Luridly Luscious Lipstick Lovin'

|Aeschynanthus sp. bloom detail|

|Aeschynanthus sp. bloom detail|

Remember when we were in Java or that time in Thailand?  Well, if you don't, I'm here to remind you of the beautiful plants that you did or didn't know come from those exotic destinations.  In all of its gorgeousness, I present to you the Aeschynanthus species.  Our model for today is commonly referred to as the Lipstick Plant.  You may have seen this tropical beauty in your local plant purveyor's houseplant section standing out in a striking fashion from the other hanging house plants.

|Aeschynanthus sp. profile|

|Aeschynanthus sp. profile|

Aeschynanthus is an evergreen trailing plant that looks smashing as a chic and unique hanging houseplant. It extends green stems jeweled with vibrantly verdant green foliage.  From summer to winter, at the ends of these stems, vividly arresting clusters of hooded, radiantly red flowers bud and bloom.  Some species have only a single bloom whereas others can have up to eight.  This plant really likes a warm, protected situation.  Indoors or in a greenhouse are best.  Grow them in bright, filtered light, humus-rich, well-draining soil, and if you can provide, a bit of humidity.

One method of providing humidity that I've tried that seems to have worked is to line the top of the soil in your container with dampened sphagnum moss.  Keep the moss occasionally moist so that as the liquid evaporates from it, it'll provide a continual source of humidity for your plant.  Another method for non-hanging plants is to set their container in a tray lined with a layer of pebbles.  Fill the tray with water almost covering the pebbles but not touching the container.  Allow the water to evaporate to create a humid situation and refill as needed to keep the process continual.

So, you wanna spice things up in your place?  Give your profile some style and grow some luridly luscious lipstick plant.  Give it what it needs and prepare to get air kissed by one provocative plant.