Ornamental and edible gardening adventures.

Floral Friday: Lipstick Plant

This unique looking plant gets the name Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) not because of the open flowers, but because of the way the flowers look when they are in bud — like they are peeking out of dark-colored tubes, or miniature tubes of lipstick. 💄 

My first encounter with this plant was at the cafeteria at work a few year's back and I was intrigued by the flowers.  (They are kinda weird looking but cool at the same time.) At work the plants were in hanging planters — and it looks like a vine when it gets large — but I grow mine in a terra cotta pot. 

This houseplant has been a bit fickle for me, but I've managed to keep it alive. The first year I had it, I put it outside for the summer but that was a mistake because I almost lost it. (I think it just had too much summer rain and almost rotted.) 

It turns out this plant is an epiphyte (just like orchids can be) and in its native habitat it can be found growing on trees. So now I am much more conservative when it comes to watering, and letting it dry out before I water again.

It has moved around my house in an effort to find the best lighting — most recently it was set up on the ground alongside my grow lights, and that's when it started to bud. (Being directly under the grow lights was just a little too much light for it, and I ended up scorching some leaves.) 

But, despite my mishaps, it has been resilient. This fall I picked up another variety of this which will get orange flowers instead of red, so I'm hoping there will be a Floral Friday in the future when I can feature that one as well. I recommend it as a houseplant you should try growing.  


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