The long, narrow leaves of the polka dot plant are about to turn a color of red. The long, narrow leaves can about reach to about 2 inches in length, and the plant may grow as large as 4 feet in height in the wild. In its natural habitat the polka dot plant grows on the banks of a lake or along the edges of a forest, in fields, and along roads and highways. This plant is known for growing in fields in Europe, and America. Flowers are usually lilac in color and are arranged in cord-like racemes with a long stem that separates the petals.
Polka dot plants require a lot of sun, which is about six hours a day. So the first thing you should do is get an established plant home that has been established in its spot. Some varieties of this plant, especially the long-leaved types like the Mania and the Albicans, will need more sun. The fastest way to establish a good-sized home is to use pots. Purchase a few pots or plant homes, plant them in their spots, cover them with potting soil and water them generously each day until the soil becomes hardy.
To help your long, narrow legged plant grow to its full potential, you need to prune the long, thin, slightly oblong leaves that are covered with white hair. The leaves are actually the most important part of this plant. The white hair on the leaves protects them from disease, and it also makes them grow faster than the other kinds of leaves.
The best time to plant the long-legged variety of polka dot plant is spring, or when it is getting warmer outside. If you have not established it indoors, however, you can try growing it in the winter as well. The leaves may turn yellow when they are exposed to warm temperatures. When you repot it in the winter, remove all the leaves, but keep the green tissue intact.
When you repot your long-legged variety in the fall, just take the pot, place it in a large sink full of water and add half a cup of bone meal to the water. Leave the pot in the water for about five minutes, and then rinse it out and put it in a warm spot. When you repot your plant again in the spring, you will want to make sure that you have established it properly before putting it in a pot. Begin by keeping the roots warm, and then you can water them with a watering can or hose.
Some of the most serious problems associated with this type of decor are spider mites, aphids, scale insects, root rots, powderpost beetles and earwigs. Aphids are most common on new growth, but if there is some old stem on the plant, the aphid will feed upon the leaves and stems. Spider mites can be found on both the leaves and the flowers, while scale insects mostly appear on the undersides of the leaves.
Many people believe that the most common problems occur when the plant starts to produce leaves, as this is when a plant experiences a change in conditions. Spider mites are commonly found on the lower surface of the leaves. Other problems such as scale insects are on the twigs and on the wood. Aphids are the most common problem on new growth, while scale insects are most common on the older wood. The final common problem is the appearance of rots.
A fungus commonly called powderpost beetles, which attack young growth, can often be found on the new shoots, called spikelets. This is actually quite common on young wood, however it is more common on young plants that are in pots. Powderpost beetles live in moist soil, so the first step to control this pest is to make sure the pot is not overly wet. If it is, the plants can become moldy and this fungus can take hold. To prevent powderpost beetles from infesting young growth, the young plant should be kept in a larger container with plenty of water. This will allow it to dry out more quickly, therefore preventing the beetles from growing into a problem.