The lipstick plants, or aeschynanthus, is found in steamy forests across the eastern hemisphere. There are over 150 different species, most of them epiphytes, which means they grow in nooks on trees or rocks, rather than on the ground.
The name lipstick plant is probably confusing on first look. It makes sense when you see it in flower, as you hopefully will if you give your plant the right conditions. The bright red flowers emerge from little tubes, so they look like lipsticks twisting out of their holders.
You should see flowers if you put your plant somewhere that gets a good amount of bright light, but not direct sunlight. Keep its soil lightly moist and give it a regular squirt with a mister. It’s also a good idea to feed it once per month in spring and summer. Follow those instructions and you should see lots of flowers. Even when it’s not in flower, this plant is a beauty, whether it’s a hanging plant or cascading its bright green leaves from a high shelf.
Did you know?
Most lipstick plants are pollinated not by bees but by stunning sunbirds. You don’t get a lot of sunbirds in the wild in Britain, sadly.