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Care Instructions for Miltonia and Miltoniopsis

These care instructions are written specifically for our miltonia orchids.  Other growers may have different care requirements for their plants based on how they have grown their miltonia and miltoniopsis (hereafter lumped together and referred to as miltonia).  But if you have a Brennan’s Orchids miltonia, these rules will help you keep it happy and robust.

Rule No. 1:  Miltonia like to be kept lightly moist at all times.  I don’t mean sopping wet, I mean just moist.  They also must be well drained. To properly water your plant, take the pot to the sink and water the pot with tepid water until water is pouring out the drainage holes.  No one likes a cold shower.  Let the plant stand and drain thoroughly.  If your orchid has gotten too dry, the new leaves will appear to have accordion pleats.  If little black freckles appear on the leaves, the plant got too dry or too hot.  Adjust the watering schedule to fit its needs.  When the pseudobulbs wrinkle, it does not mean the plant needs more water.  It means that the plant has pulled the energy reserve out of that bulb to spend on blooming. 

Rule No. 2:  Give the plant the proper light.  Miltonia leaves sunburn easily. Two to four hours of bright, indirect light a day would be fine. Miltonia have the same basic light requirements as a phalaenopsis or an African violet.  By all means, avoid direct sun during the harshest “skin cancer” hours.

Rule No. 3:  Regular meals all year long, please.  Your orchid does not really go dormant.  When not full of buds and blooms, your orchid is growing roots, pseudobulbs, and leaves so it will have the energy to put out more blooms the next cycle.  Feed your plant every other watering with a balanced (20-20-20) plant fertilizer mixed at ½ strength or a balanced orchid fertilizer.

Rule No. 4:  Your plant is potted in either New Zealand long fiber moss or an orchid bark blend.  Repot your plant every spring into fresh orchid moss or bark; increasing the pot size no more than an inch or so at a time.  Moisten the mix prior to use.  Pot the plant so that the mix is firm but still airy.  Do not center the plant, but pot it off to one side a bit so it will have room to grow lots of pseudobulbs for more blooms.