Miltoniopsis have their origin in the Andian mountains, cloud forests of south and Central America from Costa Rica to Peru, Columbia & Northern Panama. The most amazing aspect of Miltoniopsis is the fact that this genus has a great diversity of flower color and patterns in the hybrids. The flowers of the genus, are large can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) across. 4–7, pansy-like flowers. The flowers are long-lasting and remain in excellent condition for four to six weeks. Temperature, humidity, and light are the three main important factors for growing Miltoniopsis. Miltoniopsis flower from late winter to early summer, with peak flowering in May. A well-grown Miltoniopsis will produce wide, somewhat stiff leaves that do not droop excessively. Happy Miltoniopsis are vigorous growers, especially the hybrids.
Miltoniopsis produce the most flowers of the best quality when they receive as much light as they can tolerate without leaf damage. Make sure the sunlight is filtered by 50% where ever you place these Miltoniopsis. Miltoniopsis leaves will also tell you when the light level is optimal. A reddish pink tinge to the leaves is an indication of too much light. Excessive light will result in yellowing of the leaf tips and outright sunburn of the foliage. When this is observed the plants should be placed in a slightly shadier location.
As far as watering is concerned, in their natural habitat, they never want to be dry. They grow best when well hydrated. Watering well twice a week should be good. The frequency will vary depending on the potting mix. As a general rule, during warm periods, water more frequently and when conditions are cool, gray and dull, water less often. The plants will tell you when they are unhappy. Pleating or wrinkling of the leaves occurs when they are not receiving enough water. This could be due to watering too infrequently or lack of adequate roots to absorb the water provided.
The average day time temperatures that this genus loves is between 24°C–28 °C. In summer higher temperatures can be tolerated provided there is a good humidity (60% +) and very good air movement. A cooler interior place with artificial light or indirect sunlight is also an excellent option in places of higher temperatures. These plants can go dormant in warmer summers, whenever the temperatures soar high.
They thrive in high humidity, ideally, 60-70 % humidity. These plants will thrive with even higher humidity as long as the air movement is substantial.
Media and fertilizer
The other important factor to promote good culture/growth in Miltoniopsis is, when and how often to re-pot. They usually start exhibiting new growth in late August or early September. Re-potting should begin in late summer and be completed by early October, do not tolerate decomposing media and need to be repotted every year, ideally when the new growths are 5–8 cm high and when the new roots are just emerging. The roots are fine, thread-like and are easily damaged if the medium is too dry or wet & soggy. The roots rarely grow out of the pot. Within six months after repotting, the plants should grow to cover the entire pot. Start with 10cm pots, each year increase the size by 1inch, Overpotting will keep the roots too wet and they will rot. Use Orchiata Pine Bark to re-pot for excellent growth results. Regardless of the medium, the goal is a rapidly draining mix that allows ample air circulation throughout the roots while retaining enough moisture for the plant’s needs.
Adult plants can be fertilized using an all-in-one fertilizer like Mangala Bio-20 (NPK + Micronutrients) or HighGrow fertilizer and once a month using HighBloom fertilizer. Remember to give your plants enough light when you use a high nitrogen fertilizer to prevent rot.