Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant – Grow & Care Guide

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The Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant also known as zebra basket vines is a beautiful addition to hanging baskets or pots. The leaves of these plants are variegated with purple-colored stripes. The vine is easy to grow and doesn’t demand too many distinctive conditions. Though the needed conditions should be provided properly and they will thrive so well.

Quick takeaways:

  • Zebra basket vines is the other name used for black pagoda lipstick.
  • The growing conditions suitable are moist and spongy soil, well-draining soil, indirect sunlight, high humidity, a temperature range of 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and watering the plant when the top 1-2 inches of the soil layer gets dry.

Other than this there is some important stuff that you need to know. This article is going to be a complete guide for you to grow and care for the Aeschynanthus longicaulis ( Black pagoda lipstick) plant like the Salpiglossis

Characteristics of Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant 

  • The black pagoda plants are literally the best addition to your house as they can easily be grown in hanging baskets and look so beautiful inside the house.
  • The plant has Asian origin and is the flowering type which means yields flowers rarely during the springtime if the conditions are adverse. The flowers are tube-like in color red and look like lipsticks.
  • It is a type of lipstick vine that looks like hoya but is not. The leaves look delicate and unique, they are lance-shaped and very glossy. These plants trail over the other plants or surfaces as well and look attractive with the vibrant leaves.
  • They are small to medium-sized plants that are evergreen reaching a height of 1.5-3.5 feet.
  • The black pagoda lipstick plants can live for a maximum of 10 years and are a great option for beginners to grow.

How to grow a Black Pagoda from seed?

As most of the vines grow from cutting that should be planted and the roots emerge later the whole plant is set up but the black pagoda vines can be grown via cutting as well as seeds too. The seeds of these plants need indoor soil and conditions that are usually warm. The seed when sown in the soil checks the temperature it is in the range of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The seed should not be deeply immersed in soil, the soil should just cover the seeds. The seedling appears within no time and the seedlings then can be transplanted to the moist well-drained soil and clean pot.

How to care for Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant? 

The black pagoda plants are epiphytic and have a habit of growing over the other plants and getting nutrients from them. Usually, in the house, they are grown separately in a pot so they need little care and they will thrive really well indoors. Let’s take a look at the caring tips


These plants love growing in sunlight. The sunlight should be indirect, and bright so the leaves get super glossy and the color becomes more vibrant. The sunlight, if it is direct, can burn the black pagoda lipstick leaves. Though the south-facing windows are right to place the hanging pots having these plants. The plants will thrive well if they get morning sun too. Keep the plant away from the direct afternoon sun. 


The plant needs water as soon as the top two inches of the soil get dry. That time don’t further wait and water the soil to make it moist again. The water should not be completely dry in the soil which can dry the roots and deteriorate their quality. The water for lipstick plants should be distilled, filtered, and clean. The plants like rainwater so when it is raining keep the plant near the spot of dripping raindrops, and avoid watering on that day. 

For more such plant related-articles, you may also read, How to Grow and Care for Snow Queen Pothos?


The lipstick plants like the high humidity around them, which means more moisture in the air. The plant will grow best just like Calico Kitten Plant in warm and humid areas. The leaves look dry or crispy which means you need to mist the plants. Spray the plant with water near the soil, and make sure the leaves don’t stay wet for long. 


The black pagoda lipstick plants are more active when the temperature is in the range of 65-85 degrees. If the temperature falls below 50 degrees then the lipstick plants will find it difficult to survive and with time might die. They absolutely need a warm spot. 


The potting soil for the lipstick plants must be moist, well-drained, and bouncy. The roots of this plant need aeration. With the soggy and compact the root rot issue is what one can see. So the plant should not be waterlogged. You need to check if the water is passing freely through the soil. The oil mix can be created with indoor soil, and little sand with perlite or sphagnum moss mixed in it. This will increase the drainage ability of the soil. 


Apply the fertilizer into the soil using a balanced fertilizer in the diluted form every one to two times a month. Two times a month when the plant is in the early stage of growing otherwise keep it confined to one time a month. 


You can prune the black pagoda plants if they are getting long or keep them in a particular shape and size. The pruners should be sharp and clean. Pruning will also encourage a fuller look in the lipstick plants. You can remove the drying leaves or old leaves which can call for infection. 

Common pests and problems

Aphids, mealybugs, and mites are usually seen to attack the lipstick plants that have turned weak due to environmental issues or lack of the above-written conditions. You can get rid of these pests by using organic herbicides and neem oil. Spraying onto the pest and killing them. 


The black pagoda lipstick plants can be easily propagated by using stem cuttings. You can make more of these vines of lipstick plants by propagation. Start by cutting the stem section by 5 inches without any blooms and having the new growth by shearing pruners. Place the cutting in the nutrient medium and plant the section into the peat moss and perlite-filled container. The roots will start to emerge within two weeks. Transplant it then to the container with a soil mix of good quality.

How to repot the Black Pagoda Lipstick plant? 

The lipstick plant doesn’t need repotting that often. The plants need to be repotted when they get root bound. Also when the plant gets root bound it will bloom quickly so if you don’t want flowers then repot the plant. Use a 5.0” pot and if the plant gets root bounded use a 2-3 inches bigger pot. Too large a pot can lead to overwatered lipstick plants. 


Do lipstick plants like coffee grounds? 

Using the coffee grounds in the soil can be beneficial for the lipstick plants. The coffee grounds can be used as pesticides, mulch, and compost. The coffee grounds can be mixed with water and then you can water the plant.

Can lipstick plants go outside? 

The temperatures are low outside, so we suggest you keep the plant inside the house. The temperature below 60 degrees is not tolerable to these plants. Otherwise, the spot where they are getting indirect sunlight would be suitable for them.

Should you deadhead lipstick plants?

You can deadhead the lipstick plants like the flowers of used leaves. This will make the plants bushy. The plants should be pruned back to 6 inches after the flowering session is over. 

Becky Decker

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