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Miltoniopsis (known as the Pansy Orchid and pronounced mil-toh-nee-OP-siss) belongs to the Oncidium Alliance which includes Ada, Brassia, Oncidium, and Odontoglossum to name a few. Miltoniopsis are striking orchids which come in a variety of flower colour and masks. Many of them are deliciously fragrant.
Miltoniopsis are ideal houseplants in the average home. The minimum night temperature is 13°C (55°F) and the maximum daytime temperature of 27°C (80°F). They can tolerate slightly higher or lower temperatures but not for extended periods. If grown above 27°C (80°F) Miltoniopsis may not flower. They thrive under high humidity conditions, ideally around 70-75%. Humidity trays can help increase humidity.
Miltoniopsis are relatively low light plants but do benefit from direct early morning or evening sunlight. In the home an east or west facing window is ideal. If growing in a south facing window the direct sunlight quickly burns through the thin leaves, it is therefore necessary to have two thin layers of net curtains between the window and the plant. If growing in a greenhouse then 60% shade cloth will be necessary from April to October.
WATERING & FERTILISER
Miltoniopsis must be watered at least once a week and more often if they appear to dry out faster. During the warm, dry summer the plants may need to be watered 2-3 times a week. They are rather fussy about the quality of their water so if you live in a hard water area it is best to use good clean rainwater. They are intolerant of salt build-up so at least once a month, flush through with pure rainwater. If the Miltoniopsis are not receiving enough water or humidity the new leaves will have a wrinkled accordion type appearance.
Culture information taken from the Growers and Buyers Guide to Orchids in the UK – 2013 (Golden Guide).
Photographs supplied by S. Pask unless stated