How to grow Lipstick Palms

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Lipstick Palms are one of the most stunning palms available. They have crown shafts with an almost unbelievably red colour. This colourful tropical palm is extremely popular throughout Australia, but can be tricky to grow. Below is our guide to growing your Lipstick Palms succesfully.

Cyrtostachys renda, or Lipstick Palms, originate in South East Asia, where they grow in lowland coastal swamps. South East Asia is a very tropical, humid place, and you should keep this in mind when growing a Lipstick Palm. Minimum temperature in its natural habitat rarely drops below 15 degrees, and humidity is above 80% most of the time. To grow Lipstick Palms succesfully, you will need to re-create this natural habitat as closely as possible.

In the tropics

In the tropics, meaning areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn (Rockhampton), the Lipstick Palm can be succesfully grown outside in the garden. It's quite easy to grow here, provided it gets lots of water and a bright, sunny spot. Soil should be rich, moist and loamy, and plants should be fed monthly with a tropical plant or palm fertiliser. Alternatively you can use a slow-release fertiliser for palms or tropical foliage plants and apply it at the recommended rate.

Outside of the tropics

The Lipstick Palm is a truly tropical palm tree. It is very cold sensitive, and can not be grown outside in the garden outside of the tropics. They are very suitable as a container plant and can be grown indoors or on verandahs in areas outside of the tropics. A nice warm place inside your home, a conservatory or glass house are all good places to have a go at growing this stunning palm. In some places close to the tropics, or with very mild temperatures, such as places close to the coast, you may still succeed in growing it ouside in the garden. There is one plant succesfully being grown on Bribie Island, off the Brisbane coast. You will need to get the plant as established as possible before planting it out. Provide shade for a start as well, and make sure it stays warm enough.

Ensure this palm gets plenty of warmth, but also humidity. Regular misting is required if the environment around the palm is dry. Soil should be rich, moist and loamy, and plants should be fed monthly with a tropical plant or palm fertiliser. Alternatively you can use a slow-release fertiliser for palms or tropical foliage plants and apply it at the recommended rate.

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