Cyrtostachys renda (Red Lipstick Palm) is a stunning feather palm that is originally from Malaysia but has been introduced to tropical areas such as Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. It is known for its brilliantly red trunk, which is hard to find.
The top portion of the trunk should be kept moist or slightly dry, while the bottom part should be kept moist. It is a moderately fast grower and can reach a height of 10-20 feet within 10 years if conditions are favorable. In USDA zones 10-11, it can be planted outdoors in a spot that receives plenty of direct sunlight, although it can tolerate partial shade. However, it is important to avoid planting it near a foundation as the palm may lift the foundation. If it is grown close to the seaside, additional water may be required as it is a salt-tolerant plant.
Sealing Wax Palm seeds are very slow to germinate, taking up to a year. Young seedlings grow slowly, but once the root system reaches a 3-gallon size container, the trunk will start turning red. This process may take another year or two, depending on conditions.
This palm requires a good overhead light, especially when grown indoors, and constant warmth. It is a cold-sensitive plant and for vigorous growth, it must be kept above 50F. The soil should be rich, moist and loamy, and the plant should be fed monthly with a balanced plant food.
Providing a bright light, the Red Lipstick Palm can be a wonderful indoor plant and a gem of any plant collection. It is definitely worth the effort to grow this beauty!