Table of contents:
1. Medinilla - queen of the tropics
Medinilla magnificent (Medinilla magnifica) knows most gardeners. One look at this vine - and no one will have any questions about why the steeplejack has earned her royal status. Medinilla is a really special plant, the popularity of which does not diminish even its rather difficult cultivation.
Medinilla height: from 50 cm to 1 m
Medinilla is magnificent as if it has absorbed all the unique atmosphere of the tropical forests of the Philippines and other islands of Oceania. And despite the fact that this plant is also found in Madagascar, Africa and other tropical regions, medinilla is associated precisely with the luxurious flora of exotic Asia. This plant is represented by the Melastomaceae family.
Medinilla is a really unusual liana. The plant looks more like a bush than an ordinary steeplejack, due to the original structure of the shoots and very large leaves. Powerful, shortened stems are almost impossible to see. All attention in the crown of the plant is drawn to the large leathery leaves of medinilla, the length of which can reach 30 cm. In shape, they are very reminiscent of giant hard plantain leaves with a slightly wavy edge.
On the dark green surface of the glossy leaves, lighter, longer and thinner veins stand out brightly. The large oval leaves of medinilla already form a bizarre tiered spectacle, captivating with the saturation of color and unusualness, but against the background of huge leaves, complex inflorescences of medinilla that resemble jewelry look really amazing.
Huge false spikelets on powerful drooping pedicels amaze with their structure. Pale pink medinilla bracts, perceived from afar as petals, are arranged in several tiers, creating a hanging false flower. Real flowers are collected in a dense ear at the top of the inflorescence and seem to be bunches of beads. Traditionally, the flowering period of medinilla lasts from April to July.
Medinilla is very demanding on the humidity regime. This plant has earned the title of the tropical queen, including for its love of extremely high levels of air humidity, which should be maintained at least 60%, using combined methods (installation of humidifiers and spraying). The moisture content of the substrate should also be stable for medinilla. Constant average humidity is achieved by frequent, but not too abundant watering, which is carried out immediately after the top layer of soil in pots has dried.
Medinilla is a light-loving plant. Despite the fact that due to the requirements to provide a large free space, it is most often left in the interior, and not on the windowsill, it is worth taking care that the diffused lighting is as bright as possible. Direct sunlight is contraindicated for this vine. When choosing a place for medinilla, it should be borne in mind that this plant does not like changing location, turning and moving the pots in relation to the light source.
It is not so easy to choose the air temperature for medinilla. During the entire active period of development, the plant does not tolerate a drop in air temperature below + 20 ° C. But for the rest period, she will need a cool environment with an air temperature of +12 to + 15 ° C. Medinilla does not tolerate drafts, active ventilation, sudden changes in air temperature.
If desired, the plant can be shaped and contained, maintaining the usual bushy growth pattern. It is very important for medinilla to select stable containers. Plants are fed weekly reduced doses of fertilizer from spring to autumn.
- Medinilla soil: acidic, light, with a lot of organic matter.
- Transplant medinilla: immediately after the end of flowering, but only if it is really necessary.
You can propagate the magnificent medinilla with the help of apical cuttings, which take root only in hot temperatures, provided they are cut in early spring.
For a continuation of the list of the brightest indoor plants from the tropics, see the next page
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