Medinilla magnifica, named also “Rose Grape”, “Philippine Orchid”, “Pink Lantern plant” or “Chandelier tree”, is a small evergreen shrub native to the islands of the Pacific Ocean (Philippines) and Southeast Asia. Also, this wonderful plant, like the name suggests, is quite magnificent with its long, pink to coral-red hanging flowers. Moreover, the leaves of this beauty are broad, obovate, up to 20-30 cm in length, with dark green color and light green veins.
Furthermore, this epiphytic plant grows generally on tree branches in tropical forests, but can also be grown as a houseplant if we try to give it similar living conditions (temperature of 18 to 25 °, high humidity and light but no direct sun).
How to grow and care for Medinilla magnifica?
How to grow?
You can try to grow a Medinilla yourself. You can do this either by sowing seeds or by cuttings with young twigs 2-3 knots and about 15 cm in length. However, it is probably more advisable to buy young specimens for beginner gardeners. Medinilla plant can also grow outdoors in well-drained soil.
How to care for?
Medinilla plant loves warm temperatures, so keep it at a temperature between 18°C and 27°C all year round. Also, during winter rest, you can place it in a cooler room but the temperature should never drop below 13°C.
Medinilla plants like sunny positions with indirect sunlight. If the leaves start turning brown either the air is too dry or your plants getting too much direct sunlight – adjust its position.
Medinilla grows well in an orchid potting mix with some peat moss mixed in. So, provide a well-drained potting mix with a slightly acidic pH for optimum growth.
Water twice a week during growth and then space out during the winter (once a week only). Then, resume watering moderately in early-mid Spring when flower stalks become visible. Furthermore, Medinilla originally comes from the tropics, so try to spray the foliage regularly with soft water to increase the humidity.
This plant is a moderate feeder. So, apply a standard liquid fertiliser once a week during active growth and every two weeks once flower buds begin to open. Discontinue feed in the winter.
Repotting is done every year or every two years, during spring, into one size larger container. This plant should be handled with great delicacy because its roots are very fragile.
Medinilla plants can be kept at a manageable size by pruning down the branches immediately after the plant flowers. Cut the stem at the bottom with pruning shears or a sharp knife.
Mealy bugs and spider mites are deadly enemies of Medinilla, especially in a very dry atmosphere, but daily misting will discourage these pests.
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