Aeschynanthus radicans, or lipstick plant, is a flowering houseplant with vibrant red blooms and glossy green leaves. Since they flourish in indoor environments, these tropical plants are simple to take care of. Plants with lengthy trailing stems are ideal for hanging baskets or shelving because of their long stems. Almost all you have to do to care for this popular houseplant is put it in a bright location and give it regular watering.
Lipstick vines are the name for lipstick plants. The humid tropics of Malaysia and Indonesia are home to these evergreen plants. In their natural environment, they thrive in warm, humid weather. Fortunately, to appreciate the beauty of a lipstick plant, you don’t have to transform your home into a tropical rainforest.
Indoor humidity can be provided by simply misting the leaves on a regular basis. Everything you need to know about caring for a lipstick plant may be found in this article. Learn how to trim, feed, and reproduce these gorgeous tropical indoor plants in this video.
How to Care for a Lipstick Plant
Soil that is constantly wet but well-draining is required by lipstick plants. In a bright place away from direct sunlight, grow your lipstick plant. Temperatures of 65 to 80°F (18 to 30°C) and high humidity are ideal. Once a month, feed your plant with an organic plant fertilizer.
The fundamental steps for caring for a lipstick plant are as follows: While it is simple to maintain lipstick plants at home, getting the management right will ensure that your plant blooms and stays healthy on a regular basis. Now, let’s look at ways to promote healthy plant development in more depth.
What is a Lipstick Plant?
The genus Aeschynanthus is home to the lipstick plant, which is also known as a blooming plant. The vine-like plants are related to African violets and belong to the Gesneriaceae family of plants. An epiphyte plant is another name for lipstick plants. As a result, they sprout on the surface of other plants. Lipstick plants can be grown in hanging baskets with moist soil indoors.
What do lipstick plants look like? Lipstick plants can grow up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall in the wild.
The lipstick plant can reach a length of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) when grown indoors as a hanging basket plant. Regular pruning may help keep the size in check while also giving it a bushy look by allowing the stems to trail. The leaves of most Aeschynanthus species are green and ovate in shape.
The form and color of the lipsticks’ blossoms gave the plant its name. Little lipstick sticks bursting out of dark red or burgundy tubes are how the flowers appear. The tubular red flowers are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) long when fully blossoming.
Varieties of Lipstick Vine Plants
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular types of these lovely houseplants before we discuss how to treat a lipstick vine properly..
Red lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans)
Red lipstick is the common name for the classic lipstick plant. The shiny green leaves of this trailing plant are ovate or lanceolate in shape. Against the green foliage, brilliant crimson tube-like blooms provide contrast.
Mona Lisa lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Mona Lisa’)
When the Mona Lisa blooms, it produces a lot of orange-red flowers. The lovely bright blooms dangle down from long stems, making this cultivar ideal for growing hanging baskets.
Curly lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Curly’)
The lipstick plant’s distinguishing feature is its curly thick green leaves. This hanging plant has a distinctive and unusual appearance due to its lustrous leaves curling and twisting.
Variegated lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Variegata’)
Its lovely cream and green variegated leaves brighten up any space. Orangey-red blooms explode with color when they bloom late in the summer and early in the fall.
Black Pagoda lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis)
The ‘Black Pagoda,’ a variegated lipstick plant, has dull green leaves with a blotchy, mottled appearance due to its dark purple-maroon patterning below.
‘Rasta’ lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Rasta’)
This hanging basket plant has a stunning appearance thanks to the twisted leaves of the cultivar ‘Rasta.’ An indoor space is brightened with cascading stems overflowing with deeply curled leaves and upturned red flowers. If you need a lipstick plant for low-light circumstances, choose this one.
Tangerine Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Tangerine’)
Orange-yellow blooms adorn this lipstick plant variety.
How to Water a Lipstick Flower Plant
To ensure that the soil never completely dries out, lipstick plants need regular watering. Gently press the soil to determine how often to water a lipstick plant. The earth should be completely dry at the top 1 inch (2.5 cm). Summers are hotter, and the water is more available.
In the spring and summer, you may need to water a lipstick plant every week; in the fall and winter, you may only need to do it once every few months. The frequency, on the other hand, is affected by the size and type of pot. Thus, before watering, always verify that the soil is somewhat damp to dry.
It is preferable to water less rather than more while caring for your lipstick plant. Overwatering causes wet, soggy soil, which can lead to root rot. All sorts of fungus issues may befall your houseplant if you waterlogged the soil. Make sure your container or hanging basket has holes in the bottom to help with drainage.
Fill the tank with enough water until it runs out at the bottom. Wait until the top layer of soil has dried completely before watering again. You can learn how to identify indications of watering problems with your lipstick plant at the conclusion of the article.
Lipstick Plant Light Requirements
Lipstick plants need plenty of light to produce vibrant bright red or yellow flowers. Place in an indoor location where there is bright light but away from direct sunlight. A south- or west-facing room should have the ideal conditions to get enough sunlight.
If you have a lipstick plant near a window, make sure that the sun doesn’t shine on it all day. This can result in frizzled leaves that eventually die off.
Lipstick plants tend to get leggy and straggly if there’s not enough light. If you notice that your plant doesn’t bloom and the vines look unkempt, move to a brighter, sunnier location. You can prune off the leggy stems and use them as cuttings to propagate new plants.
During warm summers, you can hang your lipstick plant outdoors in a partially shady location.
Soil Requirements for a Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus)
Plants in the Aeschynanthus genus need well-draining soil to prevent moisture and fungal problems. Make the ideal soil for lipstick plants by combining one-part regular potting mix, one-part peat, and one-part perlite. This type of lighter soil helps prevent a buildup of moisture.
Your pot or container should have drainage holes in the bottom to ensure water drains properly from the soil. You can also create the perfect soil environment by adding a layer of clay pebbles at the bottom. The stones allow air to circulate freely and excess water to drain out.
Remember that soil will dry out quicker in a terracotta pot than in a plastic one.
Best Temperature for Lipstick Flower Plants
Average room temperature is excellent to grow lipstick plants and help them thrive. The ideal temperature range is between 65 and 85°F (18 – 30°C). You will find that warm temperatures, high humidity, and plenty of light encourage flowers to bloom.
If you have these flowering vine houseplants growing outside, bring them indoors if the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C). Low temperatures slow down growth, and if it gets too cold, your plant will die. Leaf drop is one sign that the cold is affecting your lipstick plant growth.
Also, try to avoid sharp, sudden rises in temperature. These plants are native to tropical countries where temperatures are consistently warm. So, don’t have your plant in drafty rooms or beside radiators.
Lipstick Plant: Humidity Requirements
Lipstick vine plants thrive in high humidity, similar to their native environment. The easiest way to hydrate your tropical indoor plant is to spritz the leaves daily with a fine mist. This is a growing requirement in addition to regular watering.
Humidity can become an issue for lipstick plants in winter. Household heating tends to dry out the air and dehydrate plants. This means you may have to water your plant less but mist if more frequently during winter.
If your lipstick plant grows in a regular container, you can place this on a pebble tray with water in it. Or, you could put the houseplant next to other plants in your room.
Depending on how bright your bathroom or kitchen is, you will find that lipstick plants grow well where there is plenty of steam.
Feeding Your Lipstick Vine Plant
Every four weeks, as part of your normal plant care, fertilize your lipstick plant. To encourage development and prevent root burning, use half-strength houseplant fertilizer. If you want to feed your plant every three months, you can also use slow-release fertilizer.
Flushing the soil twice or thrice a year is one of those lipstick plant care tips. Flush any residual mineral salts from the soil by running a lot of water through it. Let the water sit there for a while, then drain it completely. A lipstick plant vine with brown leaves might indicate that it has been overfed. When the plant goes dormant during the fall and winter, don’t apply fertilizer.
Where to Place a Lipstick Plant
To create healthy leaves and lovely, vivid blooms, lipstick plants need to thrive in bright, sunny places. Don’t put your plant in full sun or in direct sunlight.
When does a Lipstick Plant Bloom?
When they get enough bright light, lipstick plants bloom. Vines produce flowers in the spring and summer. Your lipstick plant may reward you with flowers on a regular basis if you provide it with the proper growing conditions indoors. Getting enough light and allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering are the most essential care instructions for lipstick plants to bloom.
How to Prune a Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus)
Cutting roughly a third of the length of the stems from a lipstick plant is enough to prune it. Wait until the vine plant has finished flowering to do this. Cut the stem just above the leaf node using pruning scissors. In the spring or summer, you may also trim the plant without causing harm. Your lipstick plant care regimen should include pruning as a regular step.
Long, straggly stems on a lipstick vine are trimmed off, and the vine becomes bushy. Pruning also helps to promote additional blooming by encouraging more flowers. You’ll get a beautiful flowering hanging basket plant with red flowers cascading over the edge since the blooms bloom at the leaf tips.
How to Propagate a Lipstick Plant
Water is the ideal medium for lipstick plant propagation. Several cuttings may be taken from your plant to establish new plants, if it is trimmed back. Simply put cuttings of 4″ to 6″ (10 to 15 cm) in a glass of water. Plant the roots in a potting mix that has been prepared for them.
Put the cuttings right into the ground to quickly and easily grow your lipstick plant. Rooting hormone should be dipped into the end of the cutting. In a pot with moist potting soil, put the cutting at a depth of 2″ (5 cm). Firm up the soil around the new, then water it thoroughly before putting it in a sunny, warm position. It will take four to six weeks for roots to develop.
Repotting a Lipstick Flower Plant
When a lipstick vine plant becomes established in its present pot, it is time to repot it. When your plant stops growing or you see roots protruding from the drainage holes, these are signs that it needs to be repotted. In the spring or summer, repotting your houseplants is ideal.
You’ll need to buy a 2″ (5 cm) wider replacement hanging basket or container. Shake excess soil from the roots before gently coaxing the plant out of the container. Next, untangle any wrapped roots and cut any damaged ones with care. Then, fill the new pot halfway with a suitable potting soil for lipstick plants.
Fill the rest of the area with soil and add your plant. It’s critical to make sure that a lipstick plant grows at the same level as it did in its former pot after repotting. As a result, you’ll need to adjust the amount of soil.
Are Lipstick Plants Toxic?
Humans, cats, dogs, and other animals are not harmed by lipstick vine plants.
Lipstick Plant Care: Pests and Diseases
The Aeschynanthus plants can be infested by pests. Mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are the most common kinds. Lipstick plant growth is also affected by fungal diseases caused by too much moisture. How can you take care of a lipstick flower plant that is dying or sick?
Cotton masses on stems (mealybugs), tiny pear-shaped bugs (aphids), and little webs beneath the leaves (spider mites) are all signs of pests. If left untreated, all of these pests may harm your plant. To get rid of the pests, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution to clean the leaves and stems. Continue until all traces of the insects are gone by continuing once a week.
To ensure that the insects haven’t spread, it would be a good idea to inspect other houseplants for infestations. One indication that your plant has a fungal illness is black spots on its leaves. Reduce watering and misting to a minimum if you see these blotches.
Don’t water until the top soil has dried out. Always water and mist your plant in the morning to help prevent fungal infections. By applying this care tip, you can ensure that the leaves are dry by evening.
Common Problems Affecting Lipstick Plants
Lipstick plants are often simple to keep, but they may experience a few common difficulties. Some questions about lipstick plant care are answered here.
Why are the leaves falling off my lipstick plant?
Several lipstick plant difficulties might be indicated by a leaf drop. A lack of water or moisture is a frequent cause for leaves to fall off. Water the plant thoroughly if the soil is dry. Fill it with enough water to flow out the bottom. To determine how often to water the plant in the future, check its condition every week.
Why are leaves turning yellow on my lipstick plant?
Lack of water or sunlight is often the cause why a lipstick factory’s leaves turn yellow. Move your plant to a brighter area or increase artificial light indoors if the soil is moist.
Why doesn’t my lipstick plant bloom?
To bloom on a regular basis, lipstick plants need plenty of light. So, make sure the area gets enough sunlight and isn’t too shaded. Some direct sunlight, but not all day, is tolerable to the plant. Lack of nutrients is another reason your plant isn’t blooming. From every four weeks to every two weeks, increase the frequency of feeding.