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I want to know what plant this is. I just bought it and I want to be able to water it to its needs. If any one can identify it, then can you please do so?

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This is the polka dot plant or Hypoestes phyllostachya. Identification is by the spots on the leaves. A native of Madagascar this plant adapts well to indoor cultivation but is often considered an annual as it gets leggy in lower indoor light conditions.

Hypoestes prefers rich organic soil that is moist but well drained with bright indirect light and high humidity. This can be hard to do indoors. Use the standard peat based potting soil. Do not use a strong southern exposure. Morning sun from the east or filtered light is best.

This plant is highly hybridized and there are many different cultivars and colours.

In the long term this plant can stretch out a bit with the typical lower light levels found indoors. You can cut this plant back hard to keep it compact or cuttings will root easily in water or damp peat.

Fertilize with 20-20-20 at one quarter to one half strength monthly. Flowers are often removed as they not as attractive as the foliage.

This plant will wilt if it gets too dry. Just water and wait for it to revive.

I have not seen any pest problems. I would remove the stones from the top of the soil. They are decorative but do not help the plant and make it harder to determine if the plant needs water.

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