How to Care for a Miltonia Orchid

Miltonia orchid flowers

The miltonia orchid can thrive with careful attention.

Orchids are exotically beautiful, and notoriously hard to nurture. Watering, light, soil, food, all take a sudden toll on this exquisite flower, and the damage from a misstep can be irreversible. If you have a miltonia orchid, there is even more need for caution. Here are some tips on how to care for a miltonia orchid.

Moisture

Miltonia orchids like light moisture. Think in terms of a plant growing in the rain forest, in shallow soil full of rotting leaves, twigs, and stems. The plant receives misting from dew and daily rains, but water drains quickly away from the roots.

Remember, too, that rain forests are actually warm and humid. The rain is not cooling, but rather warm. To simulate this watering sequence, take your orchid to the sink and water it with lukewarm water. Let the water drain out of the soil so that its roots don’t stay wet. Let it drain, and it should be ok.

Potted miltonia orchid plant

A potted miltonia orchid needs warmth and moisture.

The miltonia orchid will get little pleats in its eaves when it gets too dry. It may also get freckles on the leaves. Step up the watering frequency and see if that helps it.

Fertilizer

Your miltonia needs regular meals. Many houseplants require fertilization only in the spring and summer, because they go dormant. On the other hand, your miltonia will grow year-round. Therefore, it needs regular fertilizer. The orchid is growing buds, blooms, pseudobulbs, leaves, or roots all the time. If the pseudobulb starts looking wrinkled, it means the flower needs food, not necessarily water. So, fertilize your miltonia with every-other watering it receives. Use a half strength mix of 20/20/20 fertilizer.

Sunlight

Think of your miltonia as you would a toddler, when it comes to sun. You wouldn’t let your toddler outside during the peak sunburn hours of 2:00 to 5:00 pm, so don’t leave your orchid in the sun, especially during those hours. You also would protect your little one’s tender skin by keeping them out of direct sunlight, even if they are in a bright room. Your miltonia will benefit from the same care. It will sunburn quite easily, so keep it out of direct light, but let it get a few hours of indirect sunlight every day.

Re-potting

You’ll need to repot your miltonia every spring. Be sure to use orchid potting mix, because it will have the right consistency to drain the roots properly. Orchid bark, or New Zealand fiber moss is the best material for this, and be sure to get it good and wet before you do the repotting. Let it drain, and then continue repotting. Since the orchid will continue growing pseudobulbs, be sure to place the plant off to one side in the pot. This will leave plenty of room for the plant to develop properly.

With proper care, your miltonia orchid will live a long, healthy life, bringing you years of enjoyment. Just water it and feed it regularly, and make sure it gets lots of light. Miltonia orchids make great gifts

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