm.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting media (peat moss/potting soil/perlite/vermiculite)
  • Plant pots
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Sharp knife/scissors

References

  • UCC Biology Department: Polka-dot Plant
  • Denver Plants: Pink Splash or Polka Dot Plant

Who Can Help

  • NDSU Extension Service: Houseplants
Keywords: polka dot plant, pink splash plant, pink polka-dot plant

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.