How to Get a Lipstick Plant to Bloom

Hi Judy,
I live in Florida and purchased a plant called Lipstick Plant. It is supposed to get red flowers that resemble lipstick. I’ve had the plant for about 6 months and so far no flowers. It’s in a hanging basket and the stems and leaves are dark green and beautiful. Are you familiar with this plant as far as flowering?

Hi Peg,

I am familiar with lipstick plants and like them very much! This is what they look like in bloom.

Indoor lipstick plants, when placed in a bright location, produce beautiful, small, reddish orange flowers throughout the year. Stressing lipstick plants by allowing the soil to dry out before you water often encourages them to flower. Another way to help a lipstick plant bloom is to feed them every other week in the spring and summer, and monthly in the fall and winter with a fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. high in phosphorous. Always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength. So very bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., allow soil to dry out before watering, and feed with plant food high in phosphorous should have the plant blooming within a few months.

You can read all my care tips for a lipstick plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.