How to Grow Lipstick Plant – Also known as Basket vines, the Lipstick plant is a perennial grown for its intense blooms, vibrant leaves and interesting design.
These attractive plants make excellent decorative plants for both the house and the garden and have magnificent blooms of red all season long.
They also grow very well in pots, especially hanging pots, making them a great way to enhance porches, sun rooms, bathrooms, offices and walls. Use a lipstick plant anywhere you need to spice things up with some vibrant color.
Lipstick plants (Aeschynanthus radicans) are native to Asia and are related to African violets. They get their name from the way their unfurling flowers look like tubes of lipstick. The plants contain tiny buds that unfurl into wonderful red flowers.
The cascading foliage of this plant gives it a unique appearance and the color of the leaves, which can be anywhere from dark green to golden and variegated, adds vigor to the entire plant.
Lipstick plants can be grown indoors extremely well, and if the conditions are warm enough they can also be grown outdoors. These plants love the heat.
The best temperature for these plants to achieve maximum growth is about 75 degrees F or higher.
They are rated as tolerant to the USDA zone 11, meaning that a temperature of 40 degrees F will result in the death of the plant.
Lipstick plants also enjoy higher levels of humidity. Daily misting will help your indoor plant maintain moisture and prevent a browning of the leaves.
There are many varieties of indoor Lipstick plants including some varieties with variegated leaves, those with purple and reddish flowers and even some with broad and bronzed colored leaves.
Whatever variation you choose, Lipstick plants growing indoors should be placed in a bright, sunny room but not in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the plants to burn.
They also require a good amount of watering but not so much that the soil becomes saturated. Use a well-draining soil to allow the roots to be moist most of the time.
Adding sphagnum, peat moss, perlite or sand to your soil will help it to retain moisture but not saturate the roots too much.
Fertilize your lipstick plants every two weeks using a nitrogen-free fertilizer, and add a lesser strength than is recommended for other plants.
Lipstick plants will overwinter indoors just fine, but due to less sunlight and therefore less growing on the plant’s part it is a good idea to stop fertilizing and reduce watering during the winter months.
Prune the plants after flowering to help promote new growth. You can also control the blooms by changing pot sizes.
A larger pot will allow your plant to grow larger in size, but have fewer blooms and small pots that keep the plant more root bound will produce more blooms each season.
In warmer climates, bushier versions of Lipstick plants are grown outdoors. Their trailing vine like stems make interesting additions to raised garden beds or rock walls.
Outdoors these plants can grow to about 6-12 inches in height and should be planted about 24-36 inches apart from one another. Be sure to water them regularly.
Propagation of Lipstick plants is easy. During the spring or early summer, simply cut some stems about 3 inches long.
These stem cuttings will easily root if placed in soil or a plastic bag. Rooting can be encouraged by dipping the stem cuttings into some root hormone.
Once the plants have begun to root you can place several of them into a container and allow them to grow into new Lipstick plants.
Lipstick plants are susceptible to a few of the typical pests that attack indoor plants. Aphids and thrips can damage your plants if they become too dry, and mealybugs will also very often show up.
The best way to get rid of these pests is by using pyrethrum based insecticides on the entire plant and quarantining new plants until you are sure they are pest free.
Despite all of the requirements listed above, the lipstick plant is actually a fairly easy plant to grow.
They can fill your home or garden with season long colors of bright red and are overall an attractive plant species, and require very little maintenance.