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Last Updated:January 15, 2024

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant Care (COMPLETE Guide!)

featured photo-Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

If you want to give your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant optimal care so it can thrive, this is the right guide for you. From watering, light requirements, and fertilizing to soil and propagation, this guide has everything you need to be a responsible Black Pagoda Lipstick plant parent. Keep reading to get detailed information about growing this captivating plant.

Botanical Name (Latin Name/Scientific Name): Aeschynanthus longicaulis
Common Name: Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant; Zebra Basket Vine
Light: medium light (750+ lux; 75 foot candles)
Watering: once the soil dries out to the bottom of the pot
Soil: well-draining, chunky potting mix
Repotting: once a year or when the roots come out of the drainage holes
Fertilizing: once a month or less often with a high-nitrogen fertilizer
Temperature: warm temperatures between 65°and 80°F (18° and 27°C)
Humidity: 25% to 50%, but it grows well in lower or higher humidity
Toxicity for Pets: non-toxic
Toxicity for Humans: non-toxic
  • stem cutting in water
  • stem cutting in soil
Pruning: prune dead or diseased growth or when you want the plant to branch out

Black Pagoda Lipstick plant is a variety of lipstick plant with dark green leaves with creamy mottling and purple undersides, native to tropical regions of South East Asia. Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is a medium-sized plant with cascading vines. It is also known as the Zebra Basket Vine plant, since the color pattern resembles zebra stripes.

The leaves of this plant are fleshy, glossy, and lance-shaped. Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is also noted for its bright orange flowers, which are tubular and lipstick-shaped, giving the origin to the plant’s name.

Black Pagoda plant

Black Pagoda is a great choice for hanging baskets due to its lush foliage

Because of its trailing stems and attractive leaf color, Black Pagoda is often grown as a hanging basket plant.

Frontside and backside of Black Pagoda leaf showing creamy variegation

Frontside and backside of Black Pagoda leaf showing beautiful creamy variegation. Photo by: Barry Schneider

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant Care

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant care isn’t too complicated. If you provide your Aeschynanthus longicaulis Black Pagoda with enough light (more than 750 lux), adequate watering, and chunky and well-draining soil, it will flourish and reward you with lush foliage and vibrant blooms, that will look amazing in hanging baskets. Black Pagoda is the perfect houseplant for both rooky plant parents and those with more experience.

Care requirements for Black Pagoda

Follow these Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant care requirements and it will thrive. Photo of Black Pagoda by: @denver_plant_nerd

Here is a video of Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant care:

Light Requirements

Minimal amount of light: 750+ lux (75+ FC)
Optimal amount of light: 3,000+ lux (300+ FC)
Direct sun tolerance: 1-2 hours of early morning or late afternoon direct sun
Category: Medium light

Black Pagoda Lipstick does best in bright indirect light (over 3,000 lux / 300+ foot candles). Since Black Pagoda is an understory plant in its native habitat, it is used to medium light conditions and it can tolerate medium light levels. However, it will not thrive in medium light and it may fail to flower.

Plant grown under high light (on the left) vs. plant grown in lower light (on the right).

Plant grown under high light (on the left) vs. plant grown in lower light (on the right). Plant grown in bright light was more compact with more shoots, and has a more yellowish appearance (photo credit to: /pmc/articles/PMC4100289/)

Black Pagoda grows well in bright indirect light, but it doesn’t tolerate long exposure to direct sun. Since prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can damage its leaves and affect photosynthesis, it’s best to expose it only briefly to early morning or late afternoon direct sun (no more than 1-2 hours).

The upper and lower surfaces of single Black Pagoda leaves from plants grown under low and high light intensity.

The upper and lower surfaces of single Black Pagoda leaves from plants grown under low and high light intensity. (a) Upper surface of leaf under low (right) and high (left) light intensity; (b) lower surface of leaf under low (right) and high (left) light intensity. (photo credit to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC4100289/)

Water Needs

The Lipstick Plant isn’t a very thirsty plant due to its thick and fleshy leaves that resemble those of hoya plants. You should let the soil dry out completely before watering. The standard way to assess if your Black Pagoda is thirsty is to use a chopstick. Take a chopstick and stick it all the way to the bottom of the pot. Take it out and if it comes out completely dry, with no soil clinging to it, it’s time to water your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant.

Dirty chopstick next to the plant on the left and clean chopstick next to the plant on the right

Dirty chopstick means to wait more before watering. Once the chopstick is clean and dry it’s time to water the plant.

Another interesting method is to pick a mature leaf and try to fold it upward like you would fold a taco. If the leaf seems as if it would snap if you fold it fully, this means that your plant is hydrated, and doesn’t need to be watered yet.

On the other hand, if the leaf is folding easily, you need to water your Black Pagoda Plant. Pick a mature leaf for this test, since new leaves will be more flimsy and flexible and not suitable for this test.

Black Pagoda tolerates underwatering better than overwatering because of its thick leaves, so be careful not to overwater your Lipstick Plant as it will make it more prone to root rot.

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant in its white pot

The leaves of a well-hydrated Lipstick Plant are fleshy and difficult to fold

Humidity Needs

Optimal humidity levels for Lipstick Plant are between 25% and 50%. However, this plant can adapt well to any humidity level.

Temperature Requirements

The Lipstick plant, like its other tropical relatives, thrives in warm temperatures, between 65° and 80°F (18° and 27°C). Avoid keeping the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant in temperatures lower than 50°F (10°C) since this can lead to leaf drop.


You can fertilize Black Pagoda during active growth once a month or less often, with a liquid fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio. Only fertilize your plant when it’s actively growing. This way it will be able to absorb and utilize all the nutrients and minerals. Otherwise, the minerals will accumulate in the soil, and the plant won’t be able to use them. This can lead to root damage and subsequently leaf damage.

Always make sure to carefully follow the instructions written on the label, as overfertilizing can damage your Black Pagoda.

If you repot your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant annually, it’s not necessary to fertilize it, since it will get all the nutrients from the soil.


Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant will grow well in a well-draining, chunky potting mix. You can make it by mixing 2 parts of store-bought potting soil with 1 part perlite.
It’s advisable to use chunky amendments with larger particles as this will create macro pores that contain oxygen. Adequate soil aeration is vital for root health and it helps keep fungal diseases at bay.


To repot your Lipstick Plant take the following steps:

  • Gently take the plant out of its pot
  • Loosen the rootball carefully
  • Inspect the rootball
  • If you notice any dead, smelly, mushy, or diseased roots, cut them off
  • Fill up ⅓ of the new pot with fresh soil (mix 2 parts soil with 1 part perlite. Pots with drainage holes are optimal, because the excess water can be expelled)
  • Place your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant into its new pot
  • Fill up the pot with fresh soil
  • Gently press the soil around your Black Pagoda
  • Wait for the soil to dry out fully before you water

Check out the repotting process in the video below:

You should repot your plant if it overgrows its container. You will know this if you see the plant’s roots coming out of the drainage holes. This is a sign that your Aeschynanthus longicaulis Black Pagoda needs to be repotted into a one-size larger container so it has room for growth. Even if it doesn’t overgrow its container, you should repot it once a year so it can get nutrients from fresh soil and continue growing in non-compacted soil.

Toxicity To Humans

According to the University of California Poison Control System (CPCS), Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is not toxic to humans.

Black Pagoda Lipstick plant on the left and human illustration with the text "non-toxic" on the right

Enjoy your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant since it’s not toxic to you and your family. Photo on the left by: Barry Schneider

Toxicity To Pets

Black Pagoda is not toxic to pets according to the American Society For Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (ASPCA).

Black Pagoda Lipstick plant on the left and pet illustration with the text "non-toxic" on the right

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is safe for your pets. Photo on the left by: Barry Schneider


There are a couple of scenarios in which you should prune your Aeschynanthus longicaulis black pagoda:

  • You want your Black Pagoda to branch out and become fuller
  • There are dead parts or dry leaves and stems on your plant
  • Some plant parts show signs of disease

Always use sterilized and sharp pruning shears to prune your plants. If you want a bushier plant, prune any stem and it will branch out below the cut. To remove dead stems and dry leaves, just prune them off. Finally, it’s crucial to remove all diseased parts of the plant to prevent the disease from spreading further and potentially infecting other plants as well.


Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant produces clusters of vibrant yellow-orange flowers. Black Pagoda blooms from summer to winter, if it gets a sufficient amount of light. Aim for light over 3,000 lux (300 FC). The flowers are about 1 inch (2 cm) in diameter and measure 2 inches (5 cm) in length.

Tubular flowers of Black Pagoda resemble lipstick plants

Tubular flowers of Black Pagoda resemble lipstick. Photo on the left by: Barry Schneider, Photo on the right by: Patricia Buzo


Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant can be propagated easily via stem cuttings in water or stem cuttings in soil.

Here is how to propagate them via stem cuttings in water:

  • Pick a stem and take a few inches long stem cutting with sharp and sterilized scissors
  • If you want to maximize the chances of successful propagation, take a couple of cuttings
  • Remove a couple of bottom leaves from the stem so that no leaves sit in water when you place the cutting into a container
  • Put the stem cuttings into a glass or another container with fresh water, ensuring that at least 2-3 nodes are in the water
  • Put the containers with the stem cuttings in a warm place with bright light
  • Check the water periodically and replace it with fresh water once a week, or when it starts to get dirty
  • Wait for new growth and when the roots on the stem cuttings reach about 2 inches of length, plant the stem cutting into the soil
six propagation steps via stem cuttings

Follow these 6 steps to propagate your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant. Photo of Black Pagoda Lipstick by: @denver_plant_nerd


Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is a sturdy plant that isn’t often affected by pests and diseases. However, it can sometimes be infested with aphids, mealybugs, and mites.

white aphids black pagoda lipstick plant

Aphids on Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

aphids on black pagoda

Aphids pests

In cases of mild infestation with these pests, you can treat your Black Pagoda with rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap, or neem oil. In cases of severe infestations, systemic insecticides can be used.

Rubbing alcohol is best against mealybugs. Make a solution consisting of 1 part alcohol and 7 parts water. Spray the plant with this solution making sure that you don’t miss any nooks and crannies since pests like to hide there. Test first on 1 leaf and wait for 24 hours before spraying the whole plant, to make sure there is no damage on the leaf.

You can use insecticidal soap against aphids and mites. Spray the plant thoroughly, paying special attention to the underside of the leaves. You will usually have to repeat the process a couple of times every 4-7 days, according to the instructions.

In case you want to treat your Pagoda Lipstick Plant with neem oil, mix 5 drops of pure 100% neem oil with 5 drops of dish soap in 16oz of water. Use a spray bottle to spray the plant with this solution. Keep the plant out of the direct sun for a few hours after the application, as the direct sun can cause leaf damage after neem oil application.


The most common diseases affecting the Lipstick Plant are Botrytis blight and leaf spot. Both diseases are caused by a fungus. You can prevent them by keeping the plants’ leaves dry and out of contact with potting soil. Overhead watering and wetting of the foliage can also contribute to susceptibility to fungal infections. Keep the leaves dry to avoid these diseases.

If the diseases occur, cut off and discard the infected leaves and use a fungicide spray to keep the infection from spreading on you Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant. However, when the symptoms occur, it’s usually difficult to save the plant. Your best bet is to prevent the disease by keeping the leaves dry.

Common Problems

Leaves Turning Yellow

Lipstick Plant can have yellow leaves due to multiple possible reasons: improper watering (overwatering or underwatering), lack of light, pests, or nutrient imbalance. Address every possible factor accordingly: make sure your watering schedule is optimal, and give your plant enough bright, indirect light, but don’t overdo it with direct sun. Check for signs of pests and treat them with control methods.

Fertilize your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant once a month or less often and ensure that you’ve done so according to the instructions on the package.

Leaves Curling

Inadequate light, improper watering, and pests (mites particularly) can cause the leaves of the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant to curl. Regulate how much light and water your plant gets, and treat the mites infestation with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Brown Leaves

Lipstick Plant can have brown leaves due to sunburn, underwatering, nutrient imbalance, or fungal infections (leaf spot). Avoid exposing your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant to direct sunlight for more than 1-2 hours, make sure to water the plant when the soil has dried out completely, fertilize the plant only when it’s actively growing to avoid nutrient accumulation in the soil and prevent and treat the fungal infections with a fungicide.

A hand is holding the plant with brown spots on its leaves

Brown leaves due to underwatering


Is Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant Indoor Or Outdoor Plant?

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant can be both an indoor plant and an outdoor plant. If you live in a warm climate where temperatures don’t drop below 50°F (10°C) you can keep your Pagoda Lipstick Plant outside year-round, where it will get much more light than indoors.

Where Can I Buy Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant?

You can buy Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant from Etsy or Amazon.


Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant is an easy-to-grow plant if you ensure to meet its care requirements. If you apply all the tips and trick from this care guide, you will certainly be a proud plant parent of a lush and healthy Black Pagoda.

Yours Truly,



  1. Lauren September 25, 2023 at 5:07 am - Reply

    This is such a great resource! Thank you so much!

  2. Ty October 29, 2023 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Thank you, awesome plant care guide. The plant store where I got my Black Pagoda Lipstick plant did not know too much about the plant and I was a little worried bringing it home, but after reading this article, I am confident this plant will thrive in my home.

    • MrHouseplant November 10, 2023 at 1:44 am - Reply

      Hi Ty, thank you so much for your comment, I appreciate it! Enjoy your new plant! 🙂

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