The popularity of the Miltonia orchid is increasing rapidly, thanks in part to the development of rigorous hybrid methods that can produce plants in greater quantities. Because of the familiar shape and markings of these spectacular flowers, Miltonia are often called “Pansy Orchids.” Their richly colored flowers blossom profusely.
Although some blooms may last for up to a month, their typical bloom time is as short as that of a cut flower. Miltonia can easily be cultured at home or in a greenhouse. They normally bloom in the spring or fall.
The ideal day temperature is 75 – 80° F, while the ideal night temperature is 60 – 65° F. Occasional temperature extremes are tolerated if exposure is not prolonged. As long as you keep the temperature reasonable, you should have a healthy plant.
Bright diffused light is necessary to bring Miltonia into bloom; this can include a little sun (not direct sunlight) for up to two hours a day.
Water, Fertilizer, and Humidity
Unlike some orchids that require a drying out period, Miltonia grow throughout the entire year and must be kept evenly moist. Drench the plant in the early morning with water that has SUPERthrive (1 drop per cup or ¼ tsp. per gal) added and let them dry out before nightfall. Watering once a week during the winter and twice a week during summer is normally sufficient.
Miltonias should be fed once a month year round. Use Grow More Premium Orchid Food. Humidity should be kept at 50 to 70%. In the home, this can be achieved by placing the plant on a grid over a humidity tray. Never allow the plant to sit in water as it must be able to drain freely.
Miltonia should be repotted at least once every 2 years or when the potting medium begins to decay. We recommend using – a premium grade pine bark from New Zealand. Moisten bark before repotting and then water thoroughly with SUPERthrive (as above) once planted.
Our source for much of this information is the American Orchid Society Guide: Growing Orchids. We highly recommend purchasing your own copy (available at our Moana Lane Garden Center) to ensure greater success with your orchids.