Miltonias (Miltoniopsis) Culture
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Miltonias or Miltoniopsis are native to South America. Most of them grow in the highland rainforests, with fragrant, long lasting flowers. The modern hybrids can be grown in a home environment if careful attention is paid to the environment, potting mix, and watering.
Miltonias do not like for the potting mix to start decomposing. Therefore, it is best to repot them once a year, during the fall months, into an open mix that drains well. We use a seedling bark mixture or a rock wool mixture, both of which are open mixes that also hold a fair amount of water. The roots should not be allowed to dry out, but the pot should be given good drainage so the plant never stands in water. With thin leaves and small pseudobulbs, Miltonias do not like warm, drafty conditions that will dehydrate the plants. Try to give them a moderate, moist environment if possible.
Water Miltonias at least once a week, more often if the potting mix appears to be drying out. Fertilize with a dilute (1 teaspoon per gallon of water) solution of water soluble, balanced fertilizer about once every two months while the plants are growing. Do not fertilize during the fall and winter months.
Miltonia flowers last about six weeks on the plant, but they do not last well when cut. They are not suitable for corsages or cut flower arrangements. Most hybrids have a faint floral scent to the blooms. When in spike or bloom, keep plant away from drafts and excessive heat and cold as these can cause the buds and blooms to drop.
Light conditions for Miltonias are similar to those for Phalaenopsis or Paphiopedilums – bright but indirect light. Direct sun will burn the thin leaves.
Note: This guide is only applicable to Miltonias (Miltoniopsis). For other varieties, please click on one of these links: