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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


This is a plant I bought at Home Depot, in a 3" pot, with no ID on it. It looked like a good riparium plant, so I planted it in a planter cup, and a couple of plants in a nano raft, to grow hydroponically. Both plantings have done extremely well. But, what is it?

My search with Google led me to call it Hypoestes phyllostachya, or polka dot plant. But, I'm not at all sure of this. The photo is of the front and back of a couple of leaves I pruned off of a cutting. Notice the leaf tips, and the veins. The leaf surfaces are a matte finish, no fuzz, no gloss. There is no scale on the photo, but both leaves are about 2 inches by 1 3/8 inches.

What is it?
 

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There are many, many cultivars of H. phyllostachya. Like --

‘Carmina’ has bright red splotches on the leaves.
‘Confetti’ series five separate colors include white, pink, red, carmine rose and burgundy red; they are often offered together as a mix.
‘Pink Brocade’ is mottled with pink spots.
‘Pink Dot’ has attractive pink spots.
‘Purpuriana’ has purplish leaves.
‘Splash’ series has large blotches of contrasting color in pink, red, rose or white.
‘Wit’ offers marbled white leaves
So, all in all a lot of variety in this species.
 

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Hoppy, I am almost convinced this is hypoestes phyllostachya. Check out this close up of these hyposetes leaves:


The red one with a paperclip on it looks very similar if not identical to your leaf.


If this is indeed a hypoestes, you'll need to pinch the tops to keep it from getting too leggy. Unless you like legs.....:wink:
 

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I gotta get some of that stuff. Those Nano Trellis Rafts work really well for making a short midground hedge, but I've only found three or four different plants that have the right growth habit for that. IT's good to know about this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I pinched one of my raft growing H. phyllostachya today, after noticing that the plant would soon topple and grow horizontal. I will see if it sends out new growth now.

One reason I posted this was to try to start a series of threads, all titled "Riparium Plant.....", so we can search for ripariium plant information easily. I'm thinking that we should take each plant we know of and start a thread where we can discuss the positives and negatives about it. I thought of that as a result of my evolving experience with the Ruellas we got from Hydrophyte.

Sewingalot, I'm 99% convinced about the identity, but on my tank journal I got a couple of doubt expressions, so I wanted to see if anyone has a better idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·


About a week ago I was in my local 99 cent store and noticed they had a full shelf of these plants, both in pink and red. So, since mine are getting overgrown now, I splurged on one. It is now doing very well in my nursery tank. I think there were 5 plantlets in the 2 1/2 inch pot, and all are in one riparium planter cup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After 4 months I'm much less pleased with this plant. It seems to need more light than I am willing to use on my riparium. So, it eventually gets very leggy, with weak stems, and the colors all bleach out. This has been true both for plants in planter cups and in nano trellis rafts. It looks very good for a month or two, then doesn't look good at all. If you want a temporary plant to spice up the riparium it is a great choice, but only for temporary use. I am getting rid of those that I have, for that reason.
 
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