Hailing from the Asian tropics, Mona is a serious head-turner. We reckon if all our house plants had a prom, she'd be voted Queen -- she's pretty, sassy, and has an 'I-run-things' attitude. In the wild, her bright, lipstick-like flowers are pollinated by sunbirds; at home, they add an eye-catching pop of colour to any space.
Her latin name is a bit of a head scratcher -- 'aeschynanthus' is a compound of the Greek aischuno (to be ashamed) and anthos (flower). Why? We're not sure, but we don't think it suits her: if we had this trailing beauty in our home, we'd certainly be the opposite of ashamed.
Botanical name: Aeschynanthus 'Mona Lisa'
Nicknames: Basket Vine, Lipstick Plant
Plant type: Evergreen perennial / indoor
Current height (including pot): 30-40cm
Pro level: Medium
Nursery pot size: 15cm, repot every one-two years
HOW TO CARE FOR MONA (LIPSTICK PLANT)
Mona is fussy when it comes to light. While she doesn't like being in full sunlight, she doesn't like full shade, either. Put her in a spot with bright, filtered light -- a south- or west-facing window would do the trick
Mona won't appreciate being overwatered, either. She likes her soil on the dry side -- keep her compost moist, never soggy. Always Make sure the top few inches of her soil is dry before you water her again
Mona prefers to be toasty at all times. She'll do best around 18degC, but just make sure she doesn't hang around in temperatures under 10degC
Humidity is Mona's thing; mist her frequently with a plant mister, or just put her in the kitchen/bathroom. If you need more humidity-boosting tips,
Feed Mona with a balanced liquid fertiliser (diluted to half strength) every month while she's growing in spring and summer