Outdoor Lipstick Plant Invader


The plant is in a big outdoor container mostly in the shade with Coleus and Mona Lavender. The Lipstick Plants leaves are being chopped up into funny shapes and some are being eaten.



Thanks for this question which has a few questions back from me. I am hoping you checked for something within the plant that might be eating the Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus radicans) but not the Coleus or Mona Lavender.

Research shows that most insects or diseases occur more in houseplants, outside plants having fewer pest problems. Did you look for Mealy bugs or Aphids? A common outdoor, mostly beneficial insect is the earwig which bites plants. The Leaf cutting bee is also a leaf biter and once you have seen their action it is easily identifiable. July seems to be when we start to see the Japanese Beetle come back and it loves just about everything in the garden when we used to think it was just rose bushes.

The best time to check for something in your planter is early morning or at night in the dark with a flashlight when the slugs start to appear. Could your yard be home to a rabbit?

How to treat the situation is by checking thoroughly if you have a pest invader. Hand pick the Japanese beetles off but this needs full monitoring not just once. The beneficial insects are good for our overall garden so allow them to exist and just cut off the disfigured leaves to give a better show. Lipstick plant does not mind being pruned and will become fuller.

Don’t expect perfect looking plants all summer without some work on your part. Water properly and deadhead or remove damaged and older leaves. Master Gardeners do no endorse using products to reduce insect activity.

June 30, 2021