Apartment plants

Magnificent Medinilla


Medinilla


The magnificent medinilla is an ornamental plant with large pink cluster inflorescences, which give it an elegant and extremely decorative appearance: hence the name "magnificent".
This plant is very simple to grow, but it is not very common because its characteristics are not known. Originally from the Philippines, it arises spontaneously in tropical forests, preferring particularly shady locations.
It has pinkish flowers that hang in large "racemes" that resemble bunches of grapes, which is why it is also called rose grapes.
It has large bright green leaves with very noticeable veins, stems develop from the apex of the leaves on which pink flowers are born, composed of very evident light pink corollas. To cover the real flower there are bracts of a deep pink.

General characteristics



Originally from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Philippines, the medinilla It is an epiphytic plant that develops in the cavities of tree trunks. In the original places, the medinilla It is characterized by rapid growth and erect growth habit. Despite its tropical origin, it can withstand short periods even at low temperatures.
There magnificent medinilla it belongs to the Melastomataceae family, which has more than 180 species of shrub and climbing plants. It has thick stems with a quadrangular section, which lignify with the passage of time.
The foliage is persistent and the leaves are ample (they reach even more than 20 cm in length), elliptical, opposite, coriaceous, rough to the touch, dark green in color, with more or less wavy edges and with evident veins that depart from the rib central. The flower stems (about 45 cm long) carry a fleshy flower with five petals and a raceme, which is very reminiscent of a bunch of grapes. The different parts of the inflorescence are all characterized by a color ranging from pale pink to coral red.
Flowering usually occurs in early spring and can last even the entire summer. Each inflorescence has a duration of at least two weeks.
There magnificent medinilla can reach 2 m in height in places of origin, while in the apartment, if placed in a sufficiently large vase, it has an average height of about 120 cm.

Exposure



Being a tropical plant it requires many hours of light and mild temperatures, which do not undergo thermal changes. The ideal temperature is around 25 ° C and, in winter it should never fall below 15 ° C.
The magnificent medinilla loves a luminous position, but not direct exposure to the sun's rays. Do not place it in places with drafts, such as near a door or window, and move it away from radiators

Watering



It does not need large amounts of water, for a better monitoring of the plant it is advisable to check the moisture of the earth, water as soon as it starts to dry, with water without limestone at room temperature. The soil must always be kept humid during the hottest season, without causing water stagnation.
Even in winter it is good to check that the plant has a slightly damp soil.
In the hot season it is also good to proceed with water sprays on the leaves, but without wetting the flowers, which would be ruined.
The plant must be watered with rainwater or non-calcareous water at room temperature. The medinilla does not like limestone, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall. Allow the soil to dry at a superficial level between one watering and another, but never let the whole soil dry completely. During the vegetative recovery period, keep the soil moist by watering at room temperature.
The magnificent medinilla needs a high environmental humidity, but it cannot stand a soil full of water, therefore always empty the saucer to avoid root rot. Put the jar in a rather large saucer with balls of clay and water so that the evaporation of the water ensures the necessary humidity for the leaves. With clay balls, the plant will not risk root rot. Periodically spray rainwater on the leaves, but not on the flowers. The nebulization will prevent the plant from being attacked by mites. Equally useful is the immersion of the jar in a container full of water for a few minutes. In winter, water very little, especially if the plant is placed in a rather cool environment. Resume watering regularly when the first buds appear. At the end of flowering, reduce the water intake since the plant enters the phase of vegetative rest.












































Fertilizing



It is good practice to fertilize the plant every week with a fertilizer for flowering plants, half of the dose recommended on the label. In the winter period it is advisable to reduce the frequency of the fertilizations to once every 15 days.
During the development period, the plant needs fertilizer. Every 2 weeks use one for tropical plants rich in phosphorus or an orchid fertilizer. In the winter period (two to three months) do not supply fertilizer and reduce water intake.
Topsoil
Being a plant of tropical origin, in the original countries it grows in the forests, in a humid environment, on acid and extremely draining soils, therefore it requires a soil rich in humus and peat. Add perlite to increase drainage capacity.

Repotting


The magnificent medinilla should be repotted annually in the first years of life, then less and less as the years go by. When the plant is mature it should be repotted once every 3/4 years. The compost to be used must be rich in organic substance, with the addition of finely ground beech or oak leaves.

Medinilla in short

Family

Melastomataceae
Gender Medinilla
Type of plant Ornamental, from the apartment
Origin Philippines
Foliage Persistent
Use In the apartment, greenhouse or veranda
Height at maturity 200 cm in the places of origin, up to 120 cm if grown in a vase
Growth rate Rapid, if cultivation conditions are appropriate
Diseases and pests Scale insects. Root rot
Temperature Ideal: between 200-250 C, and not less than 160 C









































The cultivation of the medinilla

Cultivation

Difficult
Maintenance Average
Exposure In light or in partial shade
Ground Fresh, draining, rich in humus
Cleaning / Pruning Elimination of withered flowers and stems too thin and weak
Water needs Average
Soil moisture Average
Composting In the period of vegetative growth
Multiplication Talea

Temperatures



The plant needs a temperate climate throughout the year, it must never fall below 16 °, the optimal temperature varies from 18 to 22 ° C. It is advisable to find a fairly ventilated location to ensure good growth of the magnificent Medinilla. In the winter months it is advisable to leave the plant at a temperature that does not exceed 18 ° C.
Medinilla is an extremely demanding plant with regard to temperature and humidity. The temperatures suitable for the magnificent medinilla are between 18 ° and 27 ° C in the spring-summer period, while during the winter rest, the temperatures must oscillate between 14 ° and 18 ° C. The plant nevertheless manages to withstand even lower temperatures provided that for periods very short.

Multiplication


The reproduction of the Medinilla magnifica occurs through cuttings in the spring period, to increase the chances of success the warm bed (basal heating system) is appropriate.
The propagation of the magnificent medinilla is carried out by cutting.
For cutting
The playback operation has problems and success is not always guaranteed. The cuttings are made in the spring-summer period on stems that are not too old (2-3 years), about 15 cm long. Cut under a knot and remove the leaves below the knot and the ends to reduce water consumption. Dip the tip of the cutting into the rooting hormone. If the leaves are too large, reduce them by half or roll them up to reduce evaporation.
The cuttings are placed in a fresh soil with peat and a lot of sand, up to the leaves, they are covered with a cloth or placed in a small greenhouse to create a humid environment with a temperature that is as constant as possible (240-290 C) and placed in the shade or a shielded light source. As the new shoots appear, remove the plastic sheet. The roots should come up in about 2-3 weeks.












Parasites



It is a plant that is rarely attacked by parasites, possibly by green aphids. To counter them it is possible to increase the nebulizations of water, given that they do not like damp environments. They can also be removed directly from the leaves with a cotton pad and soap, to be rinsed with care.
If the plant does not enjoy sufficient humidity, it can be subject to attack by scale insects. Remedy this problem by using a specific insecticide or by spraying the leaves daily on the upper and lower pages. Another problem is root rot, caused by an excessive amount of water.

Tips


The plant should be sprayed every 2 or 3 days with a fine jet sprayer to increase atmospheric humidity. To increase humidity we recommend the use of very large saucers filled with expanded clay, the plant must not be in contact with water.
If the plant increases in size it can be cut, the cut must be made in spring, after flowering. If the plant presents at the end of the leaves of the dryness it is due to a level of humidity lower than the needs of the plant itself.
When the plant does not produce flowers, it is advisable to let the plant rest in cold periods, decreasing the temperatures to 16 ° C.
The medinilla is a magnificent plant that everyone would like to cultivate for its high ornamental value. But before buying it, ask yourself if you can provide it with light and humidity, otherwise you will risk buying a plant that will not flower or die. Give up if you don't have a bright enough place or a small greenhouse with sufficient humidity. But if you can create the ideal environment, the magnificent medinilla will not disappoint you.
Following the purchase it is possible that the medinilla gradually loses its leaves. The loss of leaves can be due to the change in cultivation conditions, that is to say the passage from the nursery, in which the medinilla was kept in a greenhouse with a warm and humid environment, in the warm but dry climate of a normal apartment. Make sure that the plant immediately has similar conditions to those of the place of origin and the greenhouse.
The plant may begin to appear weak and the leaves to turn yellow. It is possible that the soil has become calcareous. Repot the plant using an acid soil and not sprinkle with calcareous water.

How to grow Medinilla



The magnificent medinilla is an epiphytic plant of the tropical area, and therefore requires treatments similar to those of tropical orchids. It can last for years, if it is grown respecting its needs; while you will not see it bloom or the leaves will turn yellow and then fall, if the conditions are not ideal.
After buying the plant, choose a bright room with an adequate level of humidity and light. In the summer period, excessive light can be attenuated with curtains that prevent the sun's rays from burning its leaves.
Every two or three years, carry out the repotting if you notice that the vase has become too small. The repotting operation must be performed after flowering. Use soil made up of equal parts of peat, leaves and coarse-grained sand for good drainage. During the repotting operation, be careful not to damage the roots, as they are very delicate and risk affecting the health of the plant. If the magnificent medinilla has been placed in a sufficiently large vase and does not need repotting, simply renew the topsoil by removing 3-4 cm of surface soil and adding new one.
During the flowering period, if you notice that the flower stems are excessively curved and are likely to break, place the stakes in the ground and anchor the stems to prevent them from breaking.

Medinilla in winter


In winter, the medinilla needs lower temperatures (140-180 C) and a reduction in water intake: wait until the surface is sufficiently dry before watering again. The decrease in water and temperature will favor flowering. When the first buds appear, replace the medinilla in the usual place and resume watering.

Magnificent Medinilla: Pruning


Pruning must be carried out at the end of flowering, after the summer, to eliminate dried or dried flower stems, or to reduce the size of the plant. Eliminate overgrown or slender stems. Tick ​​off the youngest branches to increase branching. The magnificent medinilla also bears strong pruning, but the specimens grown in pots generally do not need them.


The calendar of the medinilla

repotting

After flowering
Flowering Early spring-summer (if ideal conditions are met)