Medinilla magnifica finds its origin in the mountains of the Philippines. It is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on trees but does not withdraw its food from those trees as parasites do. It forms a shrubby, architectural plant 3-4' tall, with firm, leathery, deeply textured leaves that grow in pairs opposite each other along the stems. The foliage is extremely handsome on its own.
The flowers grow in panicles up to 2' long and are made up of oval-shaped, candy pink bracts that subtend the true flowers, which are small, rose-pink to purple blossoms that open from rounded buds that resemble clusters of tiny grapes. The entire inflorescence arches and cascades down from the plant in a picture of grace and elegance. Philippine orchid blooms primarily from midspring into early summer.
Like many epiphytes, medinilla is best grown in a pot, even in the tropics. It prefers being a bit dry to being too wet. Allow the plant to dry out before watering the soil thoroughly. It is recommended to water only once every 7-10 days. Do not allow any water to remain in the bottom of the pot, which will cause the roots to rot. The preferred method of watering is from the bottom: Fill your plant dish or sink with approximately 2 liters of water, let the potted plant soak in it for approximately 10 minutes, then allow the plant to drain the excess water for 1 minute.
Medinilla does best in partial shade, as direct sun will burn the leaves but deep oppressive shade will inhibit flowering. Avoid fertilizing while the plant is in bloom, but after the flowers fade you can fertilize every 2-3 weeks with any standard orchid fertilizer.
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