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Growing Kapa Kapa: 100% Successful Gardening Guide

Do you know the Kapa Kapa plant is also called the Rolls Royce of Houseplants due to its delightful appearance and high maintenance demands?

Generally, Kapa Kapa is an epiphyte with a grape-like inflorescence containing beautiful dark pink or coral blossoms. It needs bright, indirect light, 65-70°F temperature, watering once 2-5 days in well-draining soil, monthly fertilizer, and ideal pruning. 

Mostly, this epiphyte prefers tropical rainforests and blooms from spring to fall until the harsh winter arrives.

So, if you want to add this tropical beauty to your landscape, go through this complete article and learn how to propagate this plant with proper care.

Overview Of Kapa Kapa Plant

Kapa Kapa plant is a stunning epiphyte from the family Melastomataceae, popular for its clustered flowers attached in large pink bracts.

Pink Kapa Kapa flower
Medinilla magnifica bears several small flowers covered by pink bracts.

This beautiful flowering plant has many common names like Rose Grapes, Showy Medinilla, Philippine Orchid Tree, Japanese Rhododendron, Kalibas, etc.

Scientific NameMedinilla magnifica
Common NameKapa Kapa
Growth RateSlow to moderate
Plant SizeAbout 10 feet
Leaf Size: About 12 inches long and 10 inches wide
Color: Shiny, dark green
InflorescenceFlower: Long & dropping in panicle inflorescence
Flower Size: 2-3 cm in diameter
Color: Pink to coral red
Appearence: Clustered
ToxicityToxic to pets
Pests and DiseasesSpider mites, Mealybugs, scales, leafspots, chlorosis etc.

Kapa Kapa Plant: Meaning & Symbolism

Medinilla magnifica plant bears beautiful grape-like flowers with different symbolic meanings based on traditional beliefs.

Adoring the incredible pink flowers, this plant symbolizes love and passion in some traditions. Besides, the long drooping blossoms also represent grace and beauty.
The rich color and the clustered blooms also indicate wealth in many regions of the Philipines.

Also, this plant bears lots of flowers in a single bunch. This also represents new beginnings, fertility, and abundance.

As the blossoms are perfect to gift on different occasions, the flowers are the symbol of good luck and happiness too.

Kapa Kapa Plant Benefits

The fruits and foliage of this plant are edible, containing potential medicinal benefits.

Kapa Kapa flowering in a pot
Medinilla magnifica bears very heavy flowers that make it look slightly drooping.

However, there is no evidence that the people of the Philippines use this plant as a traditional medicine. So, do not use the plant as medicine without medical suggestions.

Besides medicines, you can enjoy several benefits of the Medinilla magnifica plant.

  • You can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your indoor or outdoor beauty either using cut flowers or living plants.
  • Planting this beauty around your living space can help to relieve stress and spread positivity.
  • As Medinilla magnifica plantation is challenging, planting it will increase your gardening skills.
  • Also, flowers of this plant can be the perfect addition to bouquets to gift your loved ones.
  • Medinilla magnifica also helps as an excellent air purifier, making your indoor space pollution-free.

Where Do Kapa Kapa Plant Grow Best?

Kapa Kapa is native to the Philippines and Java but is also famous in South East Asia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

These plants grow best in a tropical climate with warm and humid conditions that receive good rainfall.

However, Kapa Kapa also thrives in USDA zones 9-11. So you can grow this ornamental plant in states like Hawaii, Florida, and California too.

Remember that this plant grows best in places with minimum disturbances. So, ensure to plant this incredible houseplant in locations with no invasive plants.

How To Grow Kapa Kapa Plant?

You can propagate Kapa Kapa through seeds and stem cuttings.

However, propagation of this plant from seeds is quite more challenging than from stem cuttings. Besides, arranging the seeds is difficult due to rare availability.

1. Propagation Via Seeds

To propagate Medinilla magnifica plant by seeds, it’s compulsory to collect viable seeds for successful germination.

Thus, always buy the seeds from reputable stores or harvest them yourself after the fruits become completely mature.

  • For good moisture retention, create a well-draining growth medium with sphagnum moss and perlite.
  • Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and cover the medium with transparent plastic for warm and humid conditions.
  • Then, place the germinating container creating a warm condition, and make sure the medium is moist.
  • The seeds may take three weeks to months to germinate if they are viable. So keep patience and maintain the proper growing conditions.
  • After the seeds germinate, transplant each seedlings carefully to a single container.

2. Propagation Via Stem cuttings

Propagation of Medinilla magnifica by stem cuttings is easier than seed propagation. However, this plant is sensitive to changes, so keeping an eye on the cuttings until proper establishment is vital.

  • Select the healthy stem with 2-3 leaf nodes and make a clean cut at a 45° angle.
  • Remove the lower leaves and ensure the stem is without flower clusters.
  • For faster root formation, dip the cutting on the rooting hormone.
  • After that, plant the cutting on well-draining soil and keep the soil moist.
  • Cover the newly planted cutting with a plastic bag to create a humid environment and place it in bright indirect sunlight.
  • Then, you will notice the cutting forming root in about 2-3 weeks. After proper root formation, transplant the newly rooted cutting into a larger pot.

You will see your Kapa Kapa plant flowering within 2-3 years from seed or cuttings in proper growing conditions.

Kapa Kapa Plant Care Tips

Always plant your Kapa Kapa plant in a terracotta container with enough drainage holes for proper air circulation.

Moreover, always keep the soil moist as waterlogged conditions may lead to root rot, and too-dry conditions may dehydrate the plant.

  • Place the Medinilla magnifica plant on a bright, indirect light as the plant is sensitive to direct sunlight. Use sheer curtains to provide direct sunlight.
  • Maintain the temperature of 65-70°F and mist it to create humid conditions.
  • Water the plant every 2 days during summer and every 4-5 days during winter. Ensure to water when the top 2 inches of the soil becomes dry.
  • If the soil is too compact, mix it with some sand or perlite to make it well-draining.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant to retain the moisture.
  • Use balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season to keep the plant healthy.
  • Prune and repot the plant in the growing seasons, i.e.; spring and summer. 
  • Apply pesticides, fungicides, or neem oil to free it from diseases and pests.
  • Prune the lateral branches and deadhead the spent flowers regularly to encourage lush growth and flowering.

From Editorial Team

Plant History!

The Kapa Kapa plant was first introduced in Europe as a wild in the 19th century, and the plant became popular as a houseplant quickly after its introduction.

However, it’s rare to find this stunning plant as wild as it needs the perfect locations free of invasive plants.

Medinilla is named after the Philippines Governer-General in the 19th century, whereas magnifica means magnificent in Latin.