Polka Dot Help

daw_etc(8 Cen CA)February 10, 2009

Okay so polka dot plants...I have quite a few (that actually all came from the same pot, they were all jammed in there). Is anyone familiar with them? I'd like to get them to be a bit bushier cause they're trying to get taller and starting to look leggy. I read you can pinch off the top to encourage lower growth but I tried this on one and he started focusing on growing more leaves out of the top again; right below where I pinched him. Should I go lower?

-Dani

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greattigerdane(z5NY)

You can pinch it back hard, almost to the base if you like. New leaves will grow near where you pinched, or cut it back. You can also start a new bushier plant by rooting all the fuller cut tips.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 4:54PM
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daw_etc(8 Cen CA)

Hey, thanks. I was planning on rooting them. I asked in the propagation forum about it actually but so far I got one message of someone saying they didn't know, haha. Do you have any tips about rooting polka dot plants in particular? Or just do the usual..?
-Dani

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:04PM
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jmcat(5)

I rooted some a year or so ago by just doing the usual (for me). I just stuck the shoots in water, and they got roots. Also, if they are just trimmings anyway, it probably isn't too much of a problem if a few bite the dust. Of course, for plants, biting the dust could mean being planted ... oh, well.
-Jmcat

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:52PM
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daw_etc(8 Cen CA)

Lol, true. Hmm, I hadn't thought of rooting them in water, most things I've read suggesting rooting in soil or a medium. Might as well try it since, like you said, it won't be a big deal if it doesn't work out. Thanks! :-D

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 3:58PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I've found them to generally be obscenely easy to propagate. What has worked for me is:

1. take a cutting about 2 inches long
2. remove most of the leaves (reduces transpiration until roots form)
3. plant in any lightly moist, light airy mix (usually use one of the 'seed starter' mixes) with at least half the cutting buried
4. keep soil lightly moist, not wet, and situate in a warm, indirectly lit area

When new growth is evident, the cutting has rooted.

(Btw, I've even had cuttings take that were just stuck directly in moist soil outside in shaded conditions)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 3:07PM
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daw_etc(8 Cen CA)

Thanks for your advice.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 4:16PM
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bunnygurl(Z3)

I have a question to add here, if that's alright.

My polka dot plant flowered and I didn't know that they did. Then I read that they go dormant after flowering and that the flowers should actually be pinched off before they opened. So to be safe, I pinched it off all the way to one set of leaves and now it's come back bushy and beautiful.

Sorry, so for my question, do polka dots actually go dormant after blooming or is that kinda of a 'some do, some don't' thing? And is it common for them to bloom indoors? Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:05PM
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mr_subjunctive

I don't think they go dormant after blooming, but I wouldn't bet money on it. It's not unusual for them to bloom indoors if they've got bright enough light; mine have, though not as often as the ones in the greenhouse at work do.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:52PM
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