Anyone growing Medinilla grandiflora?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I came across a Medinilla plant for $3.97 while at Wal-Mart tonight. I had never seen one before, so I bought it. As I suspected, most of the info in the Plant Files seems to indicate it won't survive the winter this far north (I'm on the dividing line for Zone 8b/9a). I will probably put the Medinilla in one of my large clay pots and bring it into the greenhouse for the winter -- probably in the pot where another southernmost tropical I tried, Royal Poinciana, finally gave up last year after struggling for a year or two in the pot.

Any advice on growing the Medinilla. The plant tag that came with the Medinilla doesn't give much info (Zone tolerance is conspicuously lacking), but the tag does indicate the plant prefers shade. Hopefully it is not a terribly fussy plant that craves the conditions you have further south of me and which I can't seem to provide by any artificial means.

Your suggestions will be appreciated.

Jeremy

**OOPs. I goofed on the species name, it is magnifica, not grandiflora. Sorry.

This message was edited Jul 30, 2005 10:10 PM

Lake City, FL(Zone 8b)

I live in zone 8b and I have had one for a couple of years now - I do keep it in a pot and during the winter months drag it into my greenhouse which is not heated. I use heat lamps during the cold nights that freezing temps arrive. I've been pretty lucky with this plant as it has stayed green all year and even bloomed all winter long. I think it is hardier than some tags list it. Spring/Summer and Fall the plant is located in an area that gets morning sun and filtered afternoon sun/shade.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the info, Juja! I'm happy to know the Medinilla can survive with some winter protection in our neck of the woods. I think the flowers are interesting enough to warrant lugging the plant into the greenhouse for the winter, though I'm beginning to limit the plants that I'm willing to make that effort to keep. A lot of my tropicals and house plants are going into the ground this Fall instead of the greenhouse. I'll mulch them and cover them and let them survive the winter if they can.

Jeremy

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Grow or Die! eh? That's one of the phrases I adoppted from blaine, and it has to be said with a bit of attitude. LOL
sidney

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Yep, unless the tropical plant is so unusual and wonderful in flowering (like my Tacca integrifolia or my orchids), it's going into the ground to live or die. I'm getting beyond wanting to schlep potted plants into the greenhouse in winter and back out to the garden in spring.

At least now, I FINALLY have a more permanent greenhouse by taking off part of my carport's metal roof and replacing it with corrugated fiberglass panels that let the light through, and boxing in the sides with some double insulated glass door panels my brother salvaged from his work as a home remodeler. Previously, I was just draping heavy mil visqueen plastic, which was a major hassle to put up and take down. It also allowed my neighbor's pit bulls, looking for a warm place, to enter on one cold night a few winters back and ravish my orchids and other plants in their attempt to scratch out a comfortable bed. I can deal with slugs and lubbers attacking my plants, but Ortho doesn't have a plant product to protect against pit bulls! Who'd a thunk that my defenseless orchids would be beset by prowling dogs??!!

Jeremy

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Jeremy,

I purchased a Med.. last fall. So far, so good and I Do have it in the shade. It has not graced me with any flowers as yet, but I am willing to wait. I will keep you posted if I get blooms...


Hap

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

My Medinilla came with flowers in spike, not yet fully opened, which was one of the enticements that made me buy it even though I knew it was probably not winter hardy in my Zone. I'm hoping to find some time this week between cranking out paintings to get some photos of my named variety gingers that are starting to bloom, some of which may not yet be in the Plant Files (haven't checked yet). I'll also try to get some pix of the Medinilla as the flowers develop.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

jeremy, i had one in the keys for a couple of years. i had it in shade and it did flower, but i found it to be very fussy, altho i dont know why. i have a feeling it was the salt air. it was always losing leaves and the ones it had were pitted and brown spotted. not from any good reason i could find. good luck with yours. it really is a beautiful plant. they are quite common in the keys nurseries and walmart, hd, etc. debi

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

I've had one planted in the ground for over a year now. I planted it under the shelter of a tree that my neighbor and I shared. Neighbor cut the tree down 2-3 months ago and now this plant gets too much sun in the hottest part of the day. It has a few scalded leaves but it has flowered it's head off continuosly. I have hibiscus and brugmansia growing near it and I'm hoping they will eventually provide enough shade to help make this plant completely happy again. It's gotta have a little protection from the sun and it needs to be kept a little bit on the dry side. That's what works for me anyway. I love the flowers.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks, all, for the tips on growing this plant. It continues to thrive and the flower buds are starting to open, but I haven't taken it out of its original pot yet. That should happen within the next few days. I'll keep you posted with its progress. I have it in the area of my patio that gets very little direct sun, based on your comments for its preference for shade, and it seems to be happy there. Given its preference for dry conditions, I'll probably mix a lot of sand into the potting soil when I do pot it up and water it less often than I do some of my other shade lovers.

Jeremy

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

You kids are making me jealous. Mine is in the shade and is just sitting there looking at me without a flower bud to be seen. Green leaves are just not cutting it for me now that I hear about your good fortune. I think I will have to go out and to a "Bud Dance" to get things started.

Hap

Englewood, FL(Zone 10a)

I know this is an old threat but I'm hoping to hear from you how your medinillas are faring in the ground.

I've had medinillas inside in pots for twenty years and recently acquired a place in Englewood FL, zone 10a, where I want to grow some medinillas in the yard.

For now they hang in pots in the shade in the front yard.

Heleen

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I wish you luck. Mine finally died, years ago.

I now live in Chicago. Hope someone else can help you.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Don't know what medinillas are so will look them up.

Happy, one of the plants you sent me is now 12 feet high and the other one is 5 feet and growing. Tapeworm plant is one name for them.
Every time I look at them I think of you. Hope you like Chicago.

I miss Jeremy and his wealth of plant wisdom and friendly demeanor.

Bonnie

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Wow that's a beautiful flower. Have to add to want list.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Glad to hear, Bonnie.

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