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Leggy polka dot plant: Reasons & Solutions

Is your polka dot plant growing leggy? Learn how to nurture and restore your leggy polka dot plant!

We all want our plants to thrive, but achieving that isn’t always as easy as we think. So, let’s see how to fix a leggy polka dot plant!

The polka dot plant, characterized by its bushy, oval, and soft dotted leaves, is a small houseplant, hence its name.

Once fully grown, they usually reach a width of 1-2 feet (30-60cm) and 1-3 feet (30-90cm) in height. 

Their easy-care nature means you don’t have to constantly monitor them.

While it is best to keep polka dot plants indoors, you can freely move them in your yard during warm periods. 

However, even with its low-maintenance reputation, your polka dot plant may not always reach its full potential. 

If you find yourself wondering why your polka dot plant is leggy, we’re here to shed light on the issue and bring your plant to a thriving condition! 

Leggy polka dot plant.

What does leggy polka dot plant mean?

A leggy polka dot plant means that the plant grows very tall and has few leaves. 

The leaves are left only at the tips, and the stem is empty. 

While some plants naturally display this growth pattern, it might indicate a lack of light for others.

With Polka dot plants, this phenomenon is not uncommon, and fortunately, you can fix it.

Why polka dot plant growing leggy


Polka dot plants thrive in indirect light

If you have placed it in the shade, it may try to reach some ray of light or stretch towards any available light source. This might be the reason why your polka dot plant is getting leggy.

Simply put, the main reason you have a leggy polka dot plant is due to insufficient lighting

If it’s placed in full shade with no sunlight coming its way, moving it is important.

Soil nutrition

On the other hand, soil nutrition plays a big role. 

To have a healthy growing plant, you must use soil full of nutrients and fertilizer once every two weeks. 

If you feed it more than necessary, it will grow too quickly and will cause it to grow irregularly.


It’s worth noting that aging can naturally cause Polka dot plants to become leggy. 

However, it’s been shown that even mature plants can maintain proper growth if exposed to adequate light, even if only to a minimal extent.

Ways to fix leggy polka dot plant

Now that you know the reasons for your polka dot plant growing leggy, you can more easily find a solution to save the Polka dot plant.

At Keep Your Plants Alive, there is no problem we can’t fix! So, let’s see how we can save a polka dot plant that’s getting leggy!

polka dot plant in a pot

Adjust lighting

If you keep it at home, you should place it on the east or west window. Its best position is when it is in indirect light. 

In contrast, if you keep it in direct light, its leaves will turn pale, soften, and eventually fall off.

For outdoor conditions, don’t forget to rotate it once a week, but even there, it should be placed as little as possible in direct light.

Tip: If only direct light is in your room, you can install various curtains.

Pay attention to the temperature

Polka dot plant loves high air humidity and temperatures from 64-78°F (18-26°C). 

Anything higher or lower might be the cause for your leggy polka dot plant.

If this is the issue, simply move the plant where its temperature will be more suitable.

Pot selection

You may want your polka dot plant to be as big as possible. 

Because of this, you may transplant it into a bigger pot in hopes that it will grow larger. You are making a mistake! 

Polka dot plants are naturally compact and don’t require large pots.

If you plant it in a large pot, its roots will not be able to reach the nutrients of the soil. As a result, your polka dot plant grows leggy.

To avoid this, repot only when you see any roots sticking out around or under the pot. 

Otherwise, you should just leave it alone in its (temporary) home.

Proper fertilization

A recommended dose of fertilization is once every two to four weeks during the period when it is in its best growth. 

Anything outside of this recommendation can harm the Polka dot plant.

Proper watering

Excessive watering leads to the destruction of nutrients in the soil and causes root rot.

Underwatering is a major disadvantage that you unintentionally harm your plant. Not enough water means insufficient soil nourishment, resulting in a lifeless polka dot plant.

As with any other plant, watering plays a very large role in their growth and development. You should regularly check soil moisture to maintain the right balance.

Advice: If your Polka dot plant is several years old, it is best to take a leaf and grow new roots in water. This way, you will have a new, fresh Polka dot plant.

cutting stem of a polka dot plant


Pruning will prevent a polka dot plant from growing leggy. It is best during the period when they are blooming. 

We know – the leaves are beautiful and look rich, but only by pruning them, you’ll get a healthy and vigorous plant. 

With these tips, leggy polka dot plants will be a thing of the past! Ensure you meet all of its requirements; soon enough, your plant will be healthy and thriving!

polka dot plant care guide

Before you go…

Check out our Polka dot plant care guide blog post for more details on its proper care.

Thanks for reading!

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