The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Gesneriaceae.

Common name(s): Basket Vine, Lipstick vine, Basket plant
Aeschynanthus Genus of about 140 species, and many cultivars, of evergreen subshrubs, climbers, and trailing and semi-trailing perennials, most of which are epiphytic, grom subtropical forest in the Hymalayas, S, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea. Aeschynanthus is an attractive flowering vine for use in hanging pots. The plant prefers partial shade, particularly in summer. Potting mixes should be moist and porous. The trailing stems can be 2 feet long so may need pruning after flowering has finished. The plant tolerates most house temperatures. Ideal temperatures are 60 F at night but 10 to 15 F higher during the day.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average or above average warmth in summer. Keep fairy cool in winter - minimum temperature 55F or 15C. Bright light - avoid direct sunshine. Water freely from spring to autumn - sparingly in Winter. Use tepid water. Mist leaves frequently, especially in hot weather. Propagation is by stem tip, or leaf bud, cuttings rooted with bottom heat. Sow seed at 66-75 F (19-24 C) when ripe.
Aeschynanthus javanicus Hook.
Aeschynanthus javanicus Hook.
Aeschynanthus lobbianus
Aeschynanthus lobbianus
Aeschynanthus marmoratus
The zebra basket vine is uncommon but well worth looking for. It is grown for its foliage rather than its dull green flowers - the leaves are intricately mottled above and dark red below. Easy-to-grow plant. Aeschynanthus marmoratus
Aeschynanthus speciosus Ktze.
The 2 ft stems bear leaves in whorls and the 3 in. long flowers stand erect, darkening from yellow bases to red mouth. Aeschynanthus speciosus Ktze.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

3rd Feb 2006
lipstick plant
Ohio, USA
13th Apr 2008
I call my Aeschynanthus a goldfish plant because of it's flowers. My problem is is that it never flowers. I've had it for over 2 years. It gets morning light in a window. The foliage is nice and about foot or so long. I've never repotted. Any suggestions?
Ohio U.S.A.
9th Aug 2008
Jodi, try planting your vine in african violet soil and keep it moist all the time. It worked for me!
Ben vanDruten
canada, Langley B.C.
11th Nov 2008
No fertilizer after sept.15 than clear water for the next 8weeks,then you let it dry out,cool place(13C) 50 days, buds will set and will flower from jan-may. good luck, Ben.
Maine, US
31st Aug 2010
I had moved to my apartment 2 yrs ago and this plant was hurting and I almost lost it. Repotting in regular soil and left in one spot for the last two years in morning light was total serendipity. I knew nothing about the plant. This past spring, it flowered so heavily about 30 blooms!- I was very pleased about it. I'm finding that there are some white roundish fruit being produced from where the flower was.
Rebecca Prater
3rd Jun 2015
Someone gave my sister a small plant and said it was a dolphin plant. She gave three small cuttings and I brought them in a wet paper towel from TN to NC. When she died in 2014 her daughter gave me a few more cuttings and I added them to my small plant. One year after her death the plant is more than two feet long and covered in blooms. When I tell people it is a dolphin plant they see the a dolphin.
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