Lipstick Plant Care

If you’re looking to add a touch of vibrancy and beauty to your indoor space, then look no further than the lipstick plant. With its glossy leaves and vibrant red blooms, this houseplant is sure to become a stunning focal point in any room. But how do you care for this exotic beauty? In this article, we will explore the essential tips and tricks to ensure that your lipstick plant thrives and continues to enchant you with its stunning floral display. From lighting and watering to fertilizing and pruning, we’ve got you covered with all the lipstick plant care advice you need for a successful and rewarding indoor gardening experience.

Choosing the Right Location

Light requirements

When it comes to choosing the right location for your lipstick plant, it’s important to consider its light requirements. These plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. It’s best to place them near a window where they can receive bright light without being directly exposed to the harsh sun. If the plant is not getting enough light, it may become leggy and have a poor growth rate. On the other hand, if it is exposed to too much direct sunlight, the leaves may become scorched and develop unsightly brown spots.


Lipstick plants prefer moderate temperatures ranging from 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (24°C). They do well in typical indoor temperature conditions. However, it’s important to avoid placing them in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as near drafty windows or heating vents. These plants are sensitive to cold drafts and can suffer damage if exposed to temperatures below 60°F (15°C).


Lipstick plants are native to tropical regions, so they thrive in environments with high humidity. To create an ideal growing environment for your lipstick plant, try to raise the humidity levels around the plant. You can achieve this by regularly misting the leaves with water, placing a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity through evaporation, or using a humidifier in the room. Keeping the humidity levels between 40% and 60% will help your plant stay healthy and promote lush growth.



Proper watering is essential for the health of your lipstick plant. These plants prefer to be kept consistently moist, but not overly saturated. It’s important to monitor the moisture level of the soil to determine when to water. As a general rule, water your lipstick plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid letting the soil become completely dry or overly waterlogged.

Watering technique

To water your lipstick plant, use room temperature water. Slowly pour water into the pot until it starts to drain out from the bottom. This ensures that the entire root system is thoroughly soaked. Avoid using cold water or pouring water directly onto the leaves to prevent shock or damage to the plant.

Avoiding overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for lipstick plants. It can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. To prevent overwatering, always check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Additionally, make sure the pot has good drainage to allow excess water to escape. If you notice that the leaves of your lipstick plant are turning yellow or drooping, it may be a sign of overwatering. In such cases, reduce the frequency of watering and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Lipstick Plant Care

Feeding and Fertilizing

Choosing the right fertilizer

To keep your lipstick plant healthy and thriving, it’s important to provide it with regular feeding. Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. These ratios indicate the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the fertilizer. The balanced nutrients in these fertilizers support overall plant growth and development.

Frequency of feeding

During the active growing season, which is typically spring and summer, feed your lipstick plant every two weeks. Dilute the fertilizer according to the package instructions and apply it to the soil. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to nutrient burn and damage to the plant. During the winter months, when the plant is in its dormant phase, reduce the frequency of feeding to once a month.

Application methods

When applying fertilizer to your lipstick plant, it’s important to follow the instructions provided on the fertilizer packaging. The most common method of application is to mix the fertilizer with water according to the recommended dilution rate. Pour the diluted solution onto the soil, making sure to saturate it evenly. Avoid getting the fertilizer on the leaves, as this can cause leaf burn. Another alternative is using granular slow-release fertilizer, which is applied to the soil surface.

Pruning and Training

Removing dead or damaged leaves

Regular pruning is important to keep your lipstick plant looking tidy and healthy. Remove any dead or damaged leaves as soon as you notice them. Use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts close to the base of the leaf stem. This not only improves the appearance of the plant but also prevents the spread of diseases.

Encouraging bushy growth

If you want your lipstick plant to have a bushy appearance, you can prune the tips of the stems. This encourages the plant to branch out and develop more lateral shoots, resulting in a fuller plant. To do this, simply trim the tips of the stems just above a leaf node. This will stimulate new growth and create a denser foliage.

Training the plant to a support structure

Lipstick plants have a vining growth habit and can benefit from being trained to a support structure. This not only enhances their aesthetics but also helps prevent the trailing stems from becoming tangled or damaged. You can use a trellis, stake, or wall-mounted hooks to provide support for the plant. Gently guide the stems towards the support structure and use soft ties or plant clips to secure them in place. Regularly check and adjust the ties as the plant grows to avoid constriction or damage.

Lipstick Plant Care


Using stem cuttings

Propagating lipstick plants through stem cuttings is an effective and straightforward method. Begin by selecting a healthy, mature stem from the parent plant. Using clean, sharp pruning shears, cut a 4-6 inch section just below a leaf node. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone to promote root development. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix, keeping the soil consistently moist. Place the pot in a warm and bright location, but away from direct sunlight. With proper care, the cutting should develop roots in a few weeks.

Rooting hormone

Using rooting hormone when propagating lipstick plants can increase the chances of successful root development. Rooting hormone contains growth hormones that stimulate the formation of roots. Dip the cut end of the stem cutting into the rooting hormone powder or gel before planting it in the potting mix. This will help with quicker and more robust root growth.


Once the rooted cutting has established a healthy root system, it can be transplanted into a larger pot or the desired growing location. Choose a well-draining potting mix and a pot that is slightly larger than the current root ball of the plant. Gently remove the plant from its original container, taking care not to damage the roots. Place it in the new pot, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Fill in any gaps with additional potting mix and lightly compact the soil. Water the plant thoroughly after transplanting to help settle the soil and provide hydration to the roots.

Potting and Repotting

Choosing the right potting mix

Using the right potting mix is essential for the overall health and growth of your lipstick plant. Opt for a well-draining, moisture-retentive mix that provides adequate aeration for the roots. A good potting mix for lipstick plants can be prepared by combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and well-rotted compost. This mixture ensures that excess water drains away, preventing the roots from becoming waterlogged, while still retaining enough moisture for the plant’s needs.

Transferring to a larger pot

As your lipstick plant grows, you may need to transfer it to a larger pot to provide more room for its roots and support its increasing size. It’s best to repot your plant when it’s in its active growing season, usually during spring. Select a pot that is about 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. Gently lift the plant from its old container, taking care not to damage the roots. Place it in the new pot, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Fill in any gaps with fresh potting mix and lightly firm the soil around the plant. Water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil.

Repotting schedule

Lipstick plants generally need to be repotted every one to two years. This will depend on the growth rate and size of your plant. As a general rule, if you notice that the roots are circling around the inside of the pot or growing out of the drainage holes, it’s a sign that repotting is necessary. Repotting allows the plant to have access to fresh, nutrient-rich soil and promotes healthy growth.

Managing Pests and Diseases

Common pests

Like other houseplants, lipstick plants can be susceptible to certain pests. Some common pests that may affect these plants include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. These pests can often be identified by visible signs, such as tiny insects, sticky residue (honeydew), or yellowing, wilting leaves. Regularly inspect your lipstick plant for any signs of pests and take immediate action if detected.

Natural remedies

There are various natural remedies that can help manage and eliminate pests from your lipstick plant. One effective method is to thoroughly wash the plant with a mixture of mild soap and water. Alternatively, you can use a solution of neem oil, which is a natural insecticide and fungicide. Applying a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide can also help control certain pests. Remember to always test these remedies on a small, inconspicuous area of the plant before applying them extensively.

Preventive measures

Prevention is often the best approach when dealing with pests and diseases. Keeping your lipstick plant healthy and stress-free can help prevent infestations. Ensure that the plant is placed in an optimal location with suitable light, temperature, and humidity levels. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of pests or diseases, and quarantine any new plants before introducing them to your collection. Avoid overwatering, as this can create a favorable environment for pest and fungal problems. Additionally, practice good hygiene by periodically cleaning the leaves to remove dust and debris.

Grooming and Cleaning

Removing dust and debris

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the leaves of your lipstick plant, inhibiting their ability to absorb light and potentially attracting pests. Gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or soft brush to remove any dust or debris. This will not only help improve the appearance of the plant but also enhance its overall health.

Grooming leaves

In addition to removing dust and debris, you can groom the leaves of your lipstick plant to ensure they are in their best shape. Trim any brown or yellowing leaf tips using clean, sharp scissors. This will give the plant a neater and more polished appearance. Avoid trimming healthy leaves, as this can hinder the plant’s ability to produce energy through photosynthesis.

Polishing leaves

If you want to add an extra shine to your lipstick plant’s leaves, you can use a gentle leaf shine spray or make your own natural leaf polish. Simply mix a small amount of milk or olive oil with water and gently wipe the leaves with a soft cloth or sponge. This will give the leaves a glossy shine while also nourishing them with natural compounds.

Dealing with Common Issues

Wilting leaves

If you notice that the leaves of your lipstick plant are wilting, it may be an indication of underwatering or overwatering. Check the moisture level of the soil and adjust your watering routine accordingly. If the soil is dry, water the plant thoroughly and ensure proper drainage. If the soil is overly saturated, allow it to dry out before watering again. Wilting leaves can also be a sign of low humidity. Increase the humidity levels around the plant by misting or using a humidifier.

Yellowing leaves

Yellowing leaves can be a symptom of several issues, including overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests. Assess the plant’s watering routine and adjust as needed. Ensure that the plant is receiving adequate light and proper feeding. Inspect the leaves for signs of pests, such as tiny insects or sticky residue. Take appropriate measures to address any identified issues and promote healthy growth.

Root rot

Root rot is a serious condition that can occur when the roots of your lipstick plant are consistently exposed to excess moisture. It can lead to the death of the plant if left untreated. If you suspect root rot, carefully remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. Healthy roots should appear white and firm. If you notice dark, mushy roots, they may be affected by root rot. Cut away any affected roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Adjust your watering routine to prevent future occurrences of root rot.


Identifying plant problems

Monitoring your lipstick plant regularly and recognizing signs of potential problems is key to maintaining its health. Look out for changes in leaf color, wilting, yellowing, or distorted growth patterns. Inspect the leaves, stems, and soil for any signs of pests, diseases, or environmental stressors. Identifying the specific symptoms and causes of plant problems will help in finding the appropriate solutions.

Finding solutions

Once you have identified the problem affecting your lipstick plant, research and implement the appropriate solutions. This may involve adjusting your watering routine, providing more or less light, improving air circulation, or treating pests and diseases. Utilize the information provided in this article, as well as other trusted resources, to find suitable solutions for the specific issues you are facing.

Seeking professional help

In some cases, despite your best efforts, you may encounter plant problems that are difficult to diagnose or resolve. If you’re unsure about the best course of action or if the issues persist, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Contact a local plant nursery, horticulturist, or an experienced plant enthusiast who can provide expert guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific situation.

By following these comprehensive guidelines on lipstick plant care, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tips necessary to ensure your plant thrives and graces your home with its beautiful blooms. With proper attention to lighting, watering, feeding, pruning, and grooming, your lipstick plant will flourish and become a stunning addition to your indoor garden. Remember, taking care of plants is a rewarding experience that enhances your living space and brings nature closer to you. Enjoy the journey of nurturing your lipstick plant and watching it flourish under your loving care!