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Luxury in Bloom: The Allure of Medinilla Magnifica Flowers

The Medinilla magnifica, also known as the Showy Medinilla, Pink Lantern, Pearl Orchid, and Beautiful Medinilla, is an evergreen shrub in the Melastomataceae family. This plant, with stems short and stout and leaves resembling those of citrus, is alternately arranged and highly branched. The flower stems emerge from the axils of the leaves, the large […]

The Medinilla magnifica, also known as the Showy Medinilla, Pink Lantern, Pearl Orchid, and Beautiful Medinilla, is an evergreen shrub in the Melastomataceae family.

This plant, with stems short and stout and leaves resembling those of citrus, is alternately arranged and highly branched. The flower stems emerge from the axils of the leaves, the large buds resembling inverted lanterns.

When in bloom, the petals open like inverted lotus flowers, and the tip of the flower stem and petals are adorned with small pearl-like globules, hence the name Pearl Orchid.

The blooms range from light pink to pink and flower from February to August, with a flowering period that can last well over a hundred days.

Medinilla magnifica

Native to the tropical forests of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, it is distributed across the tropical regions of the Eastern Hemisphere.

With its graceful stature, gray-green broad and rugged leaves, and pendulous pink inflorescences, the Showy Medinilla is among the most luxurious and beautiful flowers in the Melastomataceae family.

Potted Showy Medinillas are perfectly suited for display in hotels, halls, shopping mall showcases, and villa guest rooms.

I. Morphological Characteristics

The Showy Medinilla is an upright evergreen shrub (sometimes epiphytic), reaching 1.5-2.5 meters tall (with potted plants about 30-40 centimeters). The stem has four angles or wings, with flat branching and warty protrusions at the nodes.

Medinilla magnifica

Its leaves are ovate or ovate-elliptic, leathery, opposite, with recessed veins, and lack petioles.

The pendulous spike-like inflorescences resemble wind chimes, with pink bracts appearing first as the buds emerge, followed by pearl-like pink round flowers.

The inflorescences can grow up to 45 centimeters long, with a corolla diameter of about 0.25 centimeters, colored red. The ovary is inferior, with 4-5 locules and persistent sepals.

There are 8-10 equal-length stamens, with anthers that dehisce through a single pore; the petals are four in number, ovate to circular. The exterior bracts of the flower are 3-10 centimeters long, pink, and uniquely charming.

The fruit is spherical, a berry, pink, with persistent sepals at the apex. The Showy Medinilla has an extraordinarily long flowering period that can last up to eight or nine months, with a natural blooming season from February to August.

A single plant’s blooming period can last several months, and through environmental control, year-round flowering can be achieved.

II. Growing Environment

In tropical rainforest regions, the Showy Medinilla can grow up to 1.5 meters tall, with a dense habit and rough, sturdy branches.

The leaves are elliptical and thick, in a deep green color, with branches that can extend more than 30 centimeters. It thrives in a warm, moist environment, with optimal growth temperatures between 18°C and 26°C.

It is not cold-hardy, prefers bright, diffuse light, can tolerate slight shade, must not be exposed to direct sunlight, is not drought-tolerant, and requires well-drained, fertile soil that is acidic, rich in organic matter, such as leaf mold or peat soil.

During winter, temperatures should be above 15°C, never dropping below 12°C; in northern areas, it should be overwintered in a heated greenhouse.

III. Distribution Range

Native to the tropical forests of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the Showy Medinilla is distributed in the tropical areas of the Eastern Hemisphere. It was introduced to China from the Netherlands around the year 2000.

IV. Growth and Propagation

In northern China’s greenhouses, the seeds of Medinilla magnifica mature in August. They can be sown immediately upon harvesting or dried and stored for sowing in the next spring.

However, mature seeds are generally hard to come by, so propagation of the Medinilla magnifica is primarily through cuttings, typically using new shoots from the current year in late spring or early autumn, or using hardened shoots from the previous year in early spring.

Softwood Cuttings

During vigorous growth from late spring to early autumn, robust new shoots from the current year are selected for cuttings. After cutting the shoot, choose a sturdy section and cut it into pieces 5 to 15 centimeters long, ensuring each piece has at least 2 to 3 leaf nodes.

When cutting, make sure to cut 2 centimeters away from the stem node, with both the top and bottom cuts being smooth (use a sharp knife).

Hardwood Cuttings

After temperatures rise in early spring, select strong shoots from the previous year for cuttings. Typically, each cutting should retain 3 to 4 nodes, and they are cut in the same manner as softwood cuttings.

Cutting Medium

The cutting medium can be a mix of fine sand and perlite at a ratio of 3:1, or peat and vermiculite at 4:1, or peat, perlite, and vermiculite at 4:1:1.

Before inserting the cuttings, dip the bottom 1 to 2 centimeters into a growth regulator solution, such as 50 milligrams per liter of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and 50 milligrams per liter of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) for 1 to 2 minutes to promote faster rooting.

To prevent waterlogging at the base of the cuttings during rooting, place an empty tray under each tray holding the cuttings. After planting, meticulous care is required; cover the nursery bed with plastic film and a shade net.

Mist every 1 to 2 days on sunny days, maintaining a temperature of 22°C to 28°C, a light intensity of 5000 to 10000 lux, and relative humidity of 85% to 95%. Roots should form within 40 to 50 days, and cuttings are ready to be potted around 60 days.

V. Pest and Disease Control

Medinilla magnifica has strong resistance to pests and diseases, but it’s important to regularly monitor plant growth and apply timely treatments if pests or diseases are detected. Common issues include leaf spot and stem rot.

The most effective way to prevent leaf diseases is through diligent management, including timely and sufficient fertilization to ensure robust growth of buds and leaves, reducing light intensity during new shoot growth to prevent scorching, and using fungicides like carbendazim or thiophanate-methyl for routine protection.

Diseases

Stem rot is often caused by prolonged water retention in the medium. It is essential to adjust watering frequency and volume to ensure timely and appropriate watering.

Infected leaves should be removed promptly to prevent the spread of disease. Fungicides like a 50% carbendazim wettable powder at an 800-fold dilution and thiophanate-methyl can be sprayed every 10 to 15 days, 2 to 3 times, for effective treatment.

Pests

Pests that damage Medinilla magnifica include the cutworm, mealybugs, parasites, California lawn moth, red spider mites, and scale insects.

A 1500-fold dilution of dichlorvos emulsion can be used to control cutworms, mealybugs, parasites, and the like, with manual removal for minor infestations.

When the air is too dry or there is a source of infection, red spider mites can become a problem, requiring multiple treatments for effective control.

A 1500 to 2000-fold dilution of agents like dicofol, abamectin, fenpyroximate, or esfenvalerate can be sprayed for control.

In the case of scale insects, a 1000-fold dilution of chlorpyrifos wettable powder or a 1000 to 1500-fold dilution of chlorpyrifos emulsion should be applied promptly. Maintaining good ventilation can reduce or prevent pest and disease outbreaks.

VI. Main Value

With its graceful form, broad and rugged gray-green leaves, and cascading pink inflorescences, Medinilla magnifica is one of the most luxurious and beautiful members of the Melastomataceae family.

Potted Medinilla magnifica is especially suitable for display in hotels, halls, shopping center windows, and villa living rooms.

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Peggie

Peggie

Founder of FlowersLib

Peggie was once a high school mathematics teacher, but she set aside her chalkboard and textbooks to follow her lifelong passion for flowers. After years of dedication and learning, she not only established a thriving flower shop but also founded this blog, “Flowers Library”. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about flowers, feel free to contact Peggie.

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