One of the easy-to-grow vines, Lipstick Plant adds its peculiar charm indoors and outdoors without picking a location. Mostly, potted ones take up some spots whose decoration score is high, such as walls, shelves, windowsills, and so on. Taking its name from lipstick-like flower buds, Lipstick Plant is called “Lipstick Vine” and “Basket Vine”. Scientifically, it is also known as Aeschynanthus Radicans. Besides that, this flowering plant is native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Above all, Lipstick Plant is a complete air purifier.
Meanwhile, this tropical plant has a lot of varieties. Some well-known ones are Black Pagoda, Cassiopeia, Curly Q, Krakav, Mini Variegated, Mona Lisa, Purple Star, Rasta, Red, Tangerina, Variegated, and Firework. As a note, to get a good result from research engines, you have to write “Lipstick Plant” to the beginning of these varieties when googling.
1) General information for Lipstick Plant
Lipstick Plant typically has stems, with the cascading habit, and flowers at the tip of stems, with maroon buds, red petals. But this general definition may change from variety to variety. Because each variety has its peculiar beauty. Also, this houseplant has a special fragrance but it is unpleasant in general. When it comes to its mature size, it could reach up to 15 inches (38 cm) indoor but 3 ft (1 m) in nature. Besides, this tropic plant is perennial epipthe like Swiss Cheese Vine and Peperomia Hope. Above all, Lipstick Plant is completely safe for pets due to being non-poisonous.
2) How to Care for Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus Radicans)
Semi-shade locations are good spots for this flowering plant. The more it takes diffused sunlight, the more it starts developing.
When the potting soil is dry, it must be watered thoroughly. For that reason, you should water it bi-weekly. In winter, it needs sparingly watering. Because this tropical plant goes dormant in these times.
Due to being a tropical plant, Lipstick Plant likes high humidity levels. To ensure it, you may use automated humidifiers, wet trays, and water sprays. Also, trellis stands and sphagnum moss poles are other ways to increase the humidity.
The optimal temperature range for this houseplant is 65°F – 75°F(18°C – 24°C). At least, it may reach down to 50°F(10°C). According to the USDA plant hardiness map, it grows outdoors better in zones 10-11.
All kinds of potting mixes are okay for this houseplant. These soils should be porous for better water evacuation.
Generally, hanging basket planters and ladder planter vertical stands are more suitable for Lipstick Plants. Other than these kinds of stuff, wall planter stands are mostly practical as well.
All-purpose fertilizers would work. But you should apply water-soluble ones monthly in the plant’s growing season. In winter, you may use slow-releasing fertilizers.
There are two common ways to propagate this flowering plant. Here, these ways are seeds and stems. Starting from seed takes a lot of time. Roughly, its germination takes 15 days. For that reason, there are a lot of phases to reach its mature state. But, on the other hand, cutting stems are more reliable and shorter way. Cut the stem with 4-5 leaves. Then you may use either water or soil propagation.
When outgrown its pot, Lipstick Plant should be transferred to another larger pot. Generally, this replanting gets done in spring.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Dry conditions and underwatering lead to this look.
Overwatering, and stagnant water due to improper drainage cause this problem. Overwatering is one of the common mistakes. Due to this mistake, a lot of plants go into the trash bin. Also, stagnant water in the potting soil stems from pots without drainage holes in general.
Whiteflies, thrips, scales, aphids, mites, and so on wreak havoc on this houseplant. Usually, they appear when the plant’s care is neglected a lot.
Suggestions for problems
To keep the plant alive and to recover its leaves, first of all, you should stick to the plant’s watering routine. This way, the plant’s leaves perk up over time. Drowned roots due to overwatering means the plant is dead. To prevent this impending problem, you should check your watering schedule, and be sure of your pot’s drainage holes. When it comes to pest infestation, you can use neem oils, alcohol-based wipes, and pesticides. Meanwhile, such plants are dust magnets. To keep away dust, you should clean your plant’s leaves with a damp cloth.
Suggestions for beginners
Getting its reputation from its flower buds, Lipstick Plant is quite a showy plant. But its flower petals are vulnerable. The flower petals might be detached from their bud when someone touches them.