Medinilla is a flower with a complex character. One of the most unusual and expensive indoor plants, not everyone can admire the flowering. Caring for him at home requires knowledge and considerable care. But definitely worth it. Leaves, flowers, the whole appearance of the medinilla seems to smell like the tropics. It is hardly worth it for beginners and those who are not ready to pay much attention to this process, since this exotic does not agree to compromise, and every mistake of the owner can become critical for him. However, this is precisely what makes growing medinilla an interesting creative process, and the pursuit of a flawless result is the true goal of true enthusiastic flower growers.
Botanical description with photo
The genus Medinilla belongs to the Melamastov family. Its homeland is the Pacific Islands, as well as the Asian and African tropics. It may look like a vine, shrub or tree, has large leaves and inflorescences, but usually does not exceed 2 meters in height or length (for vines). It has an epiphytic or semi-epiphytic (beginning on a tree, ending on the ground) type of development, therefore it can grow both on the ground and on trees or other plants.
The leaves of a noble muted gray-green color have a wavy edge and a rare light-contrasting venation. In some varieties, the leaf plate is serrated, but more often whole, petioles are also not available in all varieties.
Apical or axillary inflorescences form a brush with or without bracts, similar to a bunch of grapes, which droops down very beautifully. Flowering begins in spring. In each inflorescence, there are 4-6 buds of pale pink, snow-white lilac or purple color. In nature, each bush can produce up to a dozen inflorescences, the length of which sometimes reaches a meter. At home, the size of the brushes is more modest. The budding period lasts up to 2 months.
Varieties of medinilla with a photo
The genus includes up to two hundred species. Consider the most decorative and popular in indoor floriculture.
Semi-epiphytic shrub with thin tubular shoots and dark-colored oval-shaped leaves. The edge of the leaf plate is pointed, the venation is pronounced. In length, the leaves can reach 20 cm, their width is half that. Inflorescences are axillary, tubular, with white or pale lilac buds. This species is most often seen in greenhouses.
In nature, this species also leads a semi-epiphytic lifestyle, gradually moving to the ground. Leaf plates are even, oval, without waviness along the edge, shiny, slightly concave, axillary. They reach a length of 30 cm. It blooms in a pale pink tone with racemose inflorescences.
The variety is a low shrub that grows mainly on the ground. Inflorescences of a drooping type, painted in purple tones and resembling clusters of lilacs. Bracts are absent.
The most commonly grown variety at home. It is she who has the specific epithet “magnificent”. Tall shrub up to 1.5 m with strong erect stems covered with fine bristles. The leaves are also large, up to 35 cm, stem type. White-pink inflorescences with bracts of the same tone beautifully droop down, can reach 30 cm in length.
Medinilla Jadore Vita
The second most common species in home floriculture, which is a hybrid based on the magnificent medinilla (Magnifica). It blooms even more decoratively in a muted pink palette, bracts are multiple, narrowed.
This is interesting! In 2012, a new variety of medinilla was discovered, which has so far been found in nature in only one single copy on about. Fiji.
Medinilla requires high-quality and constant home care. Heat, light, high humidity – all this must correspond to the conditions of her native tropics. If the rules of quality care are not followed, the exotic may not die, but its appearance will be unattractive.
The light should not be direct, but bright, and the daylight hours should be long. Western windows will be the most preferable, you can also put a flower on the southwestern and southeastern window sills. On the south window, placement is permissible only if there is a light curtain or thin tracing paper glued to the glass, although in winter it is quite possible to do without them. Especially carefully you need to protect the leaves from sunburn in the summer heat.
Medinilla does not tolerate drafts or stagnant air. She needs freshness, but without cold. Frequent airing should be done so that the flower does not overcool. The situation is complicated by the fact that the culture does not like rearrangements and even turns relative to the light source during flowering, so ventilation should be provided in such a way that the flower stands still, but does not suffer from cold air masses. From this, he quickly stops flowering and discards already open buds, and then leaves.
Medinilla is so intolerant of drafts that it will suffer even in places where people walk close to it, which causes the movement of air masses.
The area of ideal temperatures for a plant lies within + 20 … + 25C. In spring and summer, he will be uncomfortable at both higher and lower values. The higher the temperature in the room, the more humidity you need to keep the flower. In winter, a slight decrease in the degree is permissible, but not lower than + 16C – this is the lowest limit. The difference between summer and winter temperature content has a beneficial effect on flowering, as it contributes to the laying of flower buds.
In the place where the crop grows, humidity should have increased rates, especially in the hot season. The minimum figure is 75%, the medinilla does not tolerate drier air. To achieve such humidity can be in different ways or a whole range of measures. You can put a large aquarium next to the flower or a pallet with wet, moisture-absorbing material, the best of which is expanded clay due to its porous structure. You can lay out decorative stones on a tray, and pour water down. Frequent spraying should be a mandatory and permanent element of care. Perfectly solves the problem with air humidity by installing a factory humidifier.
In order to avoid ugly stains from water on the leaves, it is advisable to spray them on the underside of the leaf and in a very fine jet.
The soil in the Medinilla pot should be constantly moist, but not wet. As soon as the flower comes out of dormancy, the frequency of watering should be gradually increased and throughout the entire time until the opening of the buds, watering should be frequent and plentiful. The outflow of excess water should be carried out immediately; for this, high drainage should be provided in the pot. As soon as the flowers bloom, watering is reduced. Until the end of flowering, they should be regularly-moderate, and after the end of flowering and until mid-autumn, you can again switch to an intensive moistening regime. Then a moderate phase follows again with a transition to a maintenance level in winter.
The requirements for the upholding of water and its softness cannot be neglected! Cold, hard and chlorinated water cause serious harm to this exotic.
Watering is desirable to produce bottom feed into the pan. You can also use the method of top water supply, but in this case, you must carefully ensure that it does not fall on the stems and leaves.
It is difficult to buy a specialized mineral composition for medinilla, so the flower can be fertilized with a complex for flowering crops, for example, Kemira Universal or Darina. Top dressing is applied only during the period of active growth, from autumn they all stop until spring. From organic matter, it is strongly not recommended to use mullein!
There are two ways to propagate a flower – cuttings and seeds. It should be noted that none of them is simple. Even the attempts of experienced flower growers often end in failure. Therefore, if you are going to grow new specimens of medinilla from seeds or cuttings, you need to be prepared not only for a troublesome task, but also for a possible negative result.
Immediately after buying a ready-made Medinilla flower or in the first year of growing it from seeds, it is recommended to treat the plant with any systemic remedy against the mealybug.
How to properly cut Medinilla?
Cuttings can be cut from January to May. To do this, you should choose strong, healthy semi-lignified shoots. Each cutting should have 2-3 internodes, usually for this you need to capture a part of the shoot 8-10 cm long. The lower cut is made obliquely, then it is overheard and processed with Kornevin. For rooting, the cuttings are stuck with a sharp end into a light, for example, peat-sand soil mixture, after which they create an atmosphere of artificial fog (high humidity and temperature within + 25 ° C). When the cutting takes root and starts the first shoots, they must be pinched to stimulate the growth of side shoots. After that, you can land in a permanent container.
Reproduction by seeds
Planting material can be bought at a gardening store or on the Internet, a bag usually contains only 5 pieces. Medinilla seeds look like small coffee beans. They are sown in February or March. Proper care of the medinilla begins with the right choice of pot. The container should be wide and shallow. As a substrate, it is recommended to take turfy soil mixed with sand. Seal depth – 5mm.
The surface of the soil is moistened with a sprayer and covered with a film. It is necessary to provide bottom heating of dishes with planted seeds. It is necessary to open the film, monitor soil moisture and remove condensate daily. Shoots should appear in about a month. The shelter is immediately removed, and after the formation of the 2nd true leaf, it is dived into separate cups filled with a mixture of leaf earth and sand. Further growth of seedlings should occur in conditions of high humidity, drying of the soil is not allowed. Transplantation into a permanent flowerpot is carried out after the appearance of 5-6 leaves by transshipment.
This step in the care of the medinilla often becomes critical, because the flower does not like to be physically exposed to it. It is necessary to transplant, and it is better to transfer the plant with a minimal loss of substrate, as the root system grows in breadth (the roots of the medinilla do not grow much deeper). After a transplant, as well as after a purchase, it is necessary to let him recover and adapt without human intervention, and only after that start caring for him.
Possible Growing Problems
There can be many problems, and the most important is that any mistake can become a blunder with irreparable consequences. If you notice the negative development of the scenario in time, in some cases you can manage to correct it.
- Medinilla does not bloom or gives ugly, deformed inflorescences. The plant lacks either light, or air humidity, or heat, or all of this is in the wrong combination.
- The flower dropped buds and leaves – it was moved to another place during flowering or placed in a draft.
- Young foliage becomes smaller and thinner, the old one curls – the air is too dry.
- Ugly spots appeared on the leaves of white or brown color – spraying with hard or chlorinated water.
- The leaves darken, lose their fresh color – the soil is waterlogged.