Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick Plant) Care and Propagation Guide


Aeschynanthus radicans, Lipstick Plant, Lipstick Vine, Basket Vine

Botanical name: Aeschynanthus radicans
Family: Gesneriaceae
Common names: Lipstick Plant, Lipstick Vine, Basket Vine

Description

Aeschynanthus radicans commonly called Lipstick Plant, Lipstick Vine or Basket Vine is an evergreen, vining, perennial plant which bears leathery, ovate to lanceolate, green leaves and vibrant red tubular flowers with yellow throats.

Lipstick Plant is ideal for a hanging basket or a trellis where the beautiful leaves and vibrant flowers can be displayed for a spectacular sight.

Lipstick Vine is a tropical plant which requires warm and humid conditions to thrive. It is not cold hardy, therefore, it is best grown as a houseplant in the temperate regions.

However, the Lipstick Plant can be grown outdoors as a container plant in areas with harsh winters which is brought inside in winter and treated as a houseplant when the temperatures drop to about 120C.

Size

Lipstick Vine is a vining plant whose stems can grow from 3 to 5 ft long.

Flowers

Lipstick Plant bears terminal, tubular, scarlet flowers with yellow throats, about 5–7.5 cm long, whose upper lobes are shorter than the lower ones in spring and summer. The common name, 'Lipstick Plant', comes from the scarlet flowers which open from buds that resemble tubes of lipstick.

Origin

Aeschynanthus radicans is native to the tropical regions of Malay Peninsula south to Java where it is found growing as an epiphyte (on trees) or lithophyte (in or on rocks).

Toxicity

Lipstick Plants are considered non-toxic to pets as indicated by ASPCA. They are safe to grow in the home.

Varieties

There are numerous varieties of Lipstick Plants which include;

Variegated Lipstick Plant whose leaves bear striking white streaks.

Curly Lipstick Plant with curly, dark-green leaves and vibrant scarlet red flowers.

Variegated Curly Lipstick Plant which bears curly, yellowish-green leaves and orange-red blooms.

Mona Lisa Lipstick Plant with waxy, dark green leaves and vibrant red and orange flowers.

Twister Lipstick Plant with pointed, twirling dark-green leaves and red blooms.

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant also called Hoya Lipstick Plant due to its resemblance to Hoya Plants bears shiny, dark-green leaves with purple variegations on the upper- and under-sides and greenish yellow flowers.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add Lipstick Plant to your collection, here is our link to Etsy shops.

Aeschynanthus radicans, Lipstick Plant, Lipstick Vine, Basket Vine

Aeschynanthus radicans Care Indoors

Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick Plant) blossoms in very bright light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Lipstick Plant requires regular trimming of the stems to keep it full and beautiful. Repotting is only needed when the plant becomes potbound. Keep reading for more details on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Watering

Water Lipstick Plant liberally during the growing season when the top 1-2 in. of soil dry out and keep the soil consistently moist through out.

Cut down on watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Light Requirements

Lipstick Plant grows best in very bright, indirect light to promote flowering. A spot infront of a brightly-lit window is ideal for this plant. Keep it away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure the Basket Vine receives adequate light on all sides to promote even growth and prevent the plant from getting leggy.

Lipstick Vine can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not sufficient.

Temperature and Humidity

Lipstick Vine prefers average warmth within the range of 18-280C. Keep it away from cold and hot drafts like windy doors, drafty windows, air conditioning units, hot air vents and others to prevent sudden changes in temperature which may lead to leaf drop and stunted growth.

Lipstick Plant has a high need for humidity as it does best in above average humidity between 60-70%. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.

Regularly clean the leaves with a soft brush to get rid of dust as well as discourage pest infestations. Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

Fertilizer

Feed Lipstick Vine every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer containing micronutrients to boost blooming and healthy growth of the plant.

Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding the plant at this time can result in fertilizer burn and death of the plant.

Potting Mix

The best soil for Lipstick Plant should be rich in organic matter to provide the required nutrients and at neutral to alkaline PH for optimum growth of the plant.

Well-drained soil like this Organic Potting Mix is recommended to avoid getting soggy soil which can lead to root-rot and death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot Lipstick Vine at the beginning of spring only when it is extremely pot-bound as it blooms more when slightly pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower as it can shorten the flowering period.

Repot the plant into a pot 1 size larger than the current one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Carefully, slip the plant out of its pot, shake off the old potting mix and trim the dead roots with clean and sterilized scissors. Place the plant in the center of the new pot and refill with fresh free-draining potting mix.

Thoroughly wet the soil until water comes out through the drainage hole, empty the saucer and replace the plant infront of a brightly-lit window away from direct sunlight.

Pruning

Pruning Lipstick Plant involves removal of dead leaves and flowers to keep the plant neat and also discourage pests and diseases. To encourage blooming trim the stems to about 6-8 in. after flowering for better light penetration.

Propagation

Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick Plant) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season (spring) from soft stem cuttings.

How to propagate Lipstick Plant from soft stem cuttings

Take a 4-5 soft stem cuttings from a healthy Lipstick Plant. Strip off the lower leaves and dip the lower cut end in rooting powder to hasten rooting.

Insert the lower cut end in moist free-draining rooting mix while taking care not to brush off the rooting powder.

Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect and place it in a warm, brightly-lit spot away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the cuttings.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new plants are well established. Allow the new plants to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to grow Lipstick Plant from seeds

Spread Lipstick Plant seeds evenly on moist, free-draining soil and cover lightly with some soil.

Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect and place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place.

Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface.

Transplant the new plants when the seedlings are well established after which routine care can begin.

Aeschynanthus radicans, Lipstick Plant, Lipstick Vine, Basket Vine

Aeschynanthus radicans Common Problems

Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick Plant) common growing problems include brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges, leaf drop, lack of blooms, pests among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Pests

The common pests in Lipstick Plant are aphids, mealybugs and spidermites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges

Brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges in Lipstick Plant are due to two possible reasons. One possible reason for brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges is dry air resulting in low air humidity.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaf edges in Lipstick Vine is underwatering. Maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season.

Decrease watering in the cold season as growth is reduced at this time but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Leaf drop

Leaf drop in Lipstick Plant is caused by two possible reasons. One possible reason is incorrect watering; either underwatering or overwatering.

Keep the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not let the soil dry out completely.

In addition, make sure that pot has a drainage hole and the soil is loose, free-draining to prevent from getting soggy as it can result in root-rot which causes loss of leaves.

The second possible reason for leaf drop in Lipstick Vine is wrong temperature due to exposure to cold drafts. Keep the plant away from cold drafts to maintain an average temperature at 18-280C.

Lack of blooms

Lack of blooms in Lipstick Plant may be due to three possible causes. One possible cause of lack of blooms is lack of essential soil nutrients. To encourage blooming, fertilize the plant with a water-soluble, fertilizer that is rich in Phosphorous and Potassium and contains micronutrients.

The second possible cause of lack of blooms in Lipstick Vine is too little light. Position the plant in a brightly-lit place where it will receive bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

Where the natural lighting is not adequate consider investing in a grow light to supplement it.

The third possible cause of lack of blooms in Basket Vine is failure to trim the stems after flowering. Trim the stems to 6-8 in. after blooming to encourage growth of fresh growth and also encourage light penetration.

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