Scientific Name: Medinilla Sp.
Synonyms: Philippine Orchid, Pink Lantern plant or Chandelier tree
The Medinilla is absolutely striking with its elegantly textured foliage and pendant flower stems that grow in graceful high arches, bearing large pink blooms that when open up reveal a cluster of tiny pink flowers. Their blooms are what make them a worldwide must-have houseplant and in certain tropical regions can even be growing outdoors into large specimen plants
Endemic to the Philippines the Medinilla is found growing in the crooks of trees as an epiphyte in tropical jungles. Due to their epiphytic nature, they are lovers of high humidity and warmth. Appreciation moisture on their foliage as a means of drawing in hydration and nutrients.
Toxicity: Medinilla’s are non-toxic
- Brown to black leaves or leaf drop is a result of overwatering. To allow your Medinilla to fare best allow drying out between each watering. Once the potting mix has reached dryness, saturate well. Be sure that your planter has sufficient drainage and avoid your houseplant sitting in water.
- Dark brown patches on the leaves or the drying up and turning black: This is often caused by insufficient light or an excess of fertilizer. If your plant is in a relatively low light position, relocate to a brighter spot, however, if the lighting is correct, adjust your fertilization regime.
- Dry leaf tips and edges: are a result of underwatering and low humidity. Avoid prolonged periods of dryness and always water once the potting mix has reached dryness. Spritz the leaves of your Medinilla often to promote higher humidity as well as place it on a pebble tray to keep a consistent humid environment around your plant. If you find that you have adjusted humidity and your watering schedule but no improvement has taken place, check if your Medinilla is possibly sitting in a draft, if so move it to a less drafty position.
- Dry round patches on the leaves: This is often caused by the direct sun hitting the leaves. Move your Medinilla into a bright filtered location to prevent scorching.
- Leaves and stems are limp: This is is another sign of dehydration in your Medinilla, if this is the cause soak for 15 minutes to saturate well and allow to drain well. Please note: check that medium is dry before soaking, this will be indicated by the potting medium pulling away from the edges of the pot being light. If your Potting medium is wet, your plant may have no roots due to rot setting in, re-pot.
- No Flowers: Medinilla often bloom during the warmer seasons of Spring and Summer, however, if your plant is not blooming, environmental factors may be at play or lack of fertilizer. If all conditions are correct such as bright light, and high humidity with regular watering and fertilizer then your plant may need encouragement with a fertilizer formulated to encourage blooming.
- Pests: Medinilla are not often susceptible to pests but if care is not taken to keep your plant in its optimal conditions stress can occur. This will lead to pest infestations causing excessive leaf discolouration and leaf drop. Mealybug, scale and spider mites are common indoor plant pests and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Adjust environmental stressors for your house plant and treat infestations with an organic pesticide.
- Origin: Philippines
- Height: leaves can reach 30cm long and can get to between 90Cm and a meter tall.
- Light: Medium to bright filtered light. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Water: Keep soil very evenly moist. Appreciates drying out between each watering, avoid prolonged dryness.
- Humidity: Preferably 50% or higher. To raise the humidity for your plant, spritz it daily and place a plant on a pebble tray.
- Temperature: Medinilla’s like warm environments of between 17 °C and 27°C.
- Soil: A very well-draining organic medium that will hold onto some water.,
- Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks from Spring to Autumn with a half dilution of balanced liquid fertilizer
- Repotting: In spring, re-pot into a planter a maximum of 5cm larger than the previous, however, only re-pot once the plant is showing now new growth. Avoid disturbing the roots as this will cause transplant shock.
- Propagation: Medinilla can be difficult to propagate but can be achieved by taking a cutting with at least two leaves. Remove two-thirds of each leaf to reduce its burden on the cutting. Dip the cut end into a powdered rooting hormone and plant into a slightly moist well-draining potting medium. Place in a large clear plastic bag and keep in a bright warm position. Check regularly to see if the potting medium is moist. Your plant will be established once new growth has formed. Remove from the bag and treat as us
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