Lipstick plant in a windowless office

adriennepratt(Wash DC)October 18, 2005

Hi, much to my distress I have to move from an office with lots of natural light to one with no windows at all. I have a beautiful lipstick plant which flowers a couple of times a year in my current office. Can anyone tell me how it will survive in the new one?

Thanks very much!

Adrienne

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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

It will do very poorly before it dies. You cannot grow a moderately high light plant like an aeschynanthus in very low light. If it has any flower buds it will abort them. Then if it is kept wet it will rot its roots. If kept drier but not too dry it will linger on, getting stragly pale new growth, but will not be attractive. Your best bet is to take it home and give it a good well lit location.

It might be possible to keep it in acceptable condition in the new office location if you hang a light directly over it, such as a round hangling bulb fixture with a large reflector with a decent wattage fluorescent bulb (I think they come in a 22 watt bulb, which equals a 75 watt incandescent), and then put on a timer so that it stays on for about 14 or more hours a day, 7 days a week. Hang the fixture so that the bulb is about a foot to 18" above the plant. Hopefully that will give the plant enough light to keep it attractive as a foliage plant. It may even flower, I don't know.

Jon

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 2:15PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I realize this short thread is what, close to two years old, but I have an aeschynanthus in a windowless office and it's doing great. I brought it in over three years ago, just some teeny rooted cuttings in a pot. They have grown and grown and send out all kinds of new branches from the soil so it doesn't look like three cuttings any more. My "office" is a cubicle with the Herman Miller cubicle furniture. I have under-cabinet flourescent lights and I have my plant on a little Herman Miller shelf to keep it close to the fluorescent light. I water it a couple times/week b/c I've noticed it starts to wilt a little if it dries out and it grows much better if kept constantly damp, and I've never fertilized. I do rotate it every week or so to keep the shape pretty even b/c I dislike plants that have become distorted from growing toward the light.

It only bloomed once w/pretty green flowers but I love the leaves; I think my plant is that species longicaulis although the growth is pretty compact. I haven't done anything special to help it grow so well.

~Melanie~

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 3:23PM
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