House Plants/lipstick plant
Hi Will, I just got a lipstick plant. It's in a very small pot. It's about 2 feet long and some small flowers on it. Should I repot this plant? should I what until it's done flowering? Is this a hard plant to take care of? I did put this plant and pot in side another pot so I could hang it and the water would not drip out when I water it. Will this plant get lots of flowers? thank-you Kim
Lipstick plant is known botanically as Aeschynanthus lobbianus or Aeschynanthus radicans. Although this plant can make a nice foliage plant, most folks like the unusual flowers that it produces. It is fairly easy to keep this plant healthy, but more challenging to get it to flower.
To bloom, first, they need lots of bright light all year round, although they also need protection from direct sun in the midday hours. Keep it indoor close to or hanging in a sunny window. Second, they should be kept in small pots, so do not repot yours. Double potting is fine as long as the water between the two pots does not stay there for more than a day or so.
Third, Lipstick Plants require warm temps, but in winter temps in the low 60's will help trigger bud formation. Fourth, keep the soil evenly moist - too much or too little water will discourage blooms. Allow the top inch or two to dry before watering thoroughly in winter. Water more frequently in the warmer months.
Finally, younger plants are better bloomers than older plants. Regular pruning will help keep them young. They get leggy if they are not pruned regularly. The best time to prune is after flowering when there are no buds in formation. Prune the longest stems back to several inches above the soil. Remember, the new growth will start at the point that you cut back to, so you should cut back pretty far to produce fullness in the center of the plant.
I have written detailed articles on pruning and on repotting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
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