The lipstick plant is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen subtropical plant and lies in the family Gesneriaceae. It has various names like aeschynanthus, lipstick basket vine, and basket vine and is native to the humid tropics of Malaysia and Indonesia. They are usually trailing epiphytic plants having bright flowers. Sunbirds generally pollinate them.
There are a large variety of plants with different features under this genus. Some of the plants have thick, waxy shell while some have soft leaves. The lipstick plant is glossy green foliage adorned with red or orange tubular flowers. It complements the looks of any room, especially if you are looking to add bushy to your home. This plant is closely related to African violet and gloxinia.
Species like Aeschynanthus speciosus are large plant having long, trailing stems, fleshy, bright flowers, and dark leaves up to 4 inches (10 cm) and 1 ½ inch (3.8 cm) wide. Aeschynanthus micranthus is smaller and trailing. Similarly, Aeschynanthus long caulis, Aeschynanthus pulcher, and Aeschynanthus radicans are common houseplant that people grow in temperate climates.
HOW TO GROW LIPSTICK PLANT
- Partly fill a pot (at least 200 mm wide) with quality potting mix and place in a bright area. Please avoid direct sunlight.
- Take the plant out from the pot and gently tease the root ball to loosen the roots and place the plant in the right position in the pot.
- Water your plant correctly and feed biweekly during the growing season (spring to autumn) with liquid plant food.
- The plant does not prefer wet feet, so do not overwater it.
- You can propagate the plant using 4-inch stem tip cuttings from the newest vines.
HOW TO CARE
This plant is all year plant so you can grow them any time, but you need to care about the factors listed below:
The plant prefers fast-draining potting soil (mixed with sphagnum) that is rich in humus, peat moss or cocopeat, and that is kept moist.
The best temperature during spring, summer, and fall is between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and about 65 degrees F (18 degrees Celsius) during winter.
Indirect light is necessary for the growth of the plant. Direct sun can burn the leaves.
Allow the plant to dry thoroughly before watering. Add less water during winter but if the plant is growing in lower light conditions and if the leaves appear soft and shriveled, water more frequently.
Feed the plant in every other week with a houseplant food that is high in phosphorous with lukewarm water at ¼th the amount recommended on the package.
It prefers high humidity, but essential household humidity would be perfect for the plant. Lipstick plant can develop fungal diseases due to high humidity, so necessary household humidity is appropriate for it.
Insects and pests
Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and thrips might attack the plant. You can use insecticides and pesticides to treat them.
Place the plant in a small pot so that they can produce more flowers. If you place them in a larger pot, they grow more leaves instead of growing flowers.
Repotting can be done to encourage better growth of the plant. You may follow the following steps:
- Select a container that is slightly larger than the older one; make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom.
- Pour the potting mix into the new pot, and gently grasp the plant’s stems with your finger at the soil line.
- Tilt the pot sideways and pull the plant out of the old pot.
- Use sharp cutters to snip off any excess roots growing from the central root mass, and set the plant in the new pot.
- Fill the pot with quality potting mix, and water generously until the water goes out from the holes at the pot’s bottom.
Benefits of the plant
- You can use lipstick plant indoors to add attraction to your kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms.
- These plants are non-poisonous.