Miltoniopsis Care: The Basics
Miltoniopsis (mil-toh-nee-OPP-siss) orchids are often referred to as the “Pansy Orchid” because their blooms are similar in appearance to pansies. The Miltoniopsis
genus of orchids is very small and currently includes
just six recognized species.
Miltoniopsis blooms are large, flat, and round with broad lips. Blooms are seen in an array of bright colors such as yellow, pink, red, purple and white. Miltoniopsis produce oval-shaped pseudobulbs and each pseudobulb produces a single leaf from its top. Foliage and pseudobulbs are almost gray or blue-green in color. Pseudobulbs may grow one or two spikes, either simultaneously or in succession. So when a Miltoniopsis plant blooms you should have quite the display that can last for several weeks.
Miltoniopsis orchids have fine roots that shouldn’t be dried out completely. For the most part, in warmer months you will want to water at least once a week. Watering frequency – as covered in this article about watering orchids – can be determined by a few different things. A sign that you are under-watering is if you see accordion-like pleating of the foliage. However, you will also want to make sure that you do not over-water because this can cause the fine roots to rot. Finding the right watering schedule for your Miltoniopsis can be tricky, but once you learn how your plant adapts to its environment, you will be able to come up with a watering schedule that works for both you and you orchid.
As covered in this article about orchids care and light, Miltoniopsis orchids require low light intensity. If your orchid is receiving too much light the foliage will turn yellow or a pinkish-red color or become spotty. If you orchid is receiving too little light the foliage will turn a dark green color. If you are growing your Miltoniopsis indoors, an ideal place would be near a shaded southern facing window.
As discussed in this orchid plant care article on temperature, Miltoniopsis’ are cool to intermediate temperature orchids. The temperature requirements for Miltoniopsis are daytime temperatures somewhere between 70°F to 80°F (21.1°C to 26.7°C) and night temperatures between 55°F to 60°F (12.8°C to 15.6°C). If your plant experiences temperatures higher than the recommended temperatures above, it will not harm the plant, although you do not want to subject the plant to high temperatures for excess periods of time.
As covered in this “humidity” article on how to care for orchids, Miltoniopsis thrive in humid conditions. A relative humidity level that is ideal for Miltoniopsis is somewhere in the 50-70% range. If you need to increase the humidity for your orchid, you can add a humidity tray or humidifier and also misting your orchid a few times a day will also increase the humidity. It is also important to remember that the more humid you keep the orchids environment, the more air movement your orchid will need to help prevent any disease.
Fertilize you Miltoniopsis orchid at every other watering using a diluted (half-strength) fertilizer solution. If your orchid is planted in bark you will want to use a high-nitrogen solution (30-10-10), or a balanced solution (20-20-20) if planted in other media. In order to help with flowering you can use a low-nitrogen, high-phosphate fertilizer (such as 10-30-20) every fourth or fifth feeding. You should always water your orchid very thoroughly once a month so that the excess fertilizer build-up can be removed. Miltoniopsis are especially sensitive to buildup, and leaf tips will blacken as a result.
To keep your Miltoniopsis orchid as healthy as possible, you should repot it in fresh medium each year after the blooming cycle. Miltoniopsis orchids can be potted in a fine-grade fir bark mixed with charcoal and perlite for good drainage. Miltoniopsis orchids tend to do very well in plastic pots since they can retain moisture for longer than clay pots, just be sure that there are enough holes in the bottom for adequate drainage. You can divide your Miltoniopsis, although you need to keep at least four to five pseudobulbs per division.
And that just about covers the basics! :-)
Next Steps: Where do you go from here?
A couple options:
#1 – More Free Miltoniopsis Tips!
At a minimum, I strongly recommending signing up for our orchid tips newsletter (it’s free!). That’ll give you some additional (more detailed) step-by-step tips you can start using with your Miltoniopsis’ right away…
#2 – Get Access to ALL My Articles on Miltoniopsis’…
If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about Miltoniopsis orchid care (and caring for ALL types of orchids) we also have something called the Orchids Made Easy Green Thumb Club.
The Green Thumb Club includes a number of different benefits – including weekly lessons on all different orchid care topics delivered to you in a special, password-protected members area. You also get the opportunity to get YOUR actual questions answered in my weekly “Ask The Orchid Guy” column, which you can check out here.
The Green Thumb Club costs less than a meal at McDonald’s – and ALSO includes all sorts of ADDITIONAL benefits, including exclusive discounts at orchid suppliers from 20-40% off as well access to our “orchid diagnosis tool” which helps you identify what problem might be plaguing your plant.
Because the club is backed by a full 100% money-back guarantee for a full 30 days, if after checking it out you decide that it’s not for you or that you didn’t get value you out of what you learned – no problem! Simply send us an email to let me know, and you’ll receive a fast and courteous refund. Put it this way: If you’re not happy, I’m not happy!
(By the way, this link here will give you access to 50% off the cost of membership. A little “gift” for reading this article all the way to the end :-))
All my best,
Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)
IMPORTANT: To learn everything you need to know about caring for your orchids, if you haven’t already I strongly recommend signing up for the “Orchid Care Tips & Secrets Newsletter” my wife and I publish by clicking here.
It’s completely free – and the best part? You can even choose the type of information you’d like to receive (reblooming tips, basics of orchid care, etc.) Join over 20,000 fellow orchid enthusiasts young and old and sign up for our free orchid care newsletter today! :-)
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