Medinilla magnifica or Showy Medinilla is a plant with splendid grapes of pink flowers.
Actually, it is the big pink bracts and not the flowers themselves (that are actually quite small) which makes the flowering so spectacular.
This beautiful plant is, however, very difficult to keep: it should be moist but not wet, warm but not near a heater where the air is too dry.
Chances are that you’re left with a bare plant without leaves or flowers 1-2 months after buying it.
King Baudouin of Belgium was very fond of this plant. It figured on the old bank notes of 10,000 Belgian francs.
Medinilla magnifica is an epiphytic shrub of up to 3 m high.
The leaves are leathery, dark green, opposite, broad at the base and tapering at the end, 20-30 cm long.
The flowers appear in clusters up to 50 cm long. The flowers themselves are quite small, up to 2.5 cm, and usually pink, sometimes red or violet. They are surrounded by pink bracts up to 20 cm long.
The fruits are purple berries of 1 cm in diameter.
Rose Grape, Showy Medinilla, Showy Melastome
Medinilla: in honor of J. de Medinilla y Pineda, governor of the Marianas in 1820
Magnifica: from the Latin magnificus (noble, august)
Usually epiphytic but sometimes terrestrial, in the tropical rainforest.
USDA zone 10-11
Well drained potting soil
Light but no direct sunlight
Keep the soil moist but not wet. When it lacks water, leaves will wilt and hang down.
This plant does not like dry air. Regular misting can help but it actually fares better in warm greenhouse than in the living room.
No fertilizer during bloom. After bloom, universal liquid or orchid fertilizer every two weeks.
The plant may be pruned if it is too large. However, always leave a pair of leaves on the stem.
Repotting may be done all year round but not during flowering.
By cuttings, after pruning. Plant the stem pieces in moist soil and keep at 25 °C. Rooting will take about 2 months.