Cultural Notes for Miltonia Orchids – the Pansy Orchid

The popularity of Miltoniopsis orchids is spreading, thanks to modern hybrids which are vigorous and floriferous. There is an irresistible charm to the richly coloured flowers and culture is easy, either in the home or in the greenhouse. Because of the shape and markings of the spectacular flowers, Miltoniopsis are commonly known as the “Pansy Orchid”. The beautiful flat flowers are borne on slender arching stems from the base of the most recently formed bulbs. Miltoniopsis generally bloom in Spring and Autumn, with the best results in Spring. They bloom profusely, and while the flowers last up to a month on the plant, their life is short as a cut flower.


Miltoniopsis – intermediate growers – do not like a large variation in temperature, but do enjoy good air movement. An oscillating fan is beneficial.


Grow in medium light conditions, avoiding the direct rays of the mid-day sun. Always adjust plants gradually to higher light intensities.


During overcast days, water carefully and do not allow water to stand in the leaves or soft rot may occur. Always water in the morning, so foliage is not moist at night. Keep roots damp but never soggy. Crinkled leaves are the sign of insufficient water. Water thoroughly from the top of the pot, allowing water to flow freely through the pot and away from the plant. Never allow the bottom of the pot to stand in water.


Feed approximately twice per month whilst new growths are developing. When new growth is mature feed only once per month at half strength. Use a balanced fertilizer (Starke Ayres Nutrifeed) for plants growing in bark chips. This group can also be foliar fed with the same fertilizer.


Plant in Outeniqua Orchid’s seedling mix, allowing room in pots for about two new growths. Do not over pot. Repot every two years directly after spring blooming. They may be divided at the time of repotting if the plant has attained large enough size to allow division of three to five bulbs, although large showy plants can be produced simply by moving the plant to a larger size pot. In pots larger than 14 cm diameter, use a very shallow pot. Miltoniopsis mix contains fine bark (10-15mm), perlite, polystyrene and stone chips.