Tropicals forum→Medinilla questions

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Name: B C
NY (Zone 5b)
Image
BrendanCS
Jun 13, 2018 6:08 PM CST
Hello, I'm new here to this forum but have been reading a lot about Medinillas and epiphytes here and it's been a great help. Carol (AloyaHoya) has already answered some key questions with potting and starting some fresh new Medinillas I found.

My question is about the first Medinilla I found, about 3 weeks ago here at a nursery in upstate NY. They did not know much about it or how long it had been there but it was inexpensive and looked to be somewhat alive still.

It's about 3 feet tall, with 2 or 3 main arms, and branches off each of those. There were a couple of black/grey leaves toward the bottom that I pruned off (making sure to leave at least one leaf on each stalk), and a couple that were cracked in half that I left. The top most leaves seem sturdy and healthy (photos below)

I haven't noticed any new growth from the center of any of them though. The center's are dark brown mostly, with only one that has a light green bit popping up slightly(second to last picture). It hasn't changed at all in three weeks and it seems to like the light by the window I have it in, and I've soaked it briefly in water each week. I'm not sure how to get it to grow more.

Another new Medinilla I received last week, already started growing a small spike out of one of it's double leaf centers. It is next to this one (and smaller), so I'm not sure why the larger hasn't changed. I've been monitoring the temp/humidity/light levels and misting it daily.

I can't find any info on what to do if it stops growing. I also don't know what type of Medinilla it is and neither did the nursery unfortuantely.

Anyone have any ideas or experience with these? Do I prune more cracked leaves to activate new growth? Or is it on it's way out? Not sure at all, but I attached photos below if that helps. Thanks in advance for any advice and ideas!



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[Last edited by Brendanclark - Jun 13, 2018 6:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1735892 (1)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 15, 2018 9:34 AM CST
I believe your plant is Medinilla magnifica. This is a very uncommon houseplant because of its very demanding requirements. It is native to the tropical rainforests of the Philippines where it is warm and very humid all year long. It is hard to duplicate those conditions outside of a greenhouse. Unfortunately, misting is an ineffective way to increase humidity. A nearby humidifier or a very large pebble tray would be more effective. Low humidity is a common reason that this plant fails to bloom.

Also, this plant normally has a semi-dormant period in winter when the soil is kept just barely damp and temps are in the 50-60 degree F. range. Summer temps should be close to 80 degrees and with the high humidity that is an uncomfortable environment for most people.

As I said, this is a difficult houseplant because of its needs which don't match our creature comforts. Do your best but understand your limitations.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: B C
NY (Zone 5b)
Image
BrendanCS
Jun 17, 2018 11:57 AM CST
Thanks for the information Will, I appreciate it. Hopefully it does well now that I repotted it out of the compact soil it was in and put it into an orchid mix that allows more airflow. I have a humidifier on it most of the day, to help it stay moist in these hot summer days.

Good to know about it's winter dormant period. Do you know if it would be a good idea to remove any of the leaves that are cracked and bent in the middle from the nursery? Or should I just leave those for now and keep it humid and warm for it in the sunny window?

I'll also try to find a large tray to fill with stones and water for underneath the slatted table it's on, would probably be helfpul for all the plants in the sunroom if there was a tray set up there, for moisture.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 17, 2018 5:11 PM CST
Its roots were adapted to the potting mix used in the nursery. Replacing that mix will force it to re-adapt to the new potting mix, so be prepared for some reaction to that change.

The mildly damaged leaves will not cause any harm so there is no need to replace them.

Good that you are doing your best to manage the humidity.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Jan 2, 2019 2:37 PM CST
@WillC,

I have a M. magnifica that I bought last year from Georgia Vines in a 3" pot.
I put it in a pot 7" in diameter, and the soil (Gardener & Bloom succulent mix) is 4" deep.

I've been feeding it Liquinox Grow until Oct, then Liquinox Bloom, but no bloom spike yet.

It has put out 3 new stalks, one is ~1ft long, and the leaves are 8" x 20" .
Thumb of 2019-01-02/EscondidoCal/9fbfa4

I want to re-pot it now so it has time to get up to speed and hopefully bloom this year.

What size pot should I use? Shallow or deep pot?
What soil mix?

Thanks,
Cal


Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
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plantladylin
Jan 2, 2019 4:45 PM CST
Cal, if that beauty isn't extremely potbound, it should be perfectly happy in it's current container. Bloom time for Pink Lantern (Medinilla magnifica) is usually late spring and into the summer so I bet you will see those pretty blooms in a few months!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Jan 2, 2019 5:26 PM CST
Hey Lin,
Happy New Year! Smiling

Have you grown them before? Didn't see it in your plant list.
If you think it's Ok for now, I'll hold off re-potting. Just wanted to give it a good base,
and room to grow as I know they get BIG.

It was in the green house, but brought it into the living room last week when temps got into the 40's.
I let it get fairly dry, spritzing daily, then drench the pot....no fertilizer for now.

What do y'all recommend for watering, fertilizer during winter, growing season, and blooming season?
I can add a humidifier if it really needs it.

Probably won't put it back in the green house as it will be too big, and we want to enjoy it inside.
And if it gets very big, I don't want to risk snapping off shoots or blooms moving it around.

After it blooms, Crossing Fingers! , want to make cuttings & propagate it. Smiling

Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Jan 2, 2019 5:35 PM CST
Happy New Year to you too!

LOL, my plant list is so out of date, I should make a New Year's resolution and go through it and delete some things. I've never grown M. magnifica but I did grow Chandelier Tree (Medinilla cumingii) as a container plant for a few years before planting it in the ground at our former home. It's quite humid here in Florida which Medinilla love. I don't recall how often I watered when it was potted and once it was in ground, it got water twice a week from the irrigation system, or whenever it rained. I'm bad about fertilizing anything so I can't offer advice on that matter.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jan 2, 2019 9:03 PM CST
I grew it for a while. I grew it as an epiphyte, the way they grow in nature, in my greenhouse. It did very well. I had it in the crotch of an Erythina crista-galeii tree, but the Erythina died and eventually had to be removed when the trunk started to fall apart. I put the Medinilla in a container as a temporary measure until I could figure out another epiphytic situation for it, but it did not like that and it went into decline and died. My greenhouse is kept at a minimum of 55 degrees in winter, has extremely high humidity year round and gets to about 90 in summer. The conditions for it in a house would be challenging to meet.
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Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Jan 2, 2019 9:46 PM CST
Well, this should be fun & challenging. Green Grin!
Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
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ardesia
Jan 3, 2019 6:08 AM CST
Medinilla myriantha might be a better choice to enjoy indoors, it is a "semi-epiphyte' and it is known to handle drier conditions than the humidity loving M. magnifica.

Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
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EscondidoCal
Jan 3, 2019 10:30 AM CST
Thanks, Alice, but my heart is set on magnifica. Rolling my eyes.

I love the large pink sepals.
https://www.google.com/search?...:

Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
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ardesia
Jan 3, 2019 11:36 AM CST
I can understand, they are magnificent. I had one for several years but I lived in an unusually humid climate and was able to keep it outside. The one time I brought it indoors it pouted. Eventually a cold winter took it.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
Image
EscondidoCal
Jan 3, 2019 12:39 PM CST
I didn't realize it required so much humidity.
If it appears to be lagging inside, I'll put it back in the greenhouse in a hanging
basket to give it room. Also will heat the greenhouse if necessary.

@BrendanCS,
how are your plants doing? Any pics? Smiling



Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: B C
NY (Zone 5b)
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BrendanCS
Jan 3, 2019 1:32 PM CST
Hi Cal,

Glad to see everyone still chatting about the beautiful, strange plants.

I actually had to get rid of mine because they were attacked by pretty badly by mealy bugs and no matter what I tried treating them with, they just got covered in them. Much more than any other plant I had them on, especially it seemed, once they had flowers all over them. The bugs attacked the flowers and the plants just died after a while.

The one I have left, is a Medinilla myriantha type (possible hybrid). I was able to save it from the bugs because it was smaller and easier to wash multiple times by dunking. I last repotted it in a clay pot instead of plastic and put it in pure bark chips with very little to no soil.

It has grown a lot since this repot, and when it's warm it loves water. I have a catch tray underneath it and when it's sunny and warm at it's window (in the 80's Farren.) I'll soak it once a day till water runs out the bottom and watch it grow. Otherwise I wait until it's sunny here so that means it can go without water for 4-5 days and be fine. I only water with hot/warm water too.

My Magnificas were doing well before the bugs, and also loved water but a more airy mix. I feel like these want to grow like orchids and extreme epithytes where it's constantly damp, but not drowning, and only warm.

I kind of lost interest in them all after my mealy bug disaster. But then a week or two ago I was traveling and visited an east coast greenhouse that was super warm and tropical. They had these massive Magnificas, hanging baskets mostly but a couple in giant pots that were as large as some I saw at the botanical gardens in Montreal. They were all really amazing, but a bit pricey.

They were in moist, airy soils and a pretty humid greenhouse. They seemed to love it. They had tons of flower clusters and big healthy green leaves. I'm considering driving back to get a larger one for a corner in my sunroom, but have yet to decide...


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Name: Ron
Modi'in Israel (Zone 11a)
Image
sangel
Jan 3, 2019 2:25 PM CST
beautiful plant, but not available in local nurseries. It need too humid climate, that it is impossible in a local half desert environment. It will also not survive a local winter here (as low as 40 F at night).
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
Image
EscondidoCal
Jan 4, 2019 5:43 AM CST
BrendanCS said:Hi Cal,

Glad to see everyone still chatting about the beautiful, strange plants.

I actually had to get rid of mine because they were attacked by pretty badly by mealy bugs and no matter what I tried treating them with, they just got covered in them. Much more than any other plant I had them on, especially it seemed, once they had flowers all over them. The bugs attacked the flowers and the plants just died after a while.

The one I have left, is a Medinilla myriantha type (possible hybrid). I was able to save it from the bugs because it was smaller and easier to wash multiple times by dunking. I last repotted it in a clay pot instead of plastic and put it in pure bark chips with very little to no soil.

It has grown a lot since this repot, and when it's warm it loves water. I have a catch tray underneath it and when it's sunny and warm at it's window (in the 80's Farren.) I'll soak it once a day till water runs out the bottom and watch it grow. Otherwise I wait until it's sunny here so that means it can go without water for 4-5 days and be fine. I only water with hot/warm water too.

My Magnificas were doing well before the bugs, and also loved water but a more airy mix. I feel like these want to grow like orchids and extreme epithytes where it's constantly damp, but not drowning, and only warm.

I kind of lost interest in them all after my mealy bug disaster. But then a week or two ago I was traveling and visited an east coast greenhouse that was super warm and tropical. They had these massive Magnificas, hanging baskets mostly but a couple in giant pots that were as large as some I saw at the botanical gardens in Montreal. They were all really amazing, but a bit pricey.

They were in moist, airy soils and a pretty humid greenhouse. They seemed to love it. They had tons of flower clusters and big healthy green leaves. I'm considering driving back to get a larger one for a corner in my sunroom, but have yet to decide...

Hey Brendan, go for it!

Thanks for all that great info & those pics. Thumbs up

What was the name of the greenhouse that had the large plants?
I found this video from 2012 about North End Gardens in Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada cultivating M.magnificas on a large scale.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
An exotic houseplant with pink flowers is turning heads across North America and creating jobs in the Niagara region. The plant, named Medinilla Magnifica, is helping to expand operations and open up new markets for Ted Oorsprong's Northend Gardens.
Thanks to some support from Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Oorsprong is selling the plant in chain stores and garden centres across Ontario, the Northeastern United States, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and Texas.


I'm going to call later today & see if they are still growing & distributing them. I hope so. Smiling Crossing Fingers!

re: Mealy bugs......did you see ants when there were mealy bugs? I think if you control the ants, the MBs will be much
easier to eradicate. I just use a little detergent or isopropyl alcohol on the MBs.
For ants I've used Greenlight Many Purpose Dust......just a little sprinkle on the trail is all it takes.

I'm very encouraged by your experience with them despite the mealy bugs, and am confident
we can grow it successfully here in spite of relatively dry conditions, which are close to those in
where Ron is in Israel.

Just surprised this plant, originally from the Philippines, is so hard to find in California, but is grown big time in Canada. Blinking

@sangel, I'm sure you could grow it in a heated greenhouse in Israel if they can in Canada. Green Grin!
Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
[Last edited by EscondidoCal - Jan 4, 2019 5:50 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1882220 (17)
Name: Ron
Modi'in Israel (Zone 11a)
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sangel
Jan 4, 2019 6:40 AM CST
@EscondidoCal , I always talking about a greenhouse
not everyone has a greenhouse at home, and nurseries here will not sell/hold a plant that require greenhouse. Local rule, all plants sold has to be grown in normal conditions, house or outside. Greenhouse are only in special parks. We live on the "island", over 99% incoming traffic is by sea or air, only less that 1% is by ground, therefore it is very easy to control the incoming plants (at least those imported legally).
[Last edited by sangel - Jan 4, 2019 6:42 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1882231 (18)
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
Image
EscondidoCal
Jan 4, 2019 4:25 PM CST
We decided to put the M.magnifica in our "office" on top of a large glass (chromatography) tank that will hold some tall pitcher plants below.

There are also 3 aquariums & other terrariums which will add humidity, especially if the door is kept closed.
Thumb of 2019-01-04/EscondidoCal/7609c8

Here it is the M.magnifica in a 3" pot when it arrived Nov 26, 2017
Thumb of 2019-01-04/EscondidoCal/6f095a

And now 1 yr later....seems to like it here. Smiling
Thumb of 2019-01-04/EscondidoCal/72339e

I think this will work. Green Grin! Crossing Fingers!










Learn & create something every day.
Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
Image
ardesia
Jan 4, 2019 5:32 PM CST
I agree the aquariums will help tremendously. Great view by the way. Thumbs up
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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