If you’re searching for an elegant, cascading plant that graces your home with blooms throughout the year, look no further than the mesmerizing lipstick plant. Its light and dark green leaves provide a stunning backdrop for the miniature tubes of lipstick-shaped flowers, which come in shades of red and orange. The fragrance of these flowers is so captivating that it attracts sunbirds and hummingbirds, adding an extra touch of natural beauty to your space.
I discovered this botanical marvel unexpectedly at Tammy’s Floral, a charming flower shop in Hood River. As I wandered through the store, my eyes were immediately drawn to the lipstick plant hanging in the front window. Its allure was irresistible, but I hesitated, fearing that I wouldn’t be able to care for it properly. Little did I know that fate had something else in mind.
The next day, my partner surprised me with the lipstick plant. As he welcomed me into the kitchen with a warm hug, he revealed this stunning gift on the counter. Overwhelmed with joy, it took me a moment to notice the plant amidst the embrace. We felt equally blessed on that day, and the lipstick plant has been a cherished member of our sunroom for a year now, enchanting us with its character every day.
Caring for Your Lipstick Mona Lisa
Determining the perfect amount of water for your lipstick plant can be a bit challenging. Thankfully, the plant provides subtle hints to guide you. Soft and shriveled leaves indicate a need for more water, while green leaves falling off are signs of overwatering. To maintain its vibrant blooms, allow the top quarter of the soil to dry before watering, as this stimulates the flowering process.
The lipstick plant thrives in warm temperatures ranging from 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it can tolerate temperatures as low as 60 degrees, growth may slow down. However, be cautious as temperatures below 50 degrees could cause tissue damage and leaf drop.
Fertilizer – Plant Food
For optimal blooms, feed your lipstick plant with a high-phosphorus houseplant food during the spring and summer. Fertilize every other week, reducing the frequency to once a month during the fall and winter. Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to prevent any damage to the plant.
I prefer to grow my lipstick plants in fertile, well-draining soil enriched with cocopeat. Unlike traditional peat moss, which has negative environmental impacts, cocopeat is a sustainable alternative made from coconut husks. Its fibrous nature promotes proper aeration and moisture retention in the soil, contributing to the overall health of your plant.
Plant Characteristics to Monitor
To ensure a thriving lipstick plant, pay attention to a few key factors. The plant requires bright light for part of the day but not constant exposure. Placing it in full shade or direct sunlight hinders its growth. Keeping the plant in a smaller pot encourages more abundant flower production. After blooming, consider pruning to promote bushier growth.
Common Pests to Watch For
While caring for your lipstick plant, be vigilant for common pests such as mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Mealybugs resemble small cotton balls and can spread quickly. Aphids, typically found on the undersides of leaves, are more common when plants are kept outdoors. Spider mites, tiny black or red dots, are usually found on houseplants. Monitor your plant regularly and take appropriate action if any infestations occur.
Although lipstick plants are non-toxic to pets and humans, it is essential to avoid ingestion to prevent any potential discomfort.
Recently, I transferred my lipstick plant to one of my favorite pots, the WallyEco pot. After the transfer, the remaining four lipstick flowers fell off, which is a normal occurrence. However, when watering the plant today, I noticed promising little buds forming all over it. My patience was rewarded, and I wanted to share this exciting development with you.
The joy of witnessing the growth of my plants is immeasurable, and I wanted to share this experience with you. Look closely, and you’ll see the flower bases that will eventually give birth to stunning red flowers. I will eagerly await their arrival.
Tags: Bright Indirect Light, Care Difficulty – Easy, Non-Toxic to Pets and Humans
To explore more about the Lipstick Mona Lisa Plant and acquire one for your collection, visit the Ames Farm Center.