Miltonia Care: colored flowers to be cultivated with care

Miltonia and Miltoniopsis are two genera of orchids, both Epiphytic with a sympodial structure and equipped with pseudobulbs with narrow, long and thin leaves, of a nice light green colour. Let’s see what there is to know about these beautiful orchid families.

With large colorful flowers, similar to those of pansies, miltonia is one of the easiest orchids to find on the market.

The Miltonia species of orchid

20 species belong to the genus of orchids Miltonia, divided into two different families:

  • the Miltonia from Brazil: star-shaped flowers, greenish in color, with brown or purple spots;
  • the Miltoniopsis from Colombia and Peru: large fragrant flowers of bright colors, similar to very large pansies. Miltoniopsis orchids are in fact also called Pansy orchids.

They also include hundreds of natural or artificial hybrids.

Miltonia flowering

Their natural habitat is the cool highlands of the Andes at altitudes ranging from 300 to 2500 m, where they grow rooted in the tops of trees.

In spring and autumn, a long stem sprouts from the new pseudobulbs on which numerous flowers of great aesthetic impact bloom.

In nature, flowering is almost always in spring and can give from 3 to 10 very large , colorful and very fragrant flowers .

Miltonia immediately attracts our attention for its unmistakable large and colorful flowers. 

Where to keep the Miltonia plant


Both types prefer exposures that are not too bright: it is advisable to place them near a window in order to receive filtered light perhaps from a thick white curtain.

In summer they can be placed outdoors, in a shady place, preferably at the base of trees or shrubs: as in nature, trees will provide protection from the sun, wind or storms.


The ideal growth temperature for Miltonias is around 16-25°C (in winter it can drop to 10 degrees), while Miltoniopsis can also resist lower temperatures (between 14 and 20 degrees in summer and around 8 degrees in winter).

Both of these orchids love airy environments , especially on the hottest days and love the sudden change in temperature between day and night.


The intense colors and characteristic “drawings” of this family of orchids. 

Caring for Miltonia and Miltoniopsis orchids

Let’s see what are all the little tricks that a gardening enthusiast cannot fail to know.


An easy method to monitor the state of health of the miltonia orchid is to observe the color of the leaves: they must be of a nice light green, if it becomes too dark it means that it does not receive the right light, if they turn yellow it means that too much light arrives and the sun is causing the plant some sunburn.

The roots of these species are thinner than other orchids for this reason great care must be taken when handling the plant.


Orchids need a lot of water, without however allowing water stagnation which could ruin the thin and delicate roots.

It should therefore be watered twice a week, increasing the frequency of watering if necessary: ​​if the leaves tend to shrink , it means that it is necessary to water the plant as soon as possible, which will produce new leaves, leaving the old ones to dry out.


For these plants the degree of humidity in the house must be 65% : difficult to obtain in a home, the ambient humidity must be maintained by vaporizing the miltonias with distilled water . The roots must always sink into a moist substrate, but without waterlogging.

It is advisable not to wet the leaf axil where the rots are more easily established. The saucers filled with expanded clay and water to be placed near the vase are also useful.


To avoid the onset of fungal diseases, good ventilation is also important : the miltonia plant should be kept outside as much as possible if temperatures permit. If kept at home, it is advisable to change the air often, avoiding cold drafts.

Soil and fertilization

This type of orchid must be repotted every year after flowering: the soil to be used must be a specific compost for orchids (generally made up of osmunda bark or fibre, bark, charcoal, perlite and polystyrene materials that retain moisture).
It is essential to use a specific fertilizer for orchids, which should be administered once a month in full dose or half dose every 15.

Attention: before fertilizing, the roots must be abundantly wet to prevent the fertilizer from damaging them.

Pests and diseases

Miltonias do not get sick easily but can be attacked by aphids and scale insects . In this case, specific pesticide products must be used . If, on the other hand, the problem is with the roots which are damaged or dehydrated, first of all you need to clean all the damaged parts then you need to prepare the so-called bath with water and a specific fungicide, leaving the roots immersed for 2 hours.

Leave to dry well on a newspaper and prepare the treatment with sphagnum moss (the roots are covered and left to rest at 25 degrees).

Curiosity & legend

Their name comes from Lord Fitz William Milton, an English orchid enthusiast.

The legend of the Epic has it that… a beautiful boy named Orchide had two female breasts sprouted. Orchide as it grew despite being a male, took on the female form becoming sinuous and delicate. For this reason he was avoided by both females and males: his physical ambiguity also had repercussions in his character, sometimes shy and shy and other times aggressive and lustful.

One day he threw himself from a cliff and died and in the place of his death many flowers began to appear, all different from each other but at the same time similar in their great sensuality.

The orchid also inspired the symbol of harmony and spiritual perfection such as the body of Orchide which, beyond being a man or a woman, was still beautiful as harmony and beauty go beyond what is seen can suggest.

The orchid has also always been considered a plant capable of warding off harmful influences and in particular sterility: in the Middle Ages it was used to make love potions.

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