A mednilla is quite demanding. Even the smallest of maintenance errors can severely damage the plant and cause various diseases and pests.© Africa Studio - Fotolia.com
Admittedly, the medinilla (Medinilla magnifica) is not a plant without any claims. However, if you deal with the requirements of the location and with the general care instructions, you will be able to enjoy the flowering exotic and rarely notice pathological changes or pest infestation.
Often the gardener is the cause of diseases and pests because:
❶ The plant is too wet or too dry.
❷ Too little humidity surrounds the plant.
❸ The substrate was not chosen carefully.
❹ Water and nutrients are missing.
The following pests were observed increasingly:
- Red spider
- Scale insects
Red spider - uninvited guest in too dry air
The red spider prefers to infest medinilles, in which the plant sprayer is rarely used. If spraying is carried out daily, the pests will not be able to hold onto the leaves and this everyday care measure already provides preventive protection against pests such as the red spider or aphids, which, however, tend to infect the plants rather rarely.
" Tip: Spider mites are increasingly sitting on the undersides of the leaves.
The pests are often not visible to the naked eye. But the quite visible suction points on the underside of the leaf provide information. The leaves lose their deep green color and turn yellow.
What to do in the event of an infestation?
The hobby gardener should always strive to control pests on houseplants without the use of chemical agents. Red spiders are comparatively difficult to fight. Preparations from the natural pharmacy that contain extracts from the Niembaum have proven their worth.
" Tip: The preparation also reliably keeps aphids or whiteflies away from houseplants.
As a preventive measure, the plants can be treated with extracts from chamomile, tansy or garlic.
Mealybugs - common pest
Mealybugs seem to enjoy the Medinille. An infestation can be clearly identified, since there are structures reminiscent of a cotton ball on the leaves of the plant. Mealybugs only grow a few millimeters. The pest lives on plant sap. The females are particularly busy. They lay up to 600 eggs on the affected plant every eight weeks.
What should I do?
The mealybugs should be removed manually as soon as possible. This can be done with cotton or wooden sticks. If the stick is soaked with alcohol, it can be used effectively against mealybugs. The alcohol dissolves the wax layer surrounding the mealybugs. Mealybugs have natural predators in the lacewing or in the parasitic wasp.
Scale insects - well armed and persistent
Scale insects deserve their name. The hard back armor with its slight curvature can be seen with the naked eye. However, the color of the pests is very well adapted to the plants and therefore not always visible at first glance. Often it is not the pest itself that is noticed, but its excretions, the sticky honeydew that accumulates next to the plant pot. A scale insect infestation can also be seen on brown leaves, wool-like webs and crippled leaves or flowers.
What should I do?
If chemical agents are not used, manual lice removal is an option. This can be done with a thin wooden stick or with a toothpick. In the case of mild infestation, it can also be helpful to treat the medinille with soapy water or to spray it with a brew of garlic or nettles.
The 1 × 1 pest infestation in the medinille
|Red spider||Spider mites settle on the undersides of the leaves and are therefore difficult to spot at first. Sucking out the plant sap creates punctiform spots on the leaves. The leaves eventually turn yellow and fall off.||Preparations based on the Niembaume are an environmentally friendly and effective remedy. Garlic brew or a lye from the field horsetail are used to strengthen the plant.|
|Mealybug||Mealybugs leave webs reminiscent of cotton balls on the leaves of the Medinille. The webs can be located on the top or bottom of the leaves and also appear on the stems.||Mealybugs are often the result of insufficient air humidity. Frequent spraying is good prevention. With a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, the pests can be removed from the plant manually and without the use of chemicals.|
|Scale insects||The color of scale insects is well adapted to the leaves and therefore quite difficult to recognize. A clear indication of pest infestation is honeydew. These are the sticky secretions of the pests. With advanced infestation leaves and flowers appear crippled. The leaves turn brown and fall off.||Scale insects can be removed manually with a wooden stick. Quick action is required. The affected plant must be isolated, as the infestation can spread quickly to the other houseplants.|
Avoid care errors - this keeps the Medinille healthy
The maintenance of the Medinille is quite demanding. The plant lover should deal with the requirements of the exotic in advance. This starts with the location, which should be light and warm. In winter, the possibility of a slightly cooler location should be guaranteed. A lack of water can affect the Medinille as well as waterlogging. A low level of humidity quickly turns the leaves brown and dries them up. If the requirements of the plant are met, this is not a guarantee, but a good basis for successfully cultivating this distinctive beauty.