How I Propagate My Lipstick Plants at Home

When you think of the most conspicuous tropical evergreen crawling climbers to grow as decorative garden plants, the Aeschynanthus radicans, popularly called the Lipstick Plant, should be at the top of your list. I highly recommend them for their brilliantly-shiny foliage that houses richly colored flowers.

They graciously earned the title because they grow deeply red-pigmented vibrant, and lively tube-like blooms suspended in singular developing calyces. There are over 150 varieties of Lipstick Plants, mostly bearing either broad, sturdy glistening and lustrous shoots and leaves, or some less exuberant foliage seen in a few of their varieties.

Propagating Lipstick Plants

Lipstick Plant Flower

Watching how they bloom lovely, pleasantly scenting deep-red flowers around the patio, beside the window frame, or hanging on a wall basket is a delightful and relaxing sight. Please place them in a hanging wall basket and watch them grow into a brilliant descending sprawl cascading downwards in an eye-catching bloom.

Their gracefully slim curvy, and sweeping stems can be propagated as cuttings and rooted in water or a soil mix potting. Don’t be alarmed by their exuberantly magnificent appearance and exquisitely pigmented blooms; they are quite simple to propagate and easily maintained.

Preparing Lipstick Plant Stem Cuttings

Lipstick Plant Stem Cuttings

The stem cuttings should be 4-6 inches long, and you should only select healthy and mature shoots with well-developed leaves to make your cuttings. Softwood stem cuttings root Lipstick Plants faster, and I usually target those leggy stems right at the base of the parent plant.

Make your cuttings using sharp garden scissors or a knife and scrape off the adjoining leaves at the bottom of the cuttings leaving only those at the apex tips. Your cuttings can be rooted in water or a soil mix potting after they’ve healed properly.

Rooting your Lipstick Cuttings in Water

It’s easy to propagate your Lipstick cuttings in the water, and when they’re fully rooted, and they can also be transplanted in a soil mix potting; the whole process shouldn’t take longer than 2-4 weeks. Any container that holds water can be used for this method: a cup, jug, potting vase, or transparent glass mug.

Pour some clean water into the rooting container and place the cuttings gently inside it, sliding them in from the sides. I usually have 3-4 cuttings in one jar of water to make it look fuller and more appealing.

Place the set-up right beside a window sill or a flat warm well-illuminated top, and keep changing the water every week once it appears murky inside. The roots will be ready for transplanting once they’re up to 1-2 inches long, and you should transplant them quickly in order to avoid risking them rotting away.

Growing your Lipstick Cuttings in a Potting Soil Mix

Lipstick Cuttings in a Potting Soil Mix

First, prepare your pots by pouring some already blended potting mix in them, each pot is for each cutting, and you may also root several cuttings in a single pot, depending on its size, and then transplant them once they’re fully rooted.

To make the cuttings root faster and healthier, you can apply a natural rooting hormone such as honey, cinnamon, or hydrogen peroxide; there are also several commercial rooting powders you can buy online.

As you dip the cut ends of your cuttings into the rooting hormone, make little holes not more than 1-inch deep on the surface of the potting using either a pinky finger or a toothpick and plant the cuttings each one in its hole in the pot.

It’s always a great idea to add some more potting mix just for better rigidity and balance, and once you’re all done planting, water them immediately with a light shower using a spray bottle.

After thoroughly drained of all excess water, place the pots beside a window sill or by the patio where there’s plenty of diffused bright sunshine, and the cuttings will start to root after 3-4 weeks. A well propagated Lipstick plant can be maintained for over three years, but giving them the best care keeps them looking alive and youthful.

Creating the Perfect Environment to grow Lipstick Plants

Please give them a lot of moisture and filtered sunshine; their lovely tender leaves will easily grow weaker and smaller when they’re not receiving enough sunshine. Lipstick Plants generally prefer being propagated in an environment with plenty of shiny bright light.

You can always place them behind a western or southern window sill where they’ll receive more than 8 hours of bright diffused sunshine daily; doing this will greatly improve the depth, brightness, and shiny appearance of their leaves and flowers.

Exposing them to direct sunshine can cause severe tissue damage to the leaves, leaving signs of scorching at their tips.

With a historical nativity to Tropical Malaysia, Lipstick Plants can be successfully propagated indoors and in outdoor positions provided they’re given good warmth and the average temperature ranges between 20°C to 25°C (68° to 77°F).

Wherever they’re propagated, it’s essential to keep their temperate above the minimum threshold of 54°C (12°F) to preserve them from freezing.

Watering your young Lipstick Plants

Watering young Lipstick Plant

They require a consistent watering plan to flourish effortlessly, preferably by misting, using a spray bottle, or getting an electric air humidifier. Although they have little tolerance for dehydration and droughts, they also won’t like to sit endlessly in a potty that holds water for days.

Creating a watering plan will help keep them moist and hydrated consistently. It’s generally advisable to water them only once in 7-10 days when they’re still growing actively (between early spring and late summer). You don’t have to water them frequently during winter since they’re mostly biologically dormant then.

It’s always necessary to water your Lipstick pots from the bottom at least once every month to give their roots the robustness and rehydration needed for the next blooming season. Lucky for you, with the right care, they might bloom charmingly throughout the year, beginning in early spring and continuing till late Fall.

Preparing your Homemade Potting Mix to grow Lipstick Plants

Lipstick Plants readily choose a fast-draining soil mix potting with good airflow and grit. They’re classified 10 to 11 of the USDA Hardiness Zone, so they’ll require much watering in a potting mix that drains off the excess water quickly; and with a preference for a neutral or alkaline potting medium, it’s super easy to make your homemade lightweight potting blend for their propagation.

Most potting organic soils meant for decorative garden plants will be too dense for the Lipstick Plants; it’s preferable to have a blend of your potting soil with 20% Peat Moss, 20% organic compost, 40% orchids potting mix, succulents mix, or cactus potting mix, and 20% perlite or vermiculite.

A different formula that also guarantees flawless results is adding some smashed charcoal with the African Violet potting soil mix and enriching it with Sphagnum moss and vermiculite to enhance its air and water retention. You can always make tiny holes around the sides and below the pots to improve the airflow.

To wrap up, I consider Lipstick Plants the perfect outdoor beauty and indoor decorative garden plants, but that’s not all they’re good for; these unassuming gorgeous blooms will certainly bring good fortune and ease to their environment.

There are several edible varieties of Lipstick Plants whose fruits can be used in making fruit juice mixes; they can also be consumed when newly harvested or after dehydration. The tender seedlings, shoots, and flowers are also commonly consumed as domesticated vegetables, and lastly, their stem juice (sap) is locally collected and used to make vinegar and palm wine.

To crown it up, in addition to their all-around perfection, they’re not known to exhibit any symptoms of toxication in both humans and animal pets; you can have a pot in the dog’s kernel if Scooby will leave them be. They’re safe to grow with infants too, but it’s generally considered hazardous to place your pots within reach of young toddlers.

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