The Essential Guide To Caring for Your Lipstick Plant
Nothing gives your home a beautiful look quite like a houseplant. But, when it comes to keeping your green friends alive and healthy, there are a few important care points to keep in mind. The Lipstick Plant is one of the more unique houseplants out there, and with proper TLC, you’ll be able to make sure it flourishes in your home.
What Is a Lipstick Plant?
The Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus marmoratus) is a tropical plant native to Malaysia. It’s also known as “pigeon’s blood plant” or “flower of passion” due to its vibrant reddish-orange flowers which some say resemble a tube of lipstick. Most often planted in hanging containers, this species reaches up to 12 inches in height and requires bright, indirect sunlight and moderate water to thrive. In the winter months, make sure you reduce the water, as too much will cause the roots to rot.
Finding the Right Pot
The Lipstick Plant loves living in a hanging container, as it gives the root system plenty of space to climb and spread. When it comes to transplanting your Lipstick Plant into a new pot, always select a plastic or ceramic container with adequate drainage holes. This will help ensure that excess water flows away from the roots and prevents any waterlogging. Be careful not to over-pot your Lipstick Plant, as overcrowded root systems can lead to poor drainage and stunted growth.
Creating the Right Environment
When it comes to caring for your Lipstick Plant, the environment is key. This species likes humid conditions, so misting the leaves once in a while helps to keep moisture levels optimal. It also responds well to being grouped with other houseplants — doing so helps create an ideal microclimate and can help it thrive. Just make sure that you pot each plant separately and that they all receive adequate water and light levels.
What About Feeding?
Just like any other houseplant, your Lipstick Plant needs nutrients to stay healthy and vibrant. During the growing season (from April-August) you should feed your Lipstick Plant every 2 weeks with an appropriate houseplant fertilizer — but remember to always dilute the mixture according to instructions. In the cooler months, reduce this to once every month, as this species should never be overfed.
To ensure your Lipstick Plant continues to look its best, regular pruning is essential. As with most other houseplants, the best time for pruning is in the spring when growth is just starting up again. Remove any dead or dying leaves and flowers and cut back stems that have become leggy and sparse. This helps the plant stay bushy and encourages new growth. Be careful not to over-prune – no more than 1/3 of all stems should be removed at one time.
Be Patient With Pests
Unfortunately, pests can also be an issue when it comes to keeping houseplants. If you spot any signs of pests on your Lipstick Plant (such as webbing or small particles on the leaves), it’s important to act quickly. Start by simply wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth–this may be all that’s needed to remove any pests. If this doesn’t do the trick, consider using an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to get rid of any stubborn bugs.
Keeping Your Lipstick Plant Looking Its Best
With its bright orange blooms and attractive foliage, the Lipstick Plant can make a lovely addition to any home. As long as you follow the tips outlined above, you can help ensure that your plant stays healthy and happy for many years to come. For more information on caring for this tropical beauty, check out How to Care for a Dragon Tree.