Medinilla magnifica 15°C/60°F; South East Asia

A choice plant that will need ample space in which to grow and better than average conditions in order to survive at all indoors. Thick, almost coarse leathery leaves are supported by strong, woody stems. The enormous flower clusters in late spring are the attraction as they hang from the plant in similar fashion to bunches of grapps on a vine-the large bract is pink in colour and the individual flowers a showy carmine-red. Plants are seen at their best when they have attained their maximum height of some 1.8m/6ft-huge clusters of pendulous flowering bracts hanging from such plants can be most spectacular. Let it be said, however, that these are plants for those with some knowledge and not the beginner with indoor plants. Consistent warmth, light shade and reasonably high humidity are essential needs, as is the need for potting plants on into larger containers as they fill their existing pots with roots-use a loam-based mixture with a little additional peat. Once plants have been put into containers of about 25cm/10in in diameter they can be maintained by regular feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer. New plants are raised from cuttings of young growth using two leaves with a piece of stem attached. However, high temperatures and a propagator are needed.

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