MILTONIA (mil-TOH-nee-ah) - 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 they may last for up to a month, their 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.

Temperature: The ideal day temperature is 75-80 degrees F., while the ideal night temperature is 60-65 degrees 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.

Light:
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:
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 and let them dry out before nightfall. Once a week watering during the winter and twice a week during summer is normally sufficient.

Repot:
Miltonia are considered epiphytes, which means that a general bark or orchid mix should suit them well. Repot your Miltonia at least once every 2 years or when the potting medium begins to decay. See our ESSENTIALS for more details.

Feeding:
High-nitrogen fertilizers (25-9-9) can be used year-round at one teaspoon per gallon of water. Feed once a month.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS - Growing Classic Orchids by M. Tibbs; Taylor's Guide to Orchids by J. White


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