Medinilla is a relatively large genus of around 150 species, all of which are flowering plants. The Medinilla magnifica is a tropical shrub and a well-known species of this genus.
The large oval-shaped dark-green leaves are pattered with lighter green veining. The large pink flower heads can reach 20 inches (50 centimetres) in length. The blooms fall down in tiered clusters that create a contrast of colours to the green of the leaves.
Medinilla originate in the Philippines and prefer hot and humid climates. They are an epiphyte, which means they will often be found growing on trees in their native habitat.
They bloom in spring and, when nurtured correctly from seeds, they can last around two months. Medinilla plants, however, are available from garden centres when they are around 20-30 centimetres tall.
Medinilla are of the species M. Magnifica and come from the family Melastomataceae. Many of the species have similar features and it is easy to confuse them.
The original tropical setting of the Medinilla can be recreated in the home with regular misting and a warm temperature. Room temperature or warmer during the growing season is ideal, though they can tolerate slightly cooler conditions during the rest period. Placing the pot on a saucer of wet pebbles can help create a humid atmosphere. Medinilla require daily watering during the growth cycle and should never be allowed to dry out. These plants can be considered quite expensive to cultivate due to this need to regulate the temperature and humidity levels, but with care and attention they can be grown successfully in the home.
Did You Know?
Medinilla are sometimes known as the Malaysian orchid, despite not being part of the orchid species.