If you are a flower lover like me looking for a plant that will brighten up your home or garden, the lipstick plant is a wonderful consideration. It is a beautifully vibrant indoor plant that has gotten its popularity because of its unique blooms and shining appearance. This is a great companion because it can survive in both indoor and outdoor settings with proper growing conditions and care.
The Aeschynanthus radicans, more commonly known as the “Lipstick Plant” is an epiphytic vine of plants that originates from the humid tropics of the Malay Peninsula south of Java. This plant typically grow on the trunks, branches, and vines wrapping around rainforest trees. It is a non-parasitic plant meaning don’t harm their hosts, as they get their moisture and nutrients from the rain and humid rainforest air.
About Lipstick Plants
Aeschynanthus radicans is also called lipstick vine, blushing rose, and basket vine. It belongs to the Gesneriaceae family. It’s genus, Aeschynanthus, comprises around 150 various species of tropical plants native to southeast Asia. It’s pretty easy to understand where the plant gets its common name, lipstick plant.
It has a roseate-orange color and is tubular in shape. Flowers with yellow throats arise from their calyx, looking like miniature tubes of lipstick. You will be graced with the colorful blooms sporadically throughout the year when given this plant an adequate amount of exposure to light.
There is a high success rate of growing a lipstick plant outdoors for those living in winter-free climates. Nevertheless, a more temperate climate is still good because this flowering epiphyte thrives as an indoor houseplant, primarily when kept at fairly warm conditions. This plant grows to be around two feet or even longer. Its vining stems makes it an ideal hanging plant for bright and sunny rooms. It also be a big relief to know that this plant is safe to expose to your pets or children because it is non-toxic.
There are several kinds of lipstick plants:
- The Curly Q lipstick plant is known for its unique curly, twisted shape and dark green leaves.
- The Cassiopeia lipstick plant is another stunner with its bright red flowers and dark-purple red buds.
- The Mona Lisa lipstick plant has dark green leaves but blooms red-orange flowers.
Surely, there is a lipstick plant that can fit your style and preference. Other varieties of lipstick plants that are available include semi-trailing, upright, climbing, and many others that are sure to suit your own quirkiness.
Growing Lipstick Plants
For any plant enthusiast, knowing how to take care of your plants is the most important skill to have. Watering, changing the soil, potting, and controlling pests are just some of the things that plant caretakers need to be able to do. The lipstick plant, lke many others, will definitely require some work in order to properly grow and maintain, but the results will surely be worth it.
The lipstick plant grows well in warm and humid areas. The ideal temperature for growing it ranges of from around 70-85° F. At 65° F, the plant will survive but not thrive, which greatly limits the number of flowers that it can produce. Lipstick plants like high humidity and can grow in different lighting conditions. It’s best given partial shade outdoors during the cold season. During summer, it is recommended to expose it to full bright light indoors.
A good pot for a flowing lipstick vine would be a hanging basket. You can grow the vine on slabs of wood, but always keep the plant adequately moist. The lipstick plant can be easily propagated through stem cutting. If you begin growing this plant from cuttings, it’s best to keep it at a temperature of 70°F (21 °C.) to help it blossom as much as possible.
Pruning should only be done to remove any decay or damaged portion of the stems or control the size of the plant. Changes in the color of the leaves, when they turn yellow or develop brown edges, often indicate that the plant needs more water and light.
Be sure to treat the plant with a fungicide when a reddish-brown mass of spider webs is present. Common houseplant pests include thrips, mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids. A good organic pesticide, like neem oil, can handle the plant’s usual pests.
Lipstick Plant Care
Several factors contribute to the success of growing lipstick plants. The fundamentals that you need to consider are soil, nutrients, water, light, and temperature. If you stick to these simple guidelines, it will be much easier to keep your plant in the best growing condition.
Soil and Nutrients
Lipstick plant care begins with buoyant soil and right fertilization. Adding vitamins and liquid fertilizer to the potting soil is an excellent way to retain soil moisture.
If your lipstick plant is deteriorating and the stems start to look untidy, more than likely, the plant isn’t receiving adequate light. Avoid placing the plant in full shade or full sun. The plant needs bright light for around six hours each day, but not all day long.
The ideal indoor temperature ranges between 75°F to 85°F, stimulating the growth and flowering. The development of a lipstick plants slows when temperatures reach below 60°F. When indoor temperatures decrease to 50°F or lower, the plant tissue becomes damaged, and leaves could begin to drop.
Watering Lipstick Plants
Water is one of the main factors that significantly affect the growth of almost any plant. This lipstick plant like a humid type of environment, so a bathroom or kitchen could be a nice place for them to grow.
When it comes to proper watering, the first thing you have to do is to check if the top portion of soi is dry. This will help promote blooming for your lipstick plant. How frequently you water it also affects growth, whether the plant is in the growing or dormant season.
- Watering could be done around once a week during its active growing season from spring through summer.
- Watering once every two to three weeks is fine during the colder months of the year from fall to winter period.
Placing your finger into the soil is one way to quickly check the moisture level of the plant soil. If left dehydrated for too long, the leaves will start to turn brown and fall off. Be sure to check the soil regularly to also avoid overwatering. Doing this may risk your plant developing root decay and fungous problems.
Propagating Lipstick Plants
Today, propagation becomes a standard way of most botanists and other gardeners to revive and multiply plants. Aeschynanthus radicans is quickly proliferated through stem cutting.
The stem should should be cut to measure around four inches in length and should not have any flowers or buds on it. Expose the cut end of the stem to a rooting hormone and then plant it in a small pot filled with a moist growing medium. Keep it in a warm area that is away from direct sunlight, and wait for the stem to develop roots.
To catalize root growth, you can create a mini propagation chamber by putting a clear plastic bag over your cutting, which will create humidity. The roots should have developed after four to six weeks.
You can check this by gently pulling at the stem to see if it can slide out of the soil. You will know that it has rooted when it can hold some of the soil. Keep it there for a few more weeks for the roots to strengthen, then transfer the cutting to a larger pot and attend to it regularly with the appropriate care.
The lipstick plant is a very popular indoor and outdoor houseplant that is easy to grow. They are a beautiful specimen to have in your plant collection as well as a striking decorative element to have in your home. If you can offer them the proper conditions, lipstick plants will grow abundantly.
The most important things to consider when growing a lipstick plant indoors are proper watering and sufficient lighting. A blossoming lipstick plant will make you feel accomplished and can also impress any guest once they see its vibrant blooms.
The bright red flowers and the flowing vines of this plant are sure to get you many compliments from your visitors. This plant will surely add some color and give life to your space. These unique houseplants are well worth the time and effort!