Lipstick plants are common flowering houseplants that are very unique and beautiful, but they also really easy to grow indoor plants. This detailed guide will show you everything you need to know about how to care for lipstick plants.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and unique houseplant to add to your collection, I highly recommend getting yourself a lipstick plant.
They are gorgeous, with lovely waxy leaves and unique flowers – and they bloom profusely with the right care.
The cascading vines of lipstick plants look beautiful in a hanging basket, or spilling over the top of a pillar or shelf.
In this complete guide, you’ll learn all about this fantastic plant including watering, fertilizer, potting soil, lighting, troubleshooting problems, and much more!
What Is A Lipstick Plant?
A lipstick plant (aeschynanthus radicans) is an unusual indoor houseplant that you don’t normally see in garden centers.
The blooms are very unique – as they open, the flower resembles a tube of lipstick – hence the common name of lipstick plant.
Common Lipstick Plant Varieties
There are several different lipstick (aeschynanthus) plant varieties on the market, here are a few of the most common ones you might find…
- Red lipstick plant
- Black pagoda
- Curly leaf
- Mona Lisa
- Rasta (aka “twisted lipstick plant”)
When Do Lipstick Plants Bloom?
The lipstick plant generally blooms during the late summer and early fall, but can bloom throughout the year. Mine continues to bloom on and off all winter, and it’s one of my favorite winter flowering plants.
They will bloom better when they’re root bound, so don’t repot your lipstick plant until it’s absolutely necessary.
Are Lipstick Plants Toxic?
No. Lipstick plants are not toxic to humans or pets making them an ideal indoor houseplant.
Lipstick Plant Care Instructions
Lipstick plants are easy to grow, and they are fun to have in your collection. As long as you follow a few basic requirements, your plant will thrive for years to come.
Proper watering and adequate lighting are the most important things to consider when growing lipstick plants indoors.
Watering A Lipstick Plant
Lipstick plants prefer to have their soil kept on the dry side, but never left totally dry. Ideally the soil should stay lightly moist, but never wet or completely dried out.
Lipstick plants are tolerant of the soil drying a bit out between waterings, but are not tolerant of being overwatered.
However, if left dried out for too long, the leaves will start to turn brown and drop off. Be certain to always check the soil before you water your lipstick plant to avoid overwatering.
If you struggle with properly watering your houseplants, I highly recommend you get an inexpensive soil moisture gauge to help you out.
Lipstick plants also like high humidity, so a bright bathroom or kitchen would make a great home.
Otherwise, you can mist your plant regularly as part of your lipstick plant care routine, run a humidifier near it, or even grow it inside of a mini indoor greenhouse if the air in your home is extremely dry.
The lipstick plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight, and will bloom its best when given plenty of light. Mine thrives near a south facing window in my living room, where it gets filtered sunlight all year long.
When they don’t get enough sunlight, lipstick plants won’t bloom. If you don’t have a room in your home that gets indirect, bright light, then you can add a grow light to supplement.
If you put your lipstick plant outdoors during the summer, be sure to keep it out of the direct sun. Direct sunlight is too intense for lipstick plants, and it can burn their foliage.
Best Potting Soil
Lipstick plants don’t require any special soil, and will usually grow just fine in general potting soil.
Otherwise, it’s best to use a fast draining potting soil, like succulent potting soil (you can also make your own potting mix using my succulent soil recipe). African violet potting soil also would work great for growing lipstick plants.
Also, be sure to grow your lipstick plants in a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom to prevent overwatering, or use an African violet pot.
Fertilizer For Lipstick Plants
To get the best blooms, lipstick plants should be fertilized in the spring through summer as part of your regular lipstick plant care routine.
I recommend using organic plant fertilizer rather than chemical ones because they work better, and there’s less of a chance of burning sensitive plants.
Common Lipstick Plant Pests
Healthy lipstick plants don’t usually have problems with houseplant pests, but aphids, spider mites and mealybugs can become a problem. If you find bugs on your lipstick plant, be sure to treat the plant immediately.
To fight these yucky houseplant bugs, I recommend using natural, organic pest control methods rather than toxic chemical pesticides.
Organic pest control products work better to get rid of houseplant pests, and they are also safer for us and our pets too!
I would recommend using neem oil, which is a natural pesticide that works great for getting rid of plant pests.
How To Prune Lipstick Plant
Lots of people ask me “how do I prune a lipstick plant?”. The good news is that you don’t have to worry too much about them.
Pruning lipstick plants will encourage the plant to grow fuller, rather than longer vines, but it’s usually not a necessary part of lipstick plant care.
If your plant is looking untidy, or not very full, then you can prune off the vines to the desired length. The best time to prune a lipstick plant is right after it’s done blooming, or any time in the early spring through summer.
Aeschynanthus Lipstick Plant Propagation
As for how to propagate lipstick plants, well I have some great news for you. Propagating lipstick plants is actually really easy by taking cuttings and rooting them, and it’s fun too!
Lipstick plant cuttings can easily be rooted using a propagation chamber (or you can make your own DIY propagation box). Be sure to dip the cuttings in rooting hormone before rooting them, this will help to speed things up.
Troubleshooting Lipstick Plant Problems
- Lipstick Plant Dropping Leaves – The most common cause of your lipstick plant leaves falling off is improper watering. Check the soil by sticking your finger one inch down and if it’s dry then water it. If the soil is wet, then allow it to dry out a bit before watering it again. I recommend getting a soil moisture gauge to help you with watering. Refer to the watering section above for more details.
- Flowers or buds dropping off – Bud or flower drop is also usually caused by improper watering, either too much or too little. It can also be caused by sudden change of temperature, or change of environment (like if you recently moved the plant to a new location).
- Leaves turning yellow on lipstick plant – If the leaves on your lipstick plant are turning yellow, that means it either needs more water, more light or maybe both. Check the soil to see how dry it is before watering it, and if it’s wet then don’t water. If your plant is in a low light location, move it closer to a sunny window or add a grow light to give it more light. See the lighting and watering sections above for more details.
- Lipstick plant won’t bloom – If your lipstick plant won’t bloom, then it’s not getting enough light or needs to be fertilized. Move the plant to a brighter spot, or add a grow light. If you’ve never fertilized your plant, then try giving it a weak dose of liquid fertilizer to give it a boost. See both the lighting and fertilizing sections above for more information.
Where To Buy Lipstick Plant
It can be difficult to find a lipstick vine plant for sale at a local garden center, but fall or winter would be the best time to look.
Of course, you can always find a variety of lipstick plants for sale online, and order a few of your favorites!
Lipstick plants are fun indoor flowering plants that are also pretty easy to grow! Add a few different varieties to your collection for constant blooms throughout the year! In order to be successful with lipstick plant care, be sure to give it the right amount of light, water and fertilizer.
If you struggle with indoor plant care during the winter months, then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is for you! It has detailed information that will show you exactly how to care for your houseplants during the most difficult time of the year. Stop killing your houseplants, and keep them thriving all year round! Download your copy today!
More Plant Care Guides
- How To Care For An Orchid Plant
- How To Care For An Amaryllis
- How To Care For A Peace Lily Plant
- Cyclamen Plant Care Guide: How To Take Care Of A Cyclamen Plant
- How To Care For String Of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)
Do you grow lipstick plants? Share you lipstick plant care tips in the comments section below.