Plant ID Polka dot plant

(Question)

20160316_164021This is a very leggy potted plant that was left in my house by the previous owner.  It’s currently about 2 feet tall, and has always looked a little sickly.  It has no flowers, and the leaf colour varies, as you can see from the photo.

(Answer)

I believe your plant is a Polka Dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) also called a Freckle Face plant.

They are a common houseplant and can be grown outside as an annual in southern Ontario.  It is native to Madagascar and many hybrids have been created to produce a variety of colours and leaf pattern.  Your plant may be from the Splash series which has a green base with mottled splashes of pink and white.  Your plant is exhibiting the typical ‘legginess’ of older plants.  You can control this by cutting it back to lower growth and letting the plant fill in.  Indirect bright sunlight is the best location for Polka Dot Plant to produce the best colour and control the legginess.  For more information about the Polka Dot Plant, I’m including below, a link to a website which provides details on their care and propagation.

Growing A Polka Dot Plant – Information On Polka Dot Plant Care Indoors And Out