The lipstick plant is an evergreen plant native to southern and southeast Asia. This plant is so called because of its bright-red, tubular flowers that resemble tubes of lipstick. Lipstick plant is actually an herb, but is treated like a houseplant because of its cascading vines and vibrantly colored flowers.
The leaves of the lipstick plant are deep-green and shiny. They range in size on a single plant from small to large. The veining on lipstick plant leaves varies from green to red.
The flowers of the lipstick plant emerge as long, waxy, tubular buds. They are usually red, but some have tinges of yellow mixed in. When the flowers bloom, they are trumpet shaped, flaring open.
Lipstick plants prefer well-drained soil. They do not tolerate excessive moisture. Left to sit in wet soil, the lipstick plant develops root rot. Use a potting mix made for succulents, or make your own by mixing potting soil and gardening sand at a ratio of 1-to-1.
The lipstick plant likes light, but prefers bright, indirect light. A sunny living room or kitchen is ideal for a lipstick plant's needs. Placing your plant in a hot, brightly sunlit window will cause the foliage to become sunburned and damaged. If you must hang your plant in a brightly lit window, use sheer curtains to filter the light.
The roots of the lipstick plant do best when they remain on the dry side of moist. Water your plant's soil only when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. The foliage and blossoms crave humidity. Because air-conditioners and heaters sap humidity out of your home's atmosphere, it is essential that your lipstick plant receive daily mistings with filtered water.
A lipstick plant is a hardy grower when left on its own. Fertilization is not required to make the plant bloom and grow. If you want to hasten its growth or force more blooms, use an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer during the spring and summer. Lipstick plants go dormant in the fall and winter, so do not fertilize yours during these months.