How to Care for a Lipstick Plant

Overview

A lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) is a tropical plant that is a cousin to the African violet and is native to southeast and southern Asia. It can typically grow outdoors all year long in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and higher. Otherwise, a lipstick plant makes an excellent houseplant and can even be brought outdoors in the summer months. The lipstick plant blooms red tubular flowers that resemble lipstick tubes from late spring until August.

Step 1

Give your lipstick plant lots of indirect light, such as next to a south-facing window covered with a sheer curtain or on a north-facing porch. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, especially during the summer. Partial shade is usually OK, but watch for scorching leaves and move it farther into the shade if necessary. Be sure the plant is away from drafts, which can cause the leaves to drop.

Step 2

Mist your lipstick plant two to three times a week during the growing season, which is typically from spring until fall. A lipstick plant prefers humidity.

Step 3

Water your lipstick plant often during the growing season. A lipstick plant prefers moist (not soggy) soil. Wait until the soil dries on the surface and then water it again. In the summer, you may need to water it every day. However, during the winter months, slow down the watering so it can rest by allowing the soil to dry to about an inch deep.

Step 4

Fertilize your lipstick plant every two weeks during the growing season. Use an all-purpose fertilizer; if you notice your plant is not growing well, dilute the fertilizer to half the potency.

Step 5

Keep temperatures from dropping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, even during the wintertime. Ideally, it should be about 10 to 20 degrees warmer in the day.

Step 6

Prune your lipstick plant. After it is finished blooming in the summer, cutting off all but 6 to 10 inches will help keep a lipstick plant contained to your pot and encourage more growth and blooms the next spring.

Step 7

Re-pot your lipstick plant every two to three years, especially if it has outgrown its current pot. Buy potting soil or mix two parts peat moss to one part sand and choose a pot that has drainage holes on the bottom.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Hand clippers
  • Potting soil

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Lipstick Plant-- Aeschynanthus radicans
  • Plant of the Week: Aeschynanthus radicans - Lipstick Plant
  • John&Jacq~s Garden: Lipstick-like Buds of Aeschynanthus radicans 'Crispa'
Keywords: care lipstick plant, grow lipstick plant, Aeschynanthus radicans

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.