Lipstick Plant Facts

Overview

If you're looking to add some color to your indoor plant collection, then the lipstick plant may be the plant you're looking for. It's red-orange flowers, cascading from glossy, dark green leaves, will brighten any corner of your home. Knowing the facts about this plant's water, soil, temperature and other needs can help you to make the lipstick plant to flourish in your home.

History/Identification

The lipstick plant, or Aeschynanthus radicans, is tropical plant that is native to rainforests. Most species of lipstick plant feature dark, glossy, pointed leaves and red-orange flowers, although some varieties feature spotted leaves and others have yellow flowers. The lipstick plant has blooming seasons several times throughout the year.

Light Needs

The lipstick plant's genesis in the rainforest means that this plant is accustomed to bright, indirect light. Hang it near a window, or underneath a plant growth lamp. Too much sun or too little light are both conditions that will hamper the blooming of this plant's famous red-orange blooms.

Soil Needs

In their native habitat, lipstick plants grow in the moss that hangs on trees in the rainforest. This means that the lipstick plant will prefer a light, aerated soil when it is grown indoors. An African violet mix, with plenty of perlite added, is a good choice for the lipstick plant. The soil should drain well.

Water Needs

One of the most challenging aspects of growing lipstick plants indoors is getting the watering just right. The lipstick plant doesn't ask for too much water, and doesn't ask for too little, and therein lies the problem. Because lipstick plants are native to a tropical environment, they like to stay uniformly moist: not too wet, which can result in root rot; and not too dry, which will cause wilting.

Potting Needs

Lipstick plants are trailing, vining plants. They do best in hanging baskets, which allow their tendrils and flowers to hang freely, or in pots situated to give them plenty of room to spread out. They can also be trained to vine on supports. Pots should have drainage holes to prevent the plants' soil from remaining too wet.

Temperature Needs

The lipstick plant's tropical background means that it prefers warm climates. It does well in temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees F. It is also particular about temperature when it comes to water--always water using warm water.

Fun Facts

The lipstick plant is related to the African violet. It is considered an herb rather than a flower.

Keywords: lipstick plant, houseplants, lipstick vines

About this Author

A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a B.A. in English from Lincoln Memorial University and an M.S.L.S. in library and information science from University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has 10 years experience writing professionally.

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