Propagating lipstick plants is a fun and cost-effective way to expand your collection.
It’s also surprisingly easy to do, and in this post I’m going to show you how to multiply Aeschynanthus by rooting the cuttings in water or soil, with step-by-step instructions.
I’ll explain the best time to propagate your lipstick plant, provide a list of the supplies you’ll need, and share my tips for success.
Lipstick Plant Propagation Methods
There are three methods you can use to propagate a lipstick plant – divide it, grow it from seeds, or take cuttings.
Since rooting the stems is the easiest option, it’s the method I’ll focus on in this guide. But first, let’s take a closer look at each of the three techniques.
The methods I’ll describe here will work for all varieties, from the curly leaf ones to the beautiful Black Pagoda lipstick plant.
Propagating lipstick plants from cuttings is the most popular method, and the one I recommend. That’s because it’s the simplest way to turn one plant into several.
It involves taking stem cuttings from your mature plant, and then rooting them in either water or soil.
Roots develop from the leaf nodes in as little as 4-6 weeks, and should be ready to pot up within a few months.
While it is possible to propagate Aeschynanthus from a single leaf, it takes a long time and is not always successful. But it’s fun to experiment.
Another way to propagate Aeschynanthus is by division, which involves splitting a mature plant into several smaller sections.
Each section will have its own root system, which you can then pot up in separate containers or transplant into your garden.
This is the quickest way to get a new plant, but is more labor intensive, since you have to remove the mother from its pot or dig it up.
The final way to propagate lipstick plants is by growing them from seeds, which you can either buy or collect yourself.
While germination is usually fairly fast, this is still the slowest of the three options.
When To Propagate Aeschynanthus
You can propagate lipstick plant cuttings at any time during the year, but it can take longer to root them in the colder months.
The best time to take cuttings is in the spring or summer when it’s warm and humid outside, and the plant is actively growing.
If you want to divide yours, I recommend doing it in the spring so that your new babies have plenty of time to become established over the summer.
Propagating Lipstick Plant From Stem Cuttings
Since rooting stem cuttings is the easiest and most popular way to propagate Aeschynanthus, this is the method I’m going to describe step by step.
First, let’s look at how to take and prepare your clippings so that you achieve the best results.
How To Take Lipstick Plant Cuttings
Be sure to make your cut just above a set of leaves, at a 45-degree angle. Your clipping should contain several sets of leaves.
Preparing Lipstick Plant Cuttings For Propagation
To prepare your clippings, remove the lower leaves to expose a few inches of the stem and 1-2 sets of nodes.
You can do this by pinching or snipping them off, but don’t remove them all, you should keep a few at the top.
Propagating Lipstick Plant From A Leaf
If you want to try multiplying your lipstick plant from a single leaf rather than a stem, it is possible.
But it takes a long time to get a mature plant that way, and the chance of success is lower.
You can then follow the instructions for propagating cuttings below, as they are the same for rooting the leaves.
Tips For Propagating Lipstick Plant In Water Or Soil
Now that you have prepared your Aeschynanthus cuttings for propagation, it’s time to root them in either water or soil.
Be sure to work quickly, because if they sit too long your cuttings may become shriveled or dried out, which means they may not root.
Propagating Lipstick Plant In Water
To propagate your lipstick plant cuttings in water, submerge them in a vase so that all of the exposed nodes are covered but none of the leaves are.
I like to use a clear vase for this, because it’s easy and fun to watch the roots develop.
Place the vase in a bright, warm spot and check it often to make sure the water remains clean and topped off.
You’ll soon see the roots begin to develop. Once they’re around 3 to 4 inches long, it’s time to pot them up.
Though this method is quick and easy, the main disadvantage is that the roots tend to be weaker and thinner than they are when you propagate them in soil.
This can make your cuttings vulnerable to severe transplant shock. This is why I recommend potting them up as soon as the roots are long enough.
Rooting Lipstick Plant Cuttings In Soil
This isn’t the most popular method for propagating lipstick plants because it’s a little more complicated and you’ll need a few more things to do it.
But it has the advantage of producing stronger, more robust roots that will stand a better chance of survival once they’re potted up.
Close the lid on your propagation chamber (if you’re using one), or tent a plastic bag over the pot. Place the container in a warm spot with lots of bright, indirect light, and keep the soil moist.
Related Post: How To Make A Propagation Box For Rooting Cuttings
How Long Does It Take To Root Lipstick Plant Cuttings?
When conditions are right, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks for lipstick plant cuttings to root.
If you used a clear vase of water, you can easily see when they are ready for potting up – generally around 2 months.
To tell when they’re rooted in soil, look for new leaves on top. You can also gently tug the cuttings – they shouldn’t move if they have roots.
Why Won’t My Lipstick Plant Propagate?
There are a few different things that could stop or hinder your lipstick plant from propagating.
First, consider the time of year. It will take longer or may not work at all in the colder months when the plant’s growth naturally slows down.
Make sure that the nodes on the stem are completely submerged if you’re propagating them in water, or that the soil stays evenly moist.
Related Post: Plant Propagation: A Detailed Guide For Beginners
How To Care For Aeschynanthus Cuttings
Your lipstick plant cuttings will require a combination of warmth, light, and moisture to survive during propagation.
Place them in a warm, bright part of your home, away from direct sunlight. In a vase, the water level should never drop below the exposed nodes or baby roots.
If you’re propagating them in soil, ensure the medium never dries out. Keep the container covered to maintain the moisture level, or mist them daily.
Potting Up Rooted Lipstick Plant Cuttings
Once your clippings have developed roots around 3 to 4 inches long or you see new growth on the top, it’s time to pot them up.
Fill a clean container with fresh, pre-moistened potting soil. Bury the stems at the same depth they were in the water or growing medium, making sure the roots are fully covered.
Gently press the soil around them, then water lightly. Finally, return them to a warm location with plenty of indirect light and allow your babies to settle into their new homes.
Related Post: The Best Plant Propagation Tools, Equipment & Supplies
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about propagating lipstick plants. If yours isn’t listed, please add in the comments section below.
Can you grow lipstick plant from a cutting?
Yes, you can grow lipstick plant from a cutting by rooting it in either water or soil. It’s easy to do, even if you’re a beginner.
Can you grow a lipstick plant from a leaf?
It is possible to grow a lipstick plant from a leaf, but it is more difficult than stem cuttings. The success rate is usually much lower, since a single leaf may not grow into a full sized plant, and if it does it will take a very long time.
Is lipstick plant easy to propagate?
Yes, lipstick plants are very easy to propagate, even if you have little experience. The main methods are rooting cuttings in soil or water, dividing them, or starting them from seed.
Can you root lipstick plants in water?
Yes, you can root lipstick plants in water, and it’s my favorite method to use. It’s very easy and fun to watch the roots forming, especially if you use a clear vase.
More About Plant Propagation
- How To Propagate Wandering Jew (Tradescantia) In Water Or Soil
- How To Propagate Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) Cuttings In Water Or Soil
- How To Propagate Snake Plant (Sansevieria) In Water Or Soil
- Propagating Peperomia In Water Or Soil
Share your tips for how to propagate lipstick plant in the comments section below.