Ask a Question forum: Medinilla magnifica problem

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Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Dec 31, 2017 2:05 AM CST
Hello! I got a Medinilla magnifica a month ago. It was already with blooms. There were some spots on some of the leaves already from the nursery, but I noticed that they are getting bigger and spreading inside the leaves. Giving you some info that may help.

The plant was seriously dehydrated in the nursery, I suspect because if they watered it would have died on them, it was so cold in the nursery! So, when I got it home I watered it and all its droopy dehydrated leaves bounced back. It seems to enjoy it here, but what about the leaves with the spots, is she gonna lose them altogether? I keep cutting the dead spots but they are getting more and more of the leaves and I'm afraid of what this could be. No sign of insects, I checked. So far three or four leaves show the same symptom.

It's still in the same pot I got it, no thinking about repotting when in bloom. I have it on some pebbles that I keep watered to increase the humidity, no water touching the bottom. It's standing in front of a north facing window, so she has winter sun which I've read needs. I am showing you both the up side of the leaves and the down side for better evaluation.
Soil is of course the same still. I spray it early in the morning to help with humidity, but never when sun is shining on the leaves.

What is it I am dealing with?

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Down side of the leaves, the spots are not watery or mouldy, just dry and kind of "sunken". Soft at first, and as days pass they get dry and cringly.

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In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Dec 31, 2017 7:39 AM CST
I did a quick search and found this, maybe this will help you a little, other members will have more advice for you

The thread "Medinilla Magnifica" in Houseplants forum
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Faridat
Dec 31, 2017 11:00 AM CST
Thank you for the help Christine, I understand that it's not a common house plant, and the information there is online from people growing it (not sellers), is little.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 31, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Medinilla is an uncommon indoor plant because its requirements are difficult. Primarily it needs lots of high humidity at all times. The pebble tray will help some, but may not be sufficient, depending on how dry the air is where you are. A humidifier may be necessary. Daily misting does little to increases humidity.

Its other primary requirements are warm temps and lots of very bright but mostly indirect sunlight. Imagine a greenhouse environment and try to duplicate that as best you can.

Normally, it would be in a semi-dormant period with a bit drier soil and lower temps at this time of year, but I see yours is now in bloom so it is out of its normal cycle. It may be that the neglect at the nursery actually helped bring about the flowers.

The damaged leaves are no doubt due to cold, the irregular watering, and even some physical mishandling. The leaf spots that you see may be nothing more than the initial symptoms of that particular leaf dying back gradually and you may not be able to prevent that. It is not a disease that can be arrested by cutting out the brown spots. As long as new growth leaves come in and remain healthy, then you are on the right track.

I often preach about not repotting unnecessarily, but this is a plant that especially needs to stay quite potbound if you want it to do well and bloom regularly. There is no reason to repot it now or in the foreseeable future. It does best in a very porous epiphytic or Orchid potting mix. Keep the potting mix well hydrated, especially when the air is dry.

Overall, your plant looks quite healthy given its prior mishandling.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Faridat
Dec 31, 2017 12:33 PM CST
I am grateful for your help and advice, as always WillC! Thank you so much! :)
It's good to know it's not a virus or a fungus! I will try my best with this tropical lady! I may need a humidifier as you mentioned.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer

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