Lipstick Plant or Aeschynanthusradicans is a unique indoor plant that fits perfectly at home or in the office, giving you the most graceful draping. It creates a very nice aura around any location with beautiful flowers on and off-season as well as abundant green leaves that are equally colorful.
At the most basic, remember the following three cardinal principles of caring for your lipstick plant:
- Watering: water your lipstick plant moderately. Ensure that the top 25% of the soil is dry before you can add more.
- Light: lipstick plant loves light but not direct sun.
- Temperature: lipstick plant loves moderate temperatures of between 70-80°F (21°-26°C) to bloom throughout the year.
Whether you watch your potted plants every day or they catch your attention once in a while, the Lipstick plant is adaptable and will adjust to your care schedule.
We have just scratched the surface on how to care for your lipstick plant. The beauty of this plant is in the small details about every-day care. Now, you have your potted lipstick plant and are all excited about your new plant mate. This is where the real job of caring for the Lipstick plant begins.
Come with us as we look at an expert’s guide on how to make your potted lipstick plant a spectacle. We will also share experiences on how to deal with different scenarios like winter, flowering season, and keeping the plant impressively succulent.
Here we go!
Lipstick Plant: How to Take Care of it
The graceful nature of the lipstick plant requires you to pay attention to minute details. We will, therefore, look at each aspect of care at a time. However, before going into the specifics on how to care for the lipstick plant, it would help to understand the kind of plant you are taking home.
Lipstick plants are a vine-like species that grows up to 5 ft. or 1.5M in the wild. They fall into the epiphyte class that is capable of twining on other plants. Indoors, you can grow it alone in a pot or alongside a tree-like plant where it can climb.
In terms of its growth habit, you can train the lipstick plant to spread on the floor, climb on another plant, or climb on a specially prepared rough wall. If the pot is hanging, the lipstick plant will flow downwards like a fountain.
The lipstick plant suits indoor keeping because they do not require a lot of light. With regular pruning, you can create a perfect bush that blooms with flowers regularly. It is the shape and color of the flowers that have given this plant its name.
Having understood a bit about the plant, allow us to get into the nitty-gritty of caring for the lipstick plant. Some of the areas we will cover include:
- Pests and Diseases
- Pruning and Training
At the end of the article, we will look at the most frequently asked questions and concerns you are likely to encounter daily.
The lipstick plant requires a moderate amount of water. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Too much water will cause the leaves to fall while the lack of water will leave the leaves shriveled and soft. Ensure that the pot drains the water naturally to protect the roots from rotting.
Any lipstick plant requires sufficient water but will survive in ordinary humidity. It does not require misting, but you can spray the leaves to clear dust and any pests that may be on the surface.
The secret to a blossoming lipstick plant is well-drained and airy soil. Too much water will give you fungal problems, causing the leaves to wither and fall. Combine one unit of potting mix to one unit of perlite and a single unit of peat.
While the plant loves indoors, dark corners will impede it from blooming and flowering. Therefore, a few hours of indirect bright light or the early morning and late evening sun would be appropriate. The direct sun causes the leaves to wither and the soil to dry. You can place the pot near a window or hallway where it can get mild sunlight a few hours a day.
Adequate light is especially important during the flowering season. The most beautiful flowers in the most significant quantity will appear on the part that receives sufficient light and sunshine.
Frizzled leaves and unkempt vines are an indication that your plant is not getting adequate light and needs to be moved to a better place.
The ideal flowering conditions for lipstick plants are plenty of moderate light, high humidity, and warm temperature. A temperature range between 65° – 80°F (18°-26°C) will be suitable for any variety of lipstick plant. If the leaves begin to fall, it could be due to it being too cold. The plant can also experience a sudden change in temperature.
The temperature of the soil is equally essential for lipstick plants. Luckily, the pots adapt to the temperature of the surrounding environment. However, the water must be well-drained to maintain the desired soil temperature.
Lipstick Plants Advanced Caring Guidelines
If you go the extra mile, your lipstick plant bush will be impressive to look at any time.
Below are some of the things you can do to improve on the quality of your bush:
Apply organic fertilizer every four weeks. Half-strength of the regular house-plant fertilizer will protect the roots from burning. If you opt to slow-release the fertilizer, you can space your application by every three months.
Pruning and Propagation
Pruning will depend on your desired type of bush. Failure to trim the vines results in thin and straggly vines. If you need a thick bush, it is recommended that you trim the vines.
The best timing for pruning is after blooming – since running in the Summer or Spring is the best time to not damage the plant in any way. Pruning will encourage flowering, giving you the most beautiful bush with flowers at the edges.
Vines are what help propagate the Lipstick plant. The vines slashed during pruning can be planted on a different pot and nurtured into beautiful bushes too.
Ordinary water and organic fertilizer are enough to help the vines to shoot.
Pests and Diseases
Because your plant is at a shaded place, thrips, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs will camp at the pot. But before applying any chemical pesticide, take the pot out and allow the vines to get some air. Most pests do not love light. Thus, those that hide in humid areas will disappear.
Some pests hide in the soil and may cause the entire plant to wilt. Ensure that your soil is adequately drained to avoid harboring such pests. Use the appropriate pesticides to keep most of these pests away.
If you live in a humid area or the plant is at a damp corner, you are likely to experience fungal issues. Ensure you drain the soil, reduce the humidity, and use appropriate chemicals to control the disease. However, watch out for signs of too much water or excess sunlight that might manifest as diseases.
There are two instances when you need to repot your lipstick plant.
- When it outgrows its current pot
- If the soil becomes unhealthy
If the plant has outgrown its current pot, you need to slice it into smaller shoots for distribution to other containers. A bigger pot helps to maintain the shape and intensity of your bush.
Unhealthy soil is mostly rectifiable by changing it to a brand new one. Get a fresh mix of soil and manure, ensuring that it meets the desired humidity conditions. Also, correct drainage and fertilizer issues that could have made the soil unhealthy.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lipstick Plants
We recognize that you will encounter strange situations with your lipstick plant from time to time. Here are some of the common questions and issues you are likely to face and how to solve them.
Is the lipstick plant safe for cats?
The plant is considered healthy for both pets and humans. That is why it remains a common feature in many houses and offices.
Is lipstick plant a succulent?
Yes. The plant grows in wet areas in the wild, loves water, and has succulent leaves. The waxy leaves ensure that it falls squarely into this category.
Can lipstick plants go outside?
As long as they will not encounter direct sun, the plants are ready for outdoors. The best place is a shaded area or a section that receives the sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
How do I care for a lipstick plant during winter?
Reduce the amount of water during winter to once or twice a month. Monitor soil moisture to determine whether your plant will require more water.
Cascading lipstick plants love hanging pots. If you give it sufficient sunshine, it will pay you back with beautiful flowers on and off-season for the entire year. Since it is a natural plant to maintain, you will have the most beautiful bush indoors.