Medinilla magnifica
Common Name: pink lantern
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Melastomataceae
Native Range: Phillipines
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pink to coral red
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, grow in containers in bright shade locations. Morning sun is acceptable, but some protection from the hot early afternoon sun is needed. Thrives in high humidity, and generally makes a better greenhouse plant than houseplant. Use a well-drained potting mix. Keep container soils consistently moist but not wet. Overwinter plants in warm sun rooms as houseplants or in greenhouses. Reduce watering in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native to the Philippine Islands, medinilla is an epiphytic tropical evergreen shrub that grows to 8’ tall in its native habitat where it may be seen growing in part shade locations out of soil pockets on rain forest trees or in the ground in clearings. It grows much shorter (to 3’ tall) in containers in the St. Louis area. Small pink to coral red flowers appear in drooping panicles (to 18” long) hooded by large, showy, leaf-like, light pink bracts. Large, ovate to oblong, prominently veined, leathery green leaves to 8-12” long. Succulent, 4-angled stems.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for spider mites and scale on indoor plants.

Garden Uses

Grown as hedges or border plants in the tropics. In St. Louis, grow in containers/pots in a greenhouse, conservatory or as a houseplant.