How to Care for a Lipstick Palm

Written by dawn gibbs
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How to Care for a Lipstick Palm
The lipstick palm is a popular but rare houseplant. (Palm tree image by Sergey Danilov from

The lipstick palm is a striking houseplant. Its bright red stalk and feathery palm leaves make the tree eye-catching. The stem can also come in yellow and deep shades of orange. The lipstick palm is also known as the sealing wax palm, and can reach up to 20 feet in height. The lipstick palm grows slowly and is not hardy. It makes a good indoor houseplant, though it does require more care to thrive than other palm varieties.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Peat moss
  • Large planter
  • Warm water
  • Tropical plant fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Plant the lipstick palm in loamy soil, or create your own by mixing one part peat moss with one part general purpose potting soil and one part coarse sand. Keep the palm in a pot that comes with drainage holes, and that is three times the width of the root ball.

  2. 2

    Fertilise the lipstick palm once a month with a liquid tropical plant commercial fertiliser available at your local nursery or gardening centre. Do not use regular fertiliser. You can also use a slow-releasing granular fertiliser. If you go that route, add the fertiliser to the soil in the spring.

  3. 3

    Water the lipstick palm with lukewarm water. Keep the soil constantly moist to the touch at a depth of 3 inches. The lipstick palm is a native plant of Asian swamps, and it will not tolerate drying out. When you water, pour the water into the soil until it comes out of the drainage holes in the pot. Let it sit for 20 minutes before you empty the tray under the pot.

  4. 4

    Keep the potted plant in bright light, but out of direct sunlight. It can tolerate partial shade, but full sun may dry it out. Keep the plant in a constantly warm environment of around 23.9 degrees C. Never let the plant experience temperatures below 4.44 degrees C.

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