Growth and Care of the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis) - Growth and Care of the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

The black pagoda lipstick plant is a gorgeous, trailing houseplant that is easy to grow indoors. It is also known as the ‘Zebra Basket Vine’ because it is perfect for growing in hanging baskets. 

Necessary for the Black Pagoda Lipstick’s growth and care is soil, light, temperature and humidity, water, fertilizer, pruning, propagation, repotting, pests, and diseases.

How to Grow and Care for the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant          

Give the right growing conditions and care to the black pagoda lipstick plant. They will be happy and keep blooming. 


Black Pagoda needs well-draining soil to prevent root rot. It also needs well-aerated soil because it is not heavy and will drain properly. These qualities are common in potting mix that is specifically designed for houseplants. 


Black Pagodas need 5 to 6 hours of medium to bright indirect light to bloom and grow well.  It can also endure some direct morning light. 

It is best to place your Black Pagoda by a south-facing window. Transfer your plant to a spot with brighter indirect light if it grows small leaves or does not bloom often. 

Your Black Pagoda may be getting too much direct sunlight if it develops scorched leaves. Too much natural light will also cause your plant to have long, thin stems and likely fail to bloom. 

You can transfer the Black Pagoda to a partially shady outdoor location once spring weather is warm. 

Temperature and Humidity 

Room temperature (750F to 850F) will ensure your plant will grow well and bloom. Your plant will be able to tolerate temperatures below 750F (down to600F) but will have slow growth. 

Your plant will experience leaf drop or yellow discolorations and tissue damage when temperatures indoors drop to 500F or lower. If this happens, transfer your plant to a warmer spot to allow it to bounce back to life. Its leaves may, however, remain yellow. 

Your Black Pagoda is used to high humidity. It will thrive even in dry locations so you do not need to mist its leaves often or need a humidifier.  Low humidity will not stop your Black Pagoda from blooming. 

Never place your plant next to a cooling or heating vent because it can dry the air. 


Water your Black Pagoda when it is completely dry (top 1/4-inch of the soil). Your plant will bloom faster when you wait for the top portion of the soil to dry before watering your plant. 

Water your plant with rainwater, filtered, or distilled water (room temperature).

Water your plant at least once weekly from spring to summer (active growing period). In fall through winter, water your plant only once every two weeks. 


Your Black Pagoda needs balanced houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer. Add fertilizer to your plant at least once a month.  

If slow-release fertilizer has been added to your potting mix, your following fertilizing schedule should be after three months. After three months, apply slow-release fertilizer, and your plant will be fine for the next several months. 


Cut off one-third of the long stems of your Black Pagoda to promote its bushier growth. Pruning also keeps your plant from becoming leggy. Pruning also encourages your plant to create more blooms. 


Save the cuttings (4- to 6-inch cuttings) when you prune the black pagoda lipstick plant because they can be used to propagate new plants. 

Your new Black Pagoda plant will start to form roots about four weeks after repotting the cuttings. 


It is time to repot your Black Pagoda when its roots fill the bottom of the pot or when the plant outgrows its present pot. Spring and summer is the best time to repot your plant. 

Your black pagoda lipstick plant prefers its pot to be made from a porous material such as terracotta, where the soil will dry faster. It will take some time for the soil to dry in plastic pots. 

Pests and Diseases 

Several pests can attack this indoor houseplant. Inspect your plant each time you water to immediately treat any pest infestation on your Black Pagoda and other indoor plants. 

You can wipe off pests with a damp cloth for small infestations. You can spray the entire plant with neem or insecticidal soap for larger infestations. 

Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are some of the most common pests that can attack your black pagoda lipstick plant. 

The Botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea) is the most extensive fungal disease affecting your Black Pagoda. This disease can cause your plant to have ugly heads, black spots, and lesions on your plant’s entire stem or leaves. 

This disease becomes worst during warm daytime temperatures and cool nighttime temperatures. You can prevent this disease from hitting your plant by reducing the amount of moisture it receives (through watering or misting).  

This flowering plant is native to Java’s humid and tropical rainforests, where its trailing vines scramble and grow in trees.

The Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant   

The Gesneriaceae family belongs to the black pagoda lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus longicaulis). It is an indoor plant but can also be grown outdoor in regions with frost-free climates. 

It is called the ‘lipstick plant’ because its 2-inch reddish tubular blooms with yellow throats stick out from its calyx, mimicking lipstick tubes. 

The Black Pagoda is grown by many not only for its brightly-colored flowers but also for its spectacular leaves.  The truth is, it is more of a foliage plant than a flowering plant. 

The Black pagoda grows clustered flowers green and yellow with protruding pistils that grow in clusters. The flowers are more are not as attractive as the leaves. The leaves of the Black Pagoda are the best part of this plant. 

The lipstick plant has glossy mottled leaves. The undersides of the sides are purple.  Its cascading stems are about 2-feet long, sometimes even longer. The young stems are light green and flexible. 

As the plant matures, its stems turn brownish and become rigid and wood-like. The woodier vines stick out straight of the plant while the younger vines trail downward. 

Final Thoughts on Growth and Care of the Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

Your black pagoda lipstick plant is a great indoor plant. It is easy to care for, and its stunning leaves look impressive. Treat yourself to one now and fill your room with beauty and good vibes.



Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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