Polka dot is a strong plant it can easily handle environmental changes and negligence.

The main causes of polka dot plant dying are nutrient loss, pest infestations, overlight exposure, and plant injuries.

If your polka dot life is in danger. Identify the cause and follow the solution.

Generally, excessive watering is the main cause of polka dot plant deaths, yellow leaves, and infected root balls.

Take out the plant from its pot and remove the damaged roots.

Repot it in the same pot by using new soil and your plant will become healthy in a few days.

In this post, I will explain all the causes behind dying polka dot plants. You will also find solutions to fix the problem.

Let’s start

(A) How to identify a dying polka dot plant?

There are some signs and symptoms that you need to check to make sure your plant is healthy or dying.

Below are the things that you need to check while inspecting your plant.

1. No variegation

Polka dot plants are famous for their spotted leaves. But when your plant does not produce good variegation. This means something is wrong with your plant and it needs immediate help.

Low light is the main cause of leggy begonia and losing variegation. Both these conditions are indication of a dying polka dot plant.

Increase the brightness of light if you are using grow light.


Change its place and move it close to the sunny window. So that the plant can absorb a sufficient amount of light energy and make food.

Light is the main thing that each plant needs to make its food.

2. Soft leaves

Soft leaves are the result of nutrient loss. If the leaves are yellow + soft this indicates the problem is serious. There might be root damage that blocks the water absorption and the leaves turn yellow.

On the other hand, if the leaves develop black dots on them. This means they are infected with fungus and the only way to save your plant is to use copper fungicide immediately. Then repot it in the new pot in new potting soil.

3. Brown life-less foliage

Polka dot have colorful leaves. They should not have black or brown spots or brown edges. And if they are black or brown this means your plant is dying.

You need to inspect your plant and identify the cause behind it.

Then follow the correct solution and revive your polka dot.

    You May Also Like: How to fix leggy begonias?

4. Leaf Drop

This is another sign of a dying, stressed, weak polka dot plant. Plants have strong immune systems that protect them in dangerous situations.

When growers do not pay attention to their sick plants. The plants start dropping their leaves to save energy.

Then they use this saved energy to fight against the infection that is making them sick.

If your plant is dropping leaves then you must act fast and help your plant to save its life. All plant life-saving tips are listed below part.

5. Weak stems

You should inspect the stems of your plant. If they are healthy and shining then there is no problem.

If the stems are soft and swollen then this means the problem is at an advanced stage. You cannot do anything to save your plant. Once the stems become soft and stinky.

(B) Reason for dying polka dot plant

1. Extra water

Polka dot plants need moist soil to grow happily. But if you give more water to keep the soil moist. This will make the soil waterlogged and this waterlogged soil is the main cause of the dying polka dot.

The soil must have water-absorbing material like perlite. Also, have some well-draining material that allows the extra water to drain out.

Remember that plant roots need fresh air to work properly. When roots do not get fresh oxygen, they get infected by fungus.

Once the roots get infected by the fungus the plant starts dying.

Signs of overwatering polka dot plant

Brown leaf edges

Yellow leaves

Infected root ball

Plant release foul smell

Stunted growth

Wet soil

How to fix overwatered polka dot plants?

If there is just extra water in the soil and roots are not damaged. Then you can move your plant to a warm location. This will speed up the soil dryness process.

At this stage, you will see few yellow leaves on the plant. But you will not see leaves with brown edges.

On the other hand, if the root ball is damaged then the entire plant turns yellow. You will surely see brown crispy leaves and soft stems.

In this case repotting is the only solution to save your plant. Following are the repotting steps.

Remove the plant from its pot

Gently shake the roots to remove the soil or you can use your hands to clean roots.

Cut the infected part of the roots

Plant it again in the pot but here you should use new potting soil.

Now give it regular care.

Your plant will grow healthy and show good growing signs in a few days

Limit the watering applications and use a terracotta plant pot for repotting. Water your plant when one and half-inch of the soil get completely dry. This prevents overwatering issues and your plant stays happy.

2. Underwatering

This is the condition when you do not give adequate water to our growing polka dot plants. The plant then uses the water stored in its leaves and stems to save its life.

The leaves develop brown spots when they have no water content left. They simply turn brown and fall off the plant.

Once the plant uses all the water stored in its leaves and stems. It turns brown and then dies.

How to save the underwatered plants?

Give adequate water to your plant and for that

Fill the sink with water and place your plant pot in it without the saucer.

Let the plant sink for 5 minutes.

Then empty the sink and let the plant pot there for more than 30 minutes to drain well.

After that put the pot in its place and give it regular care.

Note: Plants need more water in the summer season. When the top 2 inches of the soil become dry immediately give water to our plant. Let the soil dry between watering to avoid watering-related issues.

3. Polka dot plant leaves are turning yellow

Polka dot plant yellow leaves mean you overwatered your plant. Or there is some kind of pest infestation or nutrient deficiencies.

If the leaves at the bottom are yellow then no need to be worried. Because this is the natural process that sheds the old leaves. Give space for new leaves to come out.

If the entire plant is turning yellow then this is a serious problem. You need to fix the issue soon or you will lose your plant

How to fix yellow leaves in the polka dot plant?

First of all, remove the yellow leaves that have brown edges or damage.

Then move the plant pot to the bright light and expose it to the morning sun rays. This will help your plant to heal quickly.

Look for the signs of overwatering and follow the solution that I have mentioned above.

4. Extra bright light

Low light and overly bright light are both damaging to polka dot plants. In low light, the plant grows leggy and develops brown leaf tips. Whereas direct sunlight burns the plant leaves. Therefore, place your plant near the east-facing window.

Where it can get a sufficient amount of light but does not get direct sunlight.

Place the pot a few feet away from the window.

5. Nutrient deficiencies

Your polka dot plant needs a good amount of nitrogen and phosphorous along with other essential nutrients. If the leaves are turning yellow this means your plant is not getting a sufficient amount of nutrients.

Your plant will become a weak and easy target for common houseplant pests like mealybugs, aphids.

How to fix it?

Stop overwatering because it damages the roots and stops the absorption of nutrients.

Fertilize your polka dot once in 30 days with liquid organic fertilizer. Make sure to dilute it with water before pouring it to the plant.

Change the soil and use potting soil that has organic material in it. This organic material gives all essential nutrients to plants.


To save polka dot plants from dying grow them in well-draining soil. Add some organic material to the potting soil. Fertilize once in 3 days.

Place it a few meters away from the sunny window and do not overwater your plant.

Prune it regularly and inspect it twice a week for any sign of sickness and pest infestation.


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