The Q&A Archives: More lipsticks

Question: I have a beautiful lipstick plant and I want to propagate some cuttings for some friends. How do I take cuttings and root them? Ron Myhr Houston, TX

Answer: Lipstick plants (Aeschynanthus species and hybrids) are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate, says Tom Winn, co-owner of The Glasshouse Works, a mail-order nursery of tropical plants in Stewart, Ohio. Here's how it's done: Take two 3- to 4-inch-long cuttings from the end of a branch. Remove the bottom set of leaves and place the cuttings 1/2 inch deep into a moistened soilless mix in a 21/2-inch-diameter plastic pot, says Winn. Cover the pot with a clear plastic sandwich bag and place it in a bright room, but out of direct sun. In two weeks, open the bag. Once you start seeing new growth at the tips of the cuttings, transplant them into a larger container. Cuttings taken in spring and summer usually root within one month, notes Winn. Cuttings taken in winter will also root easily, but may take a few weeks longer.

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