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We'd recommend situating a Medinilla in a location that offers bright light without the risk of direct sun. Although an hour or two of the rays won't cause too much of an issue, this species is tolerable to sun-scorch and severe dehydration. Over the autumn and winter, you're permitted to providing a brighter area with the possibility of morning or evening sunlight. During this time of year, the natural rays will be weekend and will provide much-needed nutrition and energy over its dormancy period.
The amount of light and current season of the year will directly govern the frequencies of waters per month. Specimens placed in darker areas must be kept on the drier side to life, whereas brighter locations will require more soil moisture to lubricate photosynthesis.
Allow the soil's top third to dry in between waters, reducing this further in the autumn and winter. Avoid prolonged droughts while the specimen is flowering due to the risk of sudden flower loss. If you're unsure as to when the plant needs a water, if the pot feels much lighter when lifted than when it was previously hydrated, it's time for another drink. Whilst the pot is heavy, the plant is still adequately hydrated and therefore won't need a further drench. Under-watering symptoms include shrivelling leaves, yellowed or crispy foliage, a loss of flowers & stunted growth. Over-watering symptoms include a weakened or rotten base, no new growth, yellowing lower leaves and eventual plant death.
Create a pebble tray to provide a moist and stable environment for your plant. If the surrounding saturation is too low or the heat too high, its juvenile leaves may start to brown over and curl, especially in direct sunlight. Gently rinse the foliage down from time to time to hydrate the leaves and keep the dust levels down.
Feed once a fortnight using either a 'Houseplant' or 'Orchid' labelled fertiliser, reducing this to monthly during the autumn and winter. We'd recommend using a concentrated product that can be applied to the tap water when the specimen is needing a drink. Never apply a 'ready to use' product into the soil without a pre-water first, as it may cause root-burn and yellowed leaves.
Root rot is a common issue among specimens sat in too dark environments with prolonged soil moisture. Symptoms include rapidly yellowing leaves, mouldy soil, stunted growth and a rotten brown base. Take the plant out of the pot and inspect health below the compost line. If the roots sport a yellow tinge, you're good to go, but if they're brown and mushy, action must be taken immediately. More information about addressing root rot can be found on this link.
Too much sunlight will lead to sun scorch, with typical signs including browning or crispy leaves, dry leaf-edges, sunken leaves or stunted growth. Although too little light will cause over-watering issues, excess sunlight will be a detriment to the plant as well. If yours has fallen short of this, reduce the amount of the sun considerably and always be mindful of environmental shock (when two locations offer too different growing conditions). Remove some of the affected leaves and increase waters slightly.
Short-lived flowers could be the product of low humidity. Place the specimen on a pebble tray, keeping the reservoir topped up with water while the heaters are operating. Never mist the flowers due to the high risk of developing Botrytis Petal Blight.
A lack of flowers is caused by an insufficient dormancy period, where the temperatures are kept more or less the same over the year. Reduce the temperature by a couple of degrees over the autumn and winter months, along with fewer irrigations to ensure a well-spent dormancy. As spring arrives, the natural temperature will begin to increase, with this is being the perfect time to increase waters and fertilisation. Remember, a good fluctuation of yearly temperature will certainly help the chance of a future bloom.
Powdery Mildew & Southern Blight are major threats among heavy foliage plants when excess moisture is allowed to sit on compacted foliage. Remove the affected areas and improve the growing conditions by situating the plant in a brighter location and keeping the leaves dry.
John Lindley first described this species back in 1850, honouring José de Medinilla y Pineda, who was governor of Mauritius in 1820. The specific epithet of 'magnifica' can be translated from Latin to mean 'magnificent', 'great', 'eminent', or 'distinguished', in reference to the stunning flowers on mature specimens.
14° - 30°C (58° - 86°F)
H1a (Hardiness Zone 13) - Must be grown indoors or under glass all year round. Never allow temperatures to dip below 13℃ (56℉) or permanent damage may occur in the likes of flower loss, stunted growth and blackened or yellowed leaves.
Up to 1.2m in height and 0.6m in width, with the ultimate height being reached in 8 - 10 years. Expect two or three pairs of new leaves per season.
Remove yellow or dying leaves, and plant debris to encourage better-growing conditions. While pruning, always use clean utensils or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases. Never cut through yellowed tissue as this may cause further damage in the likes of diseases or bacterial infections. Remember to make clean incisions as too-damaged wounds may shock the plant, causing weakened growth and a decline in health.
Via Seed or Stem Cuttings.
Medinilla will produce several draping blooms from late spring until early summer, along the nodes of the stems. Each flower can last up to five weeks with the overall show lasting two months.
Repot every two or three years in the spring, using a 'Houseplant' labelled potting mix and the next sized pot with adequate drainage. Medinilla are better potbound for several years due to the heightened risk of root rot and repotting-issues (like transplant shock), so only repot if you feel it's wholly necessary - restricted root growth will also increase the chance of blooms, too.
Hydrate the plant 24hrs before tinkering with the roots to prevent the risk of transplant shock. For those situated in a darker location, introduce an extra amount of perlite and grit into the deeper portion of the pot to downplay over-watering risks. Click on this link for a detailed step-by-step guide on transplantation, or via this link to learn about repotting with root rot.
Book a 1-to-1 video call with Joe Bagley if you'd like a personal guide to repotting your houseplant. This will include recommending the right branded-compost and pot size, followed by a live video call whilst you transplant the specimen for step-by-step guidance and answer any further questions!
Keep an eye out for spider mites, mealybugs, whitefly, root mealybugs, scale & thrips. Typical diseases associated with this genus are leaf-spot disease, botrytis, powdery mildew & root rot. Click here for more information about how to identify and address any of these issues.
Not known to be poisonous when consumed by pets and humans. If large quantities are eaten, it may result in vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite.
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