How to Care for a Lipstick Palm


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.

Things You'll Need

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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 75 degrees F. Never let the plant experience temperatures below 40 degrees F.

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  • Photo Credit Palm tree image by Sergey Danilov from
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