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Lipstick Palm Tree

The lipstick palm is a beautiful, versatile tree that will add multiple colors to your landscape.

They are extremely popular grown in containers, as a clump, or a privacy screen.

It is also known as the red palm and sealing wax palm.

The reason is their crownshaft had the same bright color of the special wax used to seal documents.

This is one of the palms that can tolerate very wet areas.

The soil should be well drained but can remain flooded for quite awhile without hurting this palm.

This water hungry tree shouldn't ever have the soil go dry.

lipstick palm tree, cyrtostachys rendalipstick palm tree

Lipstick Palm Appearance

This beautiful palm has feather leaves of a deep emerald green on top and a bit lighter green underneath.

The leaves get to be 5 feet long with widely spaced leaflets.

The best feature is the bright red crownshaft that extends below the leaves up to 3 feet down the trunk.

The red color continues into the stem of the leaf.

This is the source of the name lipstick palm.

Only a name given to this red variety.

The rest of the trunk is green.

There are scars from old leaves leaving white rings all the way down.

This tree bears white flower clusters of both sexes on each tree.

Once pollinated the flowers turn to a small round fruit blackish in color once ripe.

Cyrtostachys renda (ornamental) - Suva, Fiji

Care and Growth

The lipstick palm is a water lover and needs a lot of moisture.

One place to put this tree is in a container that is partly submerged in a water feature.

Make sure to leave the top of the soil exposed for the best results the rest of the soil can be downright soggy.

It is perfect if you are trying to add color to a pond when you are looking for the tropical look.

Not the easiest tree to start from seed. It could take some time for it to sprout. A better way is to split of some off the suckers from the cluster to start elsewhere.

Lipstick Palm Tree - Medium

Quick info:

  •  Scientific name:  Cyrtostachys renda
  • Minimum temp 35°F, zones 10-11
  • 25-30 feet tall, gets 10-15 feet wide
  • clumping variety
  • Any type of soil but should contain some sand & humus or peat for moisture retention
  • water needs are high
  • Part shade when young will tolerate full sun once mature

It is considered a slow grower getting up to 25-30 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide. Can get to over 50 feet tall in it's native habitat.

The clumping effect will produce multiple stems or trunks at varying heights giving you one of the best looking privacy screens you could ask for.

They have very little salt tolerance and needs to be kept out of any freezing conditions.

lipstick palmLipstick Palm Tree

CC      Photo by: Daniel Rengelm

This tree prefers part shade but will do okay in full sun when it is a bit more mature. Feed a good water soluble palm fertilizer and a bit more often with the higher water consumption. 

It will grow in any type of soil as long as it stays wet enough.

CC   Original photo by: Alan Kotok

Lipstick palm tree beside pondLipstick palm tree beside pond

Same goes with containers. Keeping them moist will be your only challenge but perfect for those spots where some other palms won't do well.

The lipstick palm originates from the swamps and rain-forests in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia.

You may have already guessed that it has become very popular for gardeners and landscapers around the world.

It can be planted anywhere you may need water hungry plants and want a mix of beautiful color.

More About Palms

  • Beautiful Butterfly or Areca Palm

    The areca palm is a beautiful tree with feathery leaves that is mostly cultivated as a house plant. Find out what they look like and how to grow them.

  • Triangle Palm

    Once you see a beautiful triangle palm tree, you’re definitely going to want one. Unique looking and easy to grow- they are gaining popularity.

  • Travelers Palm

    The travelers palm would make a great addition and will turn any yard into a little slice of paradise! Many call it a fan palm because of the leaf pattern.

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