Brazilian orchid (Miltonia), Miltonia Brazil: culture, maintenance

Brazilian Miltonia (Miltonia) is an epiphytic orchid native to Brazil, distinct from the pansy orchid (Miltoniopsis), known as miltonia from Colombia to distinguish them. Miltonia got its name by an English orchid enthusiast, Lord Milton (1786-1857). Miltonia grows mainly in coastal forests, at lower elevations than Miltoniopsis, usually from 0 to 800m or even as high as 1000m.

Miltonia spectabilis, the most common orchid in Brazil

This orchid has oval pseudobulbs bearing 2 light green leaves that are usually light green to gray green, about 20cm long. They develop multiple roots along the rhizome out of the pot.

Flowers, usually stellate, 5-8cm in diameter, sometimes fragrant, in clusters growing straight from the pseudobulb base. The petals and sepals are sometimes pointed at the tip but not the vulva. Their warm colors are varied and abundant on each flower lasting about 6 weeks. Can flower at any time of the year as Miltonia is one of the houseplants as it is more afraid of cold than Miltoniopsis and needs a minimum temperature of 15°C. However, favorable periods for flowering are still is summer.

Miltonia is an easy-to-maintain and blooming orchid. Note that it does not re-bloom on the old pseudobulbs, so it is important that the vegetation grows well for the young pseudobulbs to grow and flower.

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Type: epigenetic perennial
  • Origin: Brazil
  • Color: white, yellow-green, red, pink, lilac
  • Sow: yes
  • Cut: no
  • Planting: spring or fall
  • Flowering: summer
  • Height: 20 to 30 cm

Ideal soil and exposure for Miltonia

The Miltonia orchid is grown in a light mixture of fine bark and sphagnum, in full light without direct summer sun, but in winter it will appreciate some exposure. south of the house, where the temperature should be between 18 and 25°C, and never go below 15°C. Drafts (hot or cold) should be avoided.

Miltonia division, planting and repotting dates

Sowing Miltonia is possible but still a problem for specialists.

On the other hand, dividing into 2 Miltonia plants with 6 pseudobulbs for example is quite feasible and easy to do: 3 pseudobulbs per pot is the right amount.

Repotting is only anticipated before the orchid seems really overcrowded as if it is coming out of the pot: ideally intervene in early spring around March or in early fall when the flowers are finished. The pot should not be too large (more than 2cm in diameter).

Miltonia Planting and Care Department

A week of overhead watering, with room temperature water is reasonable but can double by midsummer if it is very hot. Sprays can be added to the outer roots between waterings: they are good and contain little reserves.

Regular fertilizer contributions will be made from spring through fall.

During the summer, the plant can be outdoors, in the shade, and protected from heavy or prolonged rain, not forgetting to water if a heat wave hits.

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Make Miltonia bloom again

After the plant flowers, cut the flower stalk at the base of the pseudobulb without damaging it, then wash the dried leaves. By keeping them warm and watering them abundantly throughout their growing period, Miltonia easily regenerates with generosity each summer: the more the plant grows, the more flower spikes it produces.

Diseases, Pests and Parasites Miltonia

Miltonia is not susceptible to diseases or pests.

Miltonia clowesii, the remarkable orchid

It is a houseplant that is grown indoors, in a greenhouse or patio.

Type Miltonia there are a total of about fifteen species and many hybrids. Miltonia spectabilis (photo 1) flowers all summer, lilac pink with veined lips with a more durable tone, and it is so popular in Brazil it can quickly become large. Miltonia moreliana (syn. Miltonia spectabilis var. moreliana) has dark purple flowers. Miltonia clowesii (photo 2) has yellow-green flowers speckled with brown and red or purple lips with yellow streaks at the base…

Among the hybrids, Miltonia Honolulu there are beautiful red roses, Miltonia Hawaiian Sunset has lemon yellow flowers, Miltonia Bluntii has pale yellow flowers marked with reddish brown with a white labellum whose base is crimson purple…

(photo credit: Quimbaya – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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