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How to Get Rid of Scales on Twisted Lipstick Plant

Updated: July 2, 2023


The Twisted Lipstick Plant, also known as Aeschynanthus radicans, is a popular choice among indoor gardeners due to its vibrant red tubular flowers and glossy green leaves. However, like any other houseplant, it is susceptible to pests, including scales.

Scales are tiny insects that attach themselves to the stems and leaves of plants, sucking out their sap and causing damage. If left untreated, scales can weaken the plant and even lead to its death. In this article, we will discuss how to identify scales on a Twisted Lipstick Plant and provide effective methods to get rid of them.

Identifying Scales on Twisted Lipstick Plant

Scales are small, oval-shaped insects that have a hard outer shell, which resembles a scale or a shell-like covering. They come in various colors, including brown, black, or gray. Scales can be found attached to the stems, leaves, or even the flowers of the Twisted Lipstick Plant.

If you suspect your plant has scales, carefully examine the foliage for signs of infestation. Look for tiny bumps or protrusions on the plant’s surface, which may be accompanied by a sticky residue or black mold. Additionally, check if there are any ants present around the plant as they are attracted to the honeydew secreted by scales.

Getting Rid of Scales

Once you have identified scales on your Twisted Lipstick Plant, it is crucial to take immediate action to eliminate them. Here are some effective methods you can follow:

1. Manual Removal

One of the simplest ways to get rid of scales is through manual removal. Start by using a soft brush or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently scrub off the scales from the affected areas. Take care not to damage the plant’s delicate foliage while doing so.

If the infestation is severe and manual removal becomes challenging, you can also consider pruning off heavily infested stems or leaves. Make sure to sterilize your pruning tools before and after use to prevent the spread of any potential diseases.

2. Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective treatment for scales on houseplants. It works by suffocating the insects, causing them to die off. Purchase a ready-to-use insecticidal soap from a garden center or make your own by mixing mild liquid soap with water.

Apply the soap solution to the affected areas, making sure to thoroughly coat the scales. Leave it on for a few hours, and then rinse off the plant with clean water. Repeat this process every 7-10 days until all signs of scales are gone.

3. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that is derived from the seeds of the neem tree. It not only kills scales but also has antifungal properties that can help prevent black mold growth caused by their honeydew secretion.

Mix neem oil with water according to the instructions on the product label and apply it to the affected areas using a spray bottle or a cloth. Make sure to cover both sides of the leaves and all infested parts. Repeat this treatment every 1-2 weeks until the scales are eliminated.

4. Systemic Insecticides

In severe cases of scale infestation, where manual removal or organic treatments are not effective, you may need to resort to systemic insecticides. These are absorbed by the plant’s roots and transported throughout its system, thereby killing scales that feed on it.

Choose a systemic insecticide specifically labeled for scale control and follow the instructions provided. Be cautious when using chemical treatments and follow all safety precautions mentioned on the product packaging.

Preventing Scale Infestations

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to plant pests. Here are some measures you can take to prevent scale infestations on your Twisted Lipstick Plant:

  1. Regularly inspect your plants: Regularly check your Twisted Lipstick Plant and other houseplants for signs of pests, including scales. Early detection can help prevent the spread of infestation.

  2. Maintain good plant hygiene: Keep your plant clean by wiping its leaves with a damp cloth regularly. This helps remove any dust or debris that can attract scales.

  3. Isolate new plants: When introducing new plants to your indoor garden, quarantine them for a few weeks to ensure they are free of pests before placing them near existing plants.

  4. Avoid over-fertilizing: Excessive use of fertilizers can make plants more susceptible to pests. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency for fertilizing your Twisted Lipstick Plant.

  5. Encourage natural predators: Introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings to your indoor garden. These predators feed on scales and other pests, helping to keep their populations in check.


Dealing with scales on a Twisted Lipstick Plant can be a challenging task, but with the right methods and persistence, you can successfully get rid of these pesky insects. Remember to identify the scales early, choose the appropriate treatment method, and take preventive measures to keep your plant healthy and pest-free. With proper care, your Twisted Lipstick Plant will continue to thrive and showcase its beautiful flowers for years to come.

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