Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant | How to Care for this Unique Plant

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The Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis) is a beautiful trailing houseplant with stunning foliage. This post shares everything you need to know to make your Black Pagoda thrive.

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The Black Pagoda may look like a Hoya, but it is actually a variety of lipstick plant.

Aeschynanthus longicaulis is also commonly known as the Black Pagoda or Zebra Basket Vine.

It is an excellent houseplant as it tolerates lower light and dryness. It is perfect to grow indoors and in hanging baskets.

This is a flowering plant from Asia that will typically bloom in late winter and spring. But keeping your Black Pagoda happy with the right care requirements will keep it blooming.

If you can find a Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant, get it! If you have one already, keep reading to learn more about how to help it thrive.

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Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis) Quick Care Guide

Light: Medium to bright indirect light. Can tolerate some direct morning light.

Soil: Well-draining, chunky soil. Aroid soil mix works well.

Water: Water when completely dry. Bottom-watering with room termperature distilled, filtered or rain water works best.

Temperature: 60 to 85 degrees F (16 to 29 degrees C). Room temperature is perfect.

Humidity: Does not have special humidity requirements. Will do just fine in homes with low humidity.

Fertilizer: Balanced houseplant fertilizer every month during Spring and Summer, or diluted Fish Emulsion Fertilizer every time you water during the Spring and Summer months.

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant has unique leaves

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Most people collect lipstick plants for their brightly colored blooms, but the Black Pagoda boasts some of the most striking leaves of any of the lipstick plants. It stands out more of as a foliage plant.

This plant has shiny, mottled leaves with purple undersides, adding to its interest and contrast in color. Showcase your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant in a hanging basket or on a ledge. Let people catch a glimpse of the underside of the leaves. They will be impressed!

Black Pagoda plants will also bloom like other lipstick plants. However, their flowers are yellow and green, not brightly colored like other lipstick plant blooms. The blooms are not as impressive as the plant’s leaves. But that’s okay because the leaves are the best part of this houseplant.

You may also notice that younger stems on your Black Pagoda are light green in color and flexible. The older stems on your plant will be brownish in color. They are also become more wood-like and rigid. This gives the Black Pagoda a unique effect in that the woodier, older vines will stick out straight and the younger vines will trail downward.

How much light does a Black Pagoda need?

Black Pagodas need bright indirect light to grow well and to bloom.

If you want your Black Pagoda to bloom, give it about 5 to 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight. It can even handle small amounts of direct morning sunlight.

Place this plant by an south-facing window. It will grow fast and full with plenty of blooms.

If you notice your Black Pagoda doesn’t bloom often or it grow small leaves, simply place your plant in a location with brighter indirect light.

Conversely, if you notice scorched leaves, it’s getting too much direct sunlight. In this case, simply pull it back into a shadier location.

Soil needs for Black Pagoda care

Black Pagodas need chunky, well-draining soil. Giving this houseplant a soil that allows water to drain right through it helps to prevent root rot.

In fact, an aroid soil mix fits the bill as the best kind of soil for a Black Pagoda. You can try out this aroid soil mix recipe for your Black Pagoda.

When to water your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

The Black Pagoda is prone to root rot, so wait for your plant to completely dry out before watering it.

You can test the moisture in your soil with a moisture meter and water your plant when the meter reads ‘dry’.

Alternatively, you can insert a chopstick into the soil and check for moisture on the chopstick. If the chopstick comes out dry, it’s time to water.

Another way to tell when your Black Pagoda is ready for watering is to check how flexible its leaves are. This is a super easy trick to know when your plant needs a drink.

Simply choose an older, mature leaf and carefully bend the leaf backward so that tip moves toward the stem. If the leaf doesn’t bend easily, then your Black Pagoda doesn’t need to be watered. If the leaf bends easily and is flexible enough for the tip to touch the stem, then its time to water your plant. Don’t choose a new leaf for this test since all young leaves are pretty flexible.

Your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant will do best with distilled, filtered or rain water.

Bottom watering will allow your plant to soak up the right amount of water it needs. To do this, fill a container (larger than your plant pot) with distilled, filtered or rain water. Place your plant pot into the container and let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, check the soil. If the top of the soil does not feel moist, then let the plant sit in the water for up to 20 more minutes. Drain any excess water before placing your plant back on its plate, tray or cache pot.

Temperature requirements for Black Pagoda Plant

Black Pagodas love temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees F (16 to 29 degrees C). As a houseplant, this plant will do great inside your home since it prefers temperatures that are close to room temperature.

Temperatures below 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) may cause yellow discolorations on the leaves. If this happens, move your plant to a warmer location. It will bounce back, but the yellow leaves may remain.

How much humidity does a Black Pagoda need?

Black Pagodas appreciate humidity, but you may be pleased to learn that it will do great even in dry locations. You won’t need a humidifier on this plant and you won’t need to mist its leaves. One less thing to worry about! If you live in a drier climate, this is a great houseplant for you. Your Black Pagoda will still bloom even in low humidity.


It is a good idea to give your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant fertilizer once a month during the Spring and Summer. These are the growing months and the only time during the year that you should fertilize this plant.

Another way to fertilize your Black Pagoda is to give it diluted fish emulsion fertilizer every time that you water your plant during the Spring and Summer.

Your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is a great choice! It’s easy to care for and looks so impressive with its gorgeous leaves. If you don’t have one yet, try your best to get your hands on one. You won’t regret it.

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