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Medinilla magnifica, the showy medinilla or rose grape is a species of flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae, native to the Philippines. This plant is also commonly known as the Philippine orchid, and
Medinilla magnifica, the showy medinilla or rose grape is a species of flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae, native to the Philippines. This plant is also commonly known as the Philippine orchid, and it is an epiphyte. Various species and hybrids in this family are well known and popular with plant collectors with Medinilla species being found almost identical. The plant grows up to 3 m tall, with opposite, firm, leathery leaves, which grow to 20–30 cm long in an ovate shape with a short point. The flowers grow in panicles up to 50 cm long, with ovid pink bracts. The individual flowers are up to 25 mm in size and are pink, red or violet. The fruits are violet, fleshy berries, about 1 cm wide.
In the Philippines, M. magnifica grows in the forks of large trees. It is an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on other trees but does not withdraw its food from those trees as parasites do. In the tropics, it is grown as a perennial. It is also a common houseplant in cooler climes. King Boudewijn of Belgium was a big devotee of Medinilla. He grew them in the royal conservatories and they were depicted on the banknote of 10,000 Belgian francs.
In temperate zones, this plant must be grown under protection all year round, as it does not tolerate temperatures below 15 °C (59 °F). It requires high humidity levels, and bright sunlight with shade at the hottest time of the day. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. There are approximately 400 species of Medinilla, of which until now only the magnifica is supplied as a houseplant. The family name of the Medinilla is Melastomataceae. Medinilla magnifica finds its origin in the mountains of the Philippines. It is an epiphyte, which is a plant that grows on other trees but does not withdraw its food from those trees as parasites do. This type magnifica is the only Medinilla with splendid pink flyleaves and such a large flower. Late king Boudewijn of Belgium was a big devotee of Medinilla. He grew them in the royal conservatories and they flaunted on the banknote of 10,000 Belgian francs. The growing of Medinilla's in greenhouses was such a great success that now everyone can enjoy the beauty of Medinilla.
Common Names: Rose Grape, Showy Medinilla, Malaysian Orchid, Chandelier Tree, Kapa-kapa.
Medinilla Magnifica prefers being a bit dry for being too wet. Allow the plant to dry out and to be light when lifted before watering the soil thoroughly. It is recommended to water your Medinilla Magnifica once every 7-10 days. Do not allow any water to remain in the bottom of the pot. The preferred method of watering is from the bottom.
How to water Medinilla Magnifica from the bottom:
1. Fill your plant dish or sink with approximately 2 liters of water (water amount depends on plant maturity)
2. Let your Medinilla soak in it for approximately 10 minutes
3. Allow the plant to drain the excess water for 1 minute
4. Place your Medinilla back to its location.
Medinilla Magnifica also loves being sprayed with mist due to the dryness in the air that furnaces and air conditioners can produce.
Medinilla’s are traditionally not insect attractors. The two you may find are Aphids and Caterpillars. If you see Aphids on your Medinilla Magnifica, it is best to remove by using soap and water to wipe the leaves. If you have a Caterpillar you will need to remove carefully and place the Caterpillar outdoors to a new home away from your plants.
The ideal temperature for Medinilla Magnifica is 17°C to 25°C (63°F to 77°F). The Medinilla likes a lot of light. From November 1st to March 1st Medinilla’s can tolerate direct sunlight. From March 1st to November 1st, it is best to protect them from direct sunlight otherwise the leaves will burn.
Medinilla Magnifica can be grown outdoors when temperatures are above 12°C (54°F), but it is best to avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. In fact, the flowers can last even longer outdoors than indoors when the nights are cool. The flower on the Medinilla Magnifica is made up of many small flowers cupped in bracts (large petal-like leaves) and can grow to about 50 cm long. If you look carefully you can see the delicate purple anthers sticking out of the trumpet-shaped flowers. This small detail is the finishing touch of the flower and is its hallmark.
After the flowering period, it is advisable to remove the old flowers to facilitate the plant's further growth. Then the plant will produce new leaves where the flowers were located. Once these have unfurled it is important to place the plant in a cooler position around 17°C (63°F) to facilitate bud formation in the young leaves. If the buds are clearly visible then the plant can be returned to its normal temperature so that the buds can develop further into a new magnificent pink flower.
In principle, Medinilla Magnifica can be reported throughout the year although this should not be done in the flowering period due to the delicate nature of the flower. If necessary, Medinilla’s can be pruned but always leave one pair of leaves on a branch otherwise that branch will die.
You do not need to fertilize the Medinilla Magnifica while it is flowering. After the flowering period, fertilizer can be given once every two weeks when the Medinilla Magnifica is growing new shoots. You may use a standard houseplant or orchid fertilizer on your Medinilla Magnifica.
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