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How to Grow Miltonia

Miltonia spectabilis

Miltonia is a genus of evergreen tree-growing (epiphytic) orchids that bear star-shaped, sometimes fragrant flowers on erect racemes. Miltonia are native to tropical regions of Brazil; a related genus Miltoniopsis is very similar but native to the cool regions of Costa Rica and Peru.

Miltonia commonly have white, yellow, or greenish-yellow flowers; the flowers are often marked or spotted. Leaves are linear or oblong-lance-shaped, thin, and pale to dark green

Miltonia naturally grows in trees. They need an epiphytic soil mix or can be grown on bark.

Miltonia is a genus of 15 species native to Brazil. Miltoniopsis is a genus of species. The two genus can be distinguished by the number of leaves they carry on their pseudobulbs; miltonias bear two leaves per pseudobulb, while Miltoniopsis hold only one.

Get to Know Miltonia 

  • Plant type: Pernnial orchid
  • Growing zones and range: In containers of epiphytic soil mix, epiphytically on bark, or in slatted baskets. 
  • Hardiness: Zones 14-15
  • Temperature: Room temperaure or warmer
  • Height and width: 9 inches (23cm) tall and wide
  • Foliage: 2 linear, oblong, or oblong-lance-shaped slightly, leathery, thin pale do dark green leaves
  • Flowers: Star-shaped, sometimes fragrant flowers are produced in usually erect racemes from the bases of the pseudobulbs, at various times of the year. 
  • Bloom time: Various times of the year; most summer into autumn. 
  • Uses: Houseplant, tropical gradens
  • Common name: Miltonia
  • Botanical name: Miltonia
  • Family name: Orchidaceae
  • Origin: Warm, moist forests in Brazil 
Yellow Miltonia candida
Yellow Miltonia candida

Where to Plant Miltonia 

  • Light: Medium light; foliage will sunburn if it receives too much light. Miltonia must have partial shade in summer if grown outdoors.
  • Soil: Use an epiphytic soil mix or grow on bark or in a slatted bakset.

When to Plant Miltonia 

  • Grow Miltonia outdoors only in tropical or subtropical conditions. In cooler regions, grow Miltonia in a warm greenhouse or as a houseplant indoors.

Planting and Spacing Miltonia 

  • Space Miltonia 9 inches (23cm) apart.

How to Water and Feed Miltonia 

  • Water: Water Miltonia freely durng the summer; keep the medium moist. Mist Miltonia once or twice daily.
  • Feeding: Feed Miltonia every third watering with a low nitrogen all-purpose orchid food. 

Miltonia Care 

  •  In winter, Miltonia can take full light and should be watered only moderately.
  • Divide Miltonia when the plant fill the pot or flows over the sides.

Miltonia Pests and Diseases 

  • Miltoinia is prone to aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs.
  • Bacterial soft rot and brown rot, cymbidium mosaic virus, basal stem rot, and leaf rot are common. 

Miltonia Propagation 

  • Divide when the plant fills the pot and spill over the sides. 

Miltonia Varieties to Grow 

  • Miltonia ‘Bluntii’ (M. clowessi x M. spectabilis). Epiphytic hybrid orchid grow 9inches (23cm) tall and wide with elongated pseudobulbs and linear leaves, 6inches (15cm) long; produces racemes of 3-7 star-shaped, fragrant, light yellow flowers in autumn; flowers are 3 inches (8cm) long, with red-brown markings, white lips, and purplish crimson bases.
  • M. candida, syn. Anneliesia candida. Epiphytic orchid grows 9 inches (23cm) tall and wide with oblong-ovoid pseudobulbs and linear-lance-shaped leaves, 12in (30cm); produces racemes of 2-8 star-shaped, greenish yellow flowers in autumn; flowers are 3inches (8cm) across, spotted chestnut-brown and yellow, with lips sometimes flushed white or pink. 
  • M. clowesii. Epiphytic orchid grows 9 inches (23cm) tall and wide with narrowly ovoid pseudobulbs and linear leaves, 12in (30cm) long; bears long racemes of 3-7 star-shaped, greenish yellow flowers in autumn; flowers are 2inches (5cm) across, each barred chestnut-brown, with white lips tinted violet-purple at the bases.
  • M. phalaenopsis. see Miltoniopsis phalaenopsis. 
  • M. roezlii. see Miltoniopsis roezlii. 
  • M. spectabilis. Epiphytic orchid grows 9 inches (23cm) tall and wide; produces elongated pseudobulbs and linear-oblong leaves, 6 inches (15cm) long; bears white, red, or purple flowers, 3 inches (8cm) across, with red or purple lips, each with 3 yellow ridges at the base; flowers are borne singly or occasionally in pairs. Cultivar var. moreliana bears deep plum-purple flowers with deeply veined, rose-streaked and shaded lips. 

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