lipstick plant

Lipstick Plant- #1 Comprehensive Care Guide + FAQ

Lipstick plant is usually sold as a hanging basket with its cherry-red tubular flowers emerging from a deep red calyx, giving the plant the appearance of a lipstick poking out of a tube – hence the name.

Grow lipstick plants in an eastern or western window where they’ll get lots of bright indirect light. Water when the potting mix feels dry about half an inch down. Pot in a soilless potting mix that drains quickly. Protect from cold drafts. For further information on growing and caring for these plants, read on!

Lipstick Plant & African Violet
Lipstick Plant & African Violet

About Lipstick Vine

  • Botanical name: Aeschynanthus radicans
  • Common name: Lipstick plant, Lipstick vine
  • Family: Gesneriaceae
  • Origin: Malaysia
  • Type: Trailing, climbing evergreen long vines
  • Flowering: Spring and summer
  • Height & Spread: 20 x 70 cm
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to cats and dogs
  • Care: Fairly easy
  • Display idea: Hanging baskets
  • Cultivars: dark green variety with yellow flowers “Tangerine”, “Variegata” with red-orange flowers, “Rasta” with curly foliage

Foliage

This plant features long, trailing stems and large, fleshy, dark green leaves up to 10 cm long and 4 cm wide. They are arranged in threes along the stems.

Flowers

At the end of the stems, there are usually clusters of 6-20 flowers. The colors vary from species to species. A. speciosus has orange-yellow flowers, A. marmoratus has tubular, greenish flowers, while Aeschynanthus species have pink, orange, or bright red flowers.

lipstick plant on the terrasse
lipstick vine on the terrasse

Lipstick Plant Care Guide

Light Requirements

Position lipstick vine near an east or west window where they will get filtered, bright light, or under grow lights for abundant blooms.

Turn the plant often if growing near windowsills to ensure blooms on all sides get enough light. Avoid direct sunlight for these indoor plants.

Temperature Requirements

Lipstick vines are drought-tolerant, so don’t worry about positioning them next to windows and exposing them to cold currents of air.

Maintain constant room temperature between 18 and 27 degrees C. Bring your plant outdoors to breathe in some fresh air.

Humidity Requirements

Since it grows in a humid environment of tropical regions in the natural habitat, this plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) requires moderate to slightly higher humidity.

You can increase humidity by standing the plant on a pebble tray. Spray the leaves every day or two with a spray bottle, which will encourage healthy growth.

Soil Requirements

Lipstick plants grow best in acid soil potting soil. You can also use a soilless, but a well-draining potting mix. It should contain peat, sand, and perlite for increased moisture and water retention ability.

Since they are related to African violets, you can use African violet potting mix as well. Keep the soil moist.

Watering

Keep lipstick plants evenly moist. Lipstick plants are commonly grown in a mix that contains peat, so if the plant is allowed to dry out completely, it is difficult to re-wet the growing medium.

From spring to fall, water when the potting mix feels dry about half an inch down. Keep it a little drier in winter. To prevent root rot, don’t let the plant sit in water.

Since this group of plants is sensitive to cold water which can lead to leaf spots, always use distilled, lukewarm water.

Feeding

Replenish the leaves of your lipstick plants using a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer on a monthly basis during the growing season in spring and summer to encourage new flower buds.

Repotting

Choose a pot that just fits the root ball and repot in spring when tightly root-bound. Use sterilized tools, fresh soil, and just one size larger pot.

Propagating

Propagating lipstick plants is easily done by taking lipstick plant cuttings. It will give you a new plant that you can gift to someone. Take stem tip cuttings in spring using a sterilized knife, cutting just above a leaf node. Pot them in a moist potting medium. Increase humidity by enclosing the propagated plant in a plastic bag. Position it in a warm, shaded place away from the direct sun of a south-facing window.

Pruning

Prune lipstick plants after they finish flowering. Remove older stems, spent flowers, and flowers that have fallen onto the soil. This will discourage mold and healthy trimming will encourage more blooms.

lipstick plant on the terrasse
Pink Lipstick Vine

Dealing with Issues

Lipstick plants are generally trouble-free. The most common issue is irregular watering or inadequate humidity levels, both of which can lead to slower, poorer growth and leaf drop.

Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids may find their way to your lipstick plant. Remove mealybugs by using cotton pads dipped in rubbing alcohol and use insecticidal soaps to get rid of aphids and spider mites.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Light Do Lipstick Plants Need?

Lipstick plants need bright filtered light to grow well. Position them next to an east or west window where they will get sunlight for one part of the day and use grow lights to supplement the light exposure.

Is a Lipstick Plant Easy to Care for?

Lipstick plant is fairly easy to care for, so it is also beginner-friendly. Grow the plant in well-drained soil with a peaty medium, higher humidity environment that offers adequate light, ideally filtered, indirect sunlight. Ensure consistent moisture, water when half-inch of the soil feels dry and fertilize monthly. Moderate watering is advisable in the winter months.

Is Lipstick Plant a Succulent?

Lipstick plant flowers look waxy and somewhat succulent to some people. However, don’t confuse lipstick plants with Christmas cactus. The latter belongs to the succulent family, while lipstick plants don’t. Gesneriaceae is not a family of succulent plants.

Final Word

Lipstick plants will keep your walls covered with lush orange, pink and scarlet flowers and inject bright, summer colors into any room. Easy to grow in hanging baskets or cascading from shelves, they look showy either way.

Hang them in bright filtered sunlight next to a bright spot and keep them warm year-round. Avoid positioning lipstick plants in south-facing windows because they offer direct light that causes damage.