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Long branches on a lipstick plant

How to care for an Aeschynanthus (Lipstick Plant)

Have you been looking for a hanging plant, but you don't like the normal options like the Philodendron Mican or Golden Pothos? Then the Aeschynanthus, more commonly known as the Lipstick plant might be exactly what you're looking for.

The lipstick plant gets this nickname from the unusual-looking red flowers it grows: they look like lipstick. The combination of these bright red flowers and its deep green leaves make this plant pop and it will brighten up any room of your living space!

In this plant care guide, we're looking at these topics:

  1. How often should I water my Lipstick Plant?
  2. What kind of light does an Aeschynanthus need?
  3. What is the best soil mixture for growing an Aeschynanthus?
  4. How often should you repot an Aeschynanthus?
  5. What type of fertilizer should I use on my Lipstick Plant?
  6. When and how do I need to prune back my Lipstick Plant?
  7. What temperature range is ideal for an Aeschynanthus?
  8. What is the ideal humidity range for an Aeschynanthus?
  9. How do I propagate a Lipstick plant?
  10. What are common problems for a Lipstick plant?
  11. Is the Lipstick plant safe for pets?

Caring for an Aeschynanthus, or Lipstick Plant is easier than you might think! With just a few simple steps and the right tips, you can easily learn how to best care for your Lipstick Plant. Follow these plant care tips to get all the tools you need to help your plant grow and stay healthy in your home.

Let's get started!

How often should I water my Lipstick Plant?

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The most important part of taking care of plants is watering them correctly, so let's look at what's ideal for a Lipstick plant.

The Lipstick plant loves to grow in soil that's slightly moist all the time. To help keep the soil slightly moist most of the time, you should water your plant when the top 2cm (1 inch) of the soil has dried up.

On average, you should water your Lipstick plant every 5-7 days but how long it takes for you depends on the humidity levels and temperature of your house. It could be quicker if you have a very dry house and lower humidity levels, but it could also take longer.

Before you water your plant, always make sure to check whether the top of the soil is dry. If it's still moist, wait a day or two and check the soil again. The Lipstick plant loves moist soil but doesn't do well if the soil is soggy. This will cause root rot and could kill your plant, so checking the soil before watering is important.

The best way to water this plant is to use a pot with a drainage hole and water the plant until the excess moisture starts to drip out of the drainage hole. Let the excess moisture drain for 5-10 minutes and the soil should have absorbed all the moisture your plant will need for the coming week.

Now that you know how to properly water your Lipstick plant, let's have a look at the type of light it needs to thrive in your home.

What kind of light does an Aeschynanthus need?

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Vining lipstick plant

Watering is the most important part of taking care of your Lipstick plant to keep it healthy long-term. However, if you want your plant to grow larger, grow its bright flowers, and look better, you'll need to give it the right amount of sunlight.

The right amount of sunlight is a bright spot in your house when your plant gets filtered, or indirect, sunlight. The brighter the spot, the more flowers your plant will grow.

If you accidentally give your plant too much sunlight, you risk scorching its leaves. This usually only happens when you expose your Aeschynanthus to direct sunlight in the afternoon during the summer. Some direct sunlight in the morning or during the fall and winter is no problem, as this sunlight isn't strong enough and not warm enough to burn your plant's leaves.

If you've given your plant too little sunlight, when it's placed in a spot where it doesn't get enough sunlight, you'll notice that your plant doesn't really grow. It won't grow many new leaves, it won't grow any new flowers, and some of the leaves might start to fall off. If you notice this, make sure to move your plant to a brighter spot in your house.

What is the best soil mixture for growing an Aeschynanthus?

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In the first section, about watering your lipstick plant, we've seen that the plant enjoys growing in soil that's moist most of the time. Soil that's moist most of the time tends to compact over time, so we'll need to give your plant a soil mix that can help it stay healthy for a long time.

The ideal soil mixture for your Lipstick plant is light and airy, has excellent drainage, and stays moist for several days. This sounds complicated, but there are several things you can mix in with your potting mix to give your plant the perfect soil mixture.

To get the ideal soil mix, you'll need to mix 1/2 general potting mix, 1/4 sphagnum moss, and 1/4 perlite or sand. Let's see what each of these ingredients does to help your plant thrive.

Potting soil helps to retain moisture, absorb fertilizer to feed your plant and provide the needed nutrients for your plant to thrive. Potting mix is really good at retaining moisture, which is why we'll need to mix it with something to improve drainage.

The sphagnum moss is a great ingredient for the soil mixture because it provides 2 things: structure and water retention. As we discovered a minute ago, moist soil tends to compact over time. The sphagnum moss helps to prevent this compacting by adding lots of layers and air into the soil. This keeps the keep the soil light and airy.

Sand or perlite are champions when it comes to improving the drainage of your soil mixture. These ingredients don't hold onto very much water and let most of it drain to the bottom of the pot. These ingredients are essential to helping you prevent root rot on your lipstick plant.

How often should you repot an Aeschynanthus?

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Repotting a plant is one of my favorite parts of taking care of plants because you get to celebrate your hard work with a plant. You've taken great care of your plant, it has grown quite a bit over the past 1-2 years, and now it needs more space. I see it as a compliment for my plant care skills.

On average, you should repot the Lipstick plant once every year in the first 2 years and after that, you can repot it every 2 years. You'll know it's time to repot your Aeschynanthus when it has outgrown its current pot.

You can often recognize the signs your plant shows you when it has outgrown its current pot: It suddenly stops growing (in the spring and summer) and the roots start to circle the bottom of the pot. If you see these signs, it's time to repot your plant.

To start repotting your Lipstick plant, make sure to mix up some fresh soil with perlite and sphagnum moss, and find a pot that's one size larger than the current pot. This new pot should be around 2 cm (1 inch) larger on both sides of the old pot. Fill the new pot with a larger of 2-5cm (1-2 inches) of fresh soil.

When removing the plant from the current pot, remove some of the loose soil around the roots and place your plant in its new pot. Add fresh soil around the roots and fill in any air gaps in the soil by sticking a chopstick or other wooden stick in the soil. These air gaps hold onto moisture and could cause root rot and fungal infections.

After you've repotted your plant, water it thoroughly and make sure to let the excess moisture drain from the pot for about 10 minutes.

What type of fertilizer should I use on my Lipstick Plant?

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Lipstick plant flower

Flowering plants, like the Lipstick plant, use a lot of energy to grow their flowers. Your Aeschynanthus gets most of this energy from the soil, you can help your plant grow a little more quickly and stay healthy during the growing season by fertilizing it.

There are several ways to fertilize your plant, like applying a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of spring and the beginning of summer. However, my favorite way to fertilize houseplants is by using a liquid fertilizer.

To use liquid fertilizer for your lipstick plant, make sure to dilute it with water before you apply it. You can add this fertilizer to the water you use to water your plants, which is a convenient and time-saving way to feed your plants. You should fertilize it like this once per month during the spring and summer.

During the fall and winter, when your plant isn't growing very quickly, you should fertilize your Lipstick plant at all, because this could put your plant at risk of overfertilizing. Overfertilizing causes the burning of your plant's roots and could lead to your plant dying.

When and how do I need to prune back my Lipstick Plant?

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Aeschynanthus stems to propagate

Pruning is an important part of keeping your plant looking great for many years. The best time to prune your Lipstick plant is right after the flowers have stopped blooming. At this time, you should prune away any dead or dying flowers to help give some energy back to the plant.

By pruning your plant with a pair of sharp scissors, you are not just making your Aeschynanthus look better, but you also help it to grow more flowers and you're reducing the risk of attracting pests on your plant.

By pruning any dead or dying flowers, your plant no longer has to put energy into growing those flowers and instead focus on growing new flowers. This will help to keep your lipstick plant looking lush and healthy for many years.

What temperature range is ideal for an Aeschynanthus?

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The Lipstick plant is a plant that grows in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, so it's used to high temperatures and high humidity. Luckily, most houseplants are chosen as houseplants, because the growing conditions of average houses is quite good for these plants.

The Aeschynanthus prefers temperatures between 18-24℃ (65℉ - 75℉). It can tolerate temperatures slightly under that as well, but once the temperature drops below 10℃ (50℉) it will damage your Lipstick plant.

It's also important to make sure you don't expose your plant to extreme temperature changes throughout the day. So make sure to keep it out of cold drafts and away from heat vents. These changes could put your plant in shock, which puts your plant at risk of dying.

What is the ideal humidity range for an Aeschynanthus?

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Along with the temperature, also make sure that your Lipstick plant is getting plenty of humidity. Luckily, most houses should already have enough humidity to keep your Lipstick plant happy. The ideal humidity range is anywhere from 50-70%. Your house will likely already have humidity levels around 50%, so you might not have to do anything to help your plant.

If your house is particularly dry, you can increase the humidity by placing your plant on a pebble tray with water, misting it every few days, and placing plants closer together. By placing multiple plants closer together, they'll create a micro-greenhouse around them with higher humidity.

When you're trying the raise the humidity around your plant by misting it, make sure to do this during the early morning, as this reduces the risk of fungal problems.

How do I propagate a Lipstick plant?

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Lipstick plant stems

You've taken excellent care of your Lipstick plant for a year or so and your plant is getting a little too big for its space. It might be time to prune it a little to make it fit the space again. The stems you cut off, however, aren't trash. You can propagate these in the spring and summer and grow a whole new plant.

Let's see how to propagate these plants!

When you're pruning your plant, look for a healthy stem that has recently been growing but doesn't have any flowers on it yet. These stems can very likely succeed as propagated stem cuttings. When you cut this stem, make sure to use sharp scissors for minimal damage to the plant and the cutting.

Remove most of the bottom leaves of the stem, because you'll need to help your cutting to preserve as much energy as possible.

Prepare a pot with some vermiculite and perlite. This combination of ingredients will provide your cutting with a moist, but sterile growing environment. If you were to put the cutting into the soil right away, you could run the risk that your cutting gets infected with pests. Young cuttings are a very attractive target for many pests and diseases.

Over the next few weeks, keep the perlite and vermiculite mixture lightly moist and keep an eye out for any root growth. After 2-4 weeks, you should start to see some roots growing. Wait a few more weeks before moving your cutting to a pot with the soil mixture from earlier. This is where it will grow permanently and you'll have successfully propagated your Lipstick plant.

What are common problems for a Lipstick plant?

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Lipstick plants don't tend to have any major problems with pests, but occasional issues with aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites can happen.

Aphids are tiny pests that can damage lipstick plants. To get rid of them, use a special oil or spray the plant with water. Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that suck on lipstick plants. To get rid of them, use an insecticidal soap or alcohol to remove the pests. Spider mites are tiny arachnids that can cause discoloration and yellowing of lipstick plant leaves. They can be treated with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Another big issue with the Lipstick plant is overwatering. This can lead to root rot, wilting, and even death if not addressed. To avoid this problem, make sure you're only watering your plant when the top inch of soil is dry.

If you're misting your Lipstick plant during the day and the leaves stay wet for too long, the plant can be prone to fungal problems and leaf spot. It's important to only mist your plant in the early morning and make sure not to get the leaves overly wet.

Is the Lipstick plant safe for pets?

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The Lipstick plant is a great choice for those that have pets and small children because this plant is non-toxic and completely safe.


The lipstick plant is a great choice for those who want to bring some greenery into their home without worrying about pet or child safety. With proper care, you can maintain the beautiful foliage and bright flowers of this species. Watering should be done when the top inch of soil is dry, while fertilizer should only be applied once per month during the growing season.

The lipstick plant prefers indirect sunlight, which it needs to grow its beautiful flowers. Make sure that your lipstick plant’s soil has good drainage and add perlite and sphagnum moss to increase aeration and humidity levels around your plants. Lastly, rest assured knowing that lipstick plants are non-toxic and completely safe for pets (and small children).

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: pet-friendly, tropical, humidity-loving, moisture-loving

Posted on: Feb 18, 2023

Other common names for this plant

  • Lipstick Plant
  • Aeschynanthus Radicans

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Frequently asked questions

What kind of light does an Aeschynanthus need?
Aeschynanthus, or Lipstick Plant, needs plenty of bright indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorn the plant's leaves.
How often should I water my Lipstick Plant?
When watering your Lipstick Plant, make sure the top 2 inches are dry before watering again. In the spring and summer, keep the soil lightly moist but never wet or soggy.
What type of fertilizer should I use on my Lipstick Plant?
Fertilize your Lipstick Plant every month in spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer that's diluted with water. This helps your plant grow and bloom.
Do I need to prune back my Lipstick Plant?
Pruning back longer stems of your Lipstick Plant promotes bushier growth and more blooms. Pruning should be done in the spring and summer. Remove any dead or wilted flowers to encourage re-blooming.
What is the best soil mixture for growing an Aeschynanthus?
The best soil mixture for growing an Aeschynanthus is a combination of 1/4 sphagnum moss, 1/4 perlite, and 1/2 general potting soil. This keeps the soil airy and light for a long time.
How often should you repot an Aeschynanthus?
It is recommended that you repot your Aeschynanthus (Lipstick Plant) every two to three years, or when it starts to outgrow its pot. Make sure to select a pot with plenty of drainage holes and use a well-draining soil mixture for the best results.
What temperature range is ideal for an Aeschynanthus?
An Aeschynanthus prefers temperatures between 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C). Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) will cause damage to your plant so make sure to keep it warm.
What is the ideal humidity range for an Aeschynanthus?
The ideal humidity range for an Aeschynanthus (or lipstick plant) is between 50-70%. Humidity helps to keep the plant healthy and encourages blooms. If the humidity is too low, you can mist the leaves with water or use a humidifier.
How do I propagate a Lipstick plant?
Propagating can be done by stem cuttings. Take a stem cutting of 4-6 inches and remove the bottom leaves. Place it in moist vermiculite with perlite. Place the pot in indirect sunlight, and water lightly as needed.
What are common problems for a Lipstick plant?
Common problems for a Lipstick plant include leaf drop due to too much direct sunlight or too little humidity, wilting leaves caused by under-watering, and yellow leaves due to over-fertilizing.
What are common pests on a Lipstick plant?
Common pests on lipstick plants include aphids, mealybugs, scale, whiteflies, and spider mites. These pests feed on the sap of the plant, resulting in weakened growth and yellowing leaves. To get rid of these pests use a combination of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

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