In this lipstick plant care article, you’ll learn how to care for a lipstick plant, see some of the most popular lipstick plant varieties and pick up some trouble shooting tips.
The lipstick plant is a common name for the 150 species of evergreen subtropical and tropical plants from the genus Aeschynanthus from the Gesneriaceae family.
These trailing epiphytes are famous for their bright-colored flowers that are pollinated by sunbirds. The common name is inspired from the developing buds it shuts out reminding of a miniature lipstick tube.
Since it’s a tropical epiphyte, it does best when grown on some other plant rather than in soil.
The 150+ species have different features-some have waxy and thick cuticles whereas others have soft and sensitive leaves.
Some lipstick plant varieties are popular houseplants in temperature climates, mostly the A. pulcher, A. longicaulis (Black Pagoda), and A. radicans (Mona Lisa).
This beautiful flowering indoor plant is also praised for the shiny foliage it boosts and the eye-catching scarlet flowers. They peek out of the dark-colored tubes.
It’s an amazing display in front of a bright window in your home or office and an awesome way to add some more color. This plant loves light and the more light, the higher the chances for it to flower.
Even if you’re not the greenest of thumbs out there, when you provide it with the needed care and growing conditions, this non-demanding houseplant will grace your indoor spaces with its impressive blooms for years.
If you want to bring some warmth and sunshine to your indoor space, the lipstick plant is always a good choice!
Good to Know:
If you have pets and children around, don’t worry about this plant-it’s non-toxic to them according to the ASPCA.
How to Care for a Lipstick Plant
To ensure the most beautiful blooms, your lipstick plant wants to be placed in an area where it will get high brightness, but indirect light. Avoid indirect light areas as they can burn its leaves.
In the springtime, when the weather becomes warmer, you can give the plant a bit of break and put it outside in a slightly shady area.
To promote regular flowering and optimal growth, place your lipstick plant in an area of your home or office where the temperature range is between 75 and 85 degrees F.
The plant can also tolerate temperatures down to 60 degrees F; however, the growth will be slower.
Avoid temperatures lower than 50 degrees F as it can damage the plant and cause the foliage to drop.
Water & Humidity
To ensure your lipstick plant is thriving, water it when the top quarter soil has dried out. And, don’t forget to set it in a pot that has a good drainage system.
And, when you want to promote blooming, allow the top soil portion to dry out between watering. You can easily check the dryness/wetness of the soil by sticking a finger inside it.
In the active phase from spring to summer months, water it averagely once per week or once every 10 days.
In autumn through winter, when the plant’s growth lowers, water it once every 2 to 3 weeks. As it’s a tropical plant, it loves humidity so make sure you supply it as much as you can indoors.
This is easy because there are several ways to boost it, for example, through regular misting, tray with water and small pebbles, or keeping it in the bathroom or kitchen where the humidity is usually higher than in other rooms.
If you’re planting it in soil, use one that’s not too heavy and one that’s well-aerated. A good choice will do well with a potting mix for houseplants or a fertile, lightweight regular potting mixture.
Or, make your own potting mix-1 part potting soil, 1 part potting mix, and 1 part peat.
Another option is planting it on a wooden board or some other structure common for orchid growing.
If the soil you’ve used contains a fertilizer, don’t worry about adding any for up to 3 months.
Afterwards, use another slow-release blend and this will keep it in good shape for several months.
From spring through summer, feed it every two weeks. In dormant season, pause the feeding.
When the plant has outgrown the current pot and you’re seeing the roots coming out of the drainage holes, it’s time for repotting.
Choose a one-size-bigger container and do it in spring or summer. Set fresh soil halfway the new container and carefully remove the lipstick plant from its current pot.
Check out the roots and cut out any unhealthy or weak-looking ones. Set it into the new soil and add more. Don’t plant it too deep to avert root problems.
The cuts from pruning your lipstick plant can be used for propagation purposes; but, make sure they’re 4 to 6 inches long. Plant them in a rich soil with the cut end down.
Firm the soil around it and water it. Keep it in a warm area with indirect brightness.
Best Lipstick Plant Varieties
Pulcher Lipstick Plant
This species has oval leaves and clusters of bright red and has tubular flowers blooming from summer to winter.
They’re usually yellow in the throat and can grow up to 2.4 inches in length.
Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant (A.Longicaulis)
This is the perfect variety for hanging baskets because of its cascading stems and small flowers.
This is why it’s often grown for its specific mottled and shiny light green foliage.
Mona Lisa Lipstick Plant (A.Radicans)
This variety is known as a prolific bloomer with bright red flowers.
It’s the best choice for those who want the best chances of the plant blooming the whole year through.
Other Lipstick Plant Care Tips
Prune the lipstick plant after it stops flowering to prevent blooming delay. The pruning after flowering will stimulate the blooming.
Cut up to 1/3 of each vine when they look long and leggy.
To avert pests and diseases, treat the plant preventatively with neem oil, a natural insecticide. Don’t forget to dilute it prior to use and spray it onto the plant, but also add some into the soil.
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: shrivelled foliage
Solution: Water it more regularly, but make sure you’re not overdoing it.
Problem: foliage is fading
Solution: Miss a watering rather than watering it too much.
Problem: leaf tips are going brown.
Cause: Too much salt in the soil, probably from fertilizer.
Solution: Flush the soil every 3 to 4 months.
Put the plant in the sink and allow the water to run through the soil for 5 minutes and then drain it out well before you put it back into its place.
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