Potted plants: Medinilla, Medinilla curtisii, Medinilla javanensis, Medinilla magnifica, Medinilla sedifolia

Potted plants: Medinilla, Medinilla curtisii, Medinilla javanensis, Medinilla magnifica, Medinilla sedifolia

Classification, origin and description

Common name: Medinilla.
Kind: Medinilla.

Family: Melastomaceae.

Etymology: the name was given in honor of José Medinilla de Pineda, governor of the Mariana Islands in 1820.
provenance: Philippines, Sumatra, Madagascar and Java.

Genre description: includes about a hundred species of shrubby and suffruticose plants, with a climbing or erect bearing, with persistent, sessile, opposite leaves and with very evident veins. They produce flowers, often protected by bracts, white or pink in color.

Magnificent Medinilla (website photo)

Species and varieties

Medinilla curtisii: native to Sumatra, this shrub has oblong leaves with a green leaf on the upper page and brown on the lower one. The flowers, white and fleshy, are carried by a coral red peduncle. It grows up to 1.5 m.

Medinilla javanensis: originally from Java, this species similar to the previous one differs in its pink and larger flowers.

Magnificent Medinilla: native to the Philippines and Java, it is the best known species of the genus Medinilla. Shrub, which also reaches 2 m. tall, it is usually marketed already in bloom and it is quite difficult that it will be able to make it bloom again. It has large leaves (up to 30 cm.), Opposite, sessile, with a leathery consistency, with depressed and cream-white veins. The pink-purple flowers, consisting of a corolla with five pink petals, are gathered in pendulous terminal racemes 40-50 cm long. protected by two to three rows of pink bracts. Each inflorescence is made up of many flowers that bloom in succession, causing the elongation of the pink rachis that carries them. It follows that the inflorescence increasingly moves away from the bracts that over time open and become winged.

Medinilla sedifolia: this species comes from Madagascar with creeping branches. In our climates it hardly ever blooms.

Magnificent Medinilla flower (website photo)

Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions

Temperature: the minimum winter temperature must not drop below 15 ° C.
Light: very strong, but indirect, with the exclusion of direct sun rays.
Watering and environmental humidity: water regularly in spring-summer. Reduce doses in autumn, the period in which flower buds are formed. Once the inflorescences have formed, it will be possible to return to regular watering. The humidity must be increased by any means. For this purpose, it will be useful to spray and spray the foliage, as well as to place the pot on a bowl filled with gravel always kept wet.
Substrate: mixture of moorland and leaf soil.
Special fertilizations and tricks: from April to September fertilize every two weeks. They repot every two years in spring. In the year in which it is not repotted, replace the surface layer of soil with new soil.

Multiplication and pruning

Multiplication: multiply by placing, in a heated environment (20-21 ° C) and under plastic or glass cover, semi-mature wood cuttings or the apices of the jets 8 cm long and with at least two pairs of leaves. One must be careful to air from time to time to avoid creating an asphyxiated environment. Rooting usually takes 3-4 weeks.
Pruning: adult specimens of Medinilla magnifica must be pruned on the longest branches (up to half their length) at the end of flowering.

Diseases, pests and adversities

- Red spider mite: mite that develops easily in hot and dry environments. It can be prevented from appearing by spraying the leaves and keeping the ambient humidity high (for example by placing the plant on a bowl filled with pebbles always kept wet, making sure that the water never reaches the bottom of the pot). It is fought with acaricidal products.

- Leaves that wilt and plant that does not bloom: insufficient light, excessive watering, too dry air, too low temperatures.

Video: Medinilla