From South Africa, the polka dot plant is small and shrub like. It is usually grown for a year for its foliage and then discarded as it becomes too tall and woody. When it is young, the foliage is bushy and the leaves are dark or olive-green, conspicuously spotted with pink.
Small, lilac- colored flowers may be produced in spring; these will take energy from the leaves so may be pinched out. These can be bought as quite tiny plants, ideal for planting into a bottle garden or terrarium. H.p. ‘Splash’ has larger, showier pink leaf spots.
Size: Limit to 1 ft. (30 cm) by pinching, to keep the plant bushy.
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal room.
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil mix from drying out.
Feeding: Give standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring through to fall.
Propagation: Sow seed in spring, or take 4 in. (10 cm) tip cuttings in spring or summer.
Special needs: Too little light will eventually cause the pink markings to become green.