Creation: Free Design

Medinilla ‘magnifica’ ‘Pinatubo’

Medinilla-8066The Medinilla ‘Pinatubo’ is a particularly compact variety of the Medinilla family, making it suitable for almost any interior space.

English name


Country of origin
The Medinilla originates from the mountainous regions of the Philippines, where more than 200 varieties of the species can be found. In that country it is known as Kapa-kapa. Throughout the world there are actually more than 400 varieties of the plant, the most famous of them being the house plant the Magnifica. As a result of many years of breeding, a range of different varieties is now available.

Caring for your plant
The ideal temperature for the Medinilla is between 17 and 25 degrees Celsius. The plant can cope with lots of light, and even direct sunlight during the winter months. However, in the spring and summer it should be exposed only to indirect sunlight. While the plant is flowering, no fertiliser should be added and only a moderate amount of water should be given. It is better to keep the plant slightly too dry than to give it too much water.

Lifecycle/flowering period

The flowering period lasts roughly three months. If well cared for, the Medinilla can thrive for years and if handled properly it can also reflower.

Break up the buds carefully. Leave the plant in the same place until new leaves have formed. Then place the plant in a light, cool spot (16–18 degrees) for a few months. Give it a moderate amount of water and start adding fertiliser (once per month). Once the plant develops new flower buds, it can best be kept at a temperature of 17-23 degrees.

The most striking feature of Medinilla Magnifica is its flowers. However, they are not actually ‘flowers’ in a strict sense. They are actually pink ‘bracts’, a type of coloured leaf in which the real flowers are hidden. The Medinilla appears to flower for longer because those pink bracts remain in place even after the actual flowers wither. Medinilla Magnifica is an epiphyte, a plant that grows on trees without feeding from them. This type of plant relies on trees for shade and for protection from large herbivores.

Potential problems

Dark brown patches may appear on the leaves of the Medinilla or the buds may dry up and turn black. These problems are caused by the location being too dark and/or an excess of fertiliser.

An interesting fact
The former Belgian king Boudewijn was very fond of the Medinilla. He grew these plants in the Royal conservatories. Before the introduction of the euro, the Medinilla had pride of place on Belgium’s 10,000 franc note.