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Miltoniopsis Care Sheet

Miltoniopsis are commonly known as “Pansy Orchids.” They are native to South America where they grow in highland rainforests, with fragrant, long lasting flowers.  The modern hybrids can be grown in a sunny window in an air-conditioned home.

 Miltoniopsis have thin foliage that can easily burn in hot sun and dehydrate in too warm temperatures.  They prefer temperatures in the cool to intermediate range.  They do well in wintertime lows of 55° to 65° and in summertime highs below 80°.  Good air movement and good humidity are especially important for Miltoniopsis grown in warmer temperatures. The lighting in a sunny windowsill or the shady part of a greenhouse where Phalaenopsis or African violets bloom well is necessary for them to grow well and re-bloom consistently.

 

Miltoniopsis do not like for the potting mix to start decomposing so it’s best to repot them every Spring after they bloom.  We use long fibered New Zealand Sphagnum packed only tightly enough to hold the plants in their pots, leaving air pockets throughout the media.   

 

Miltoniopsis roots must have access to air between waterings but should not dry out as much as orchids with thicker leaves and larger pseudobulbs.  Miltoniopsis with an abundance of roots that have grown tight in 4” pots may need water every 3 to 5 days until they are finished blooming.  If they are then re-potted into 6” azalea pots, the same plants may only need water once a week.  In either case, you should water when you notice the media starting to dry.  Fertilize occasionally with a dilute solution of a balanced fertilizer.

 

Miltoniopsis 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 dry out prematurely.