|Scientific Name : Miltonia spectabilis Lindl|
|Family : Orchidaceae|
|Colour : Red, white, pink, yellow|
|Common names : Pansy Orchid|
Miltonia's are sometimes called the Pansy Orchid because their flat-faced, open flowers resemble pansies in shape and markings. They are named in honour of Earl Fitzwilliam and Viscount Milton. Growers have divided the Pansy orchids into two groups, Miltonia and Miltoniopsis. Miltonias are warm-growing orchids which come from Brazil and Miltoniopsis, come from Columbia, are moderate temperature growers from the foothills. These charming irresistible plants bloom profusely. The richly colored, fragrant flowers are borne on slender arching stems and can reach to sizes of 2-3 inches in width. Flowers vary in colors - Red, white, pink with different colored markings and yellow. Although they may last for up to a month, their bloom time is as short as that of a cut flower.
Miltonias may be a little difficult to grow, but if necessary temperature and lighting requirements are provided, they can be grown in the home or greenhouse. Miltonia's like an open compost that does not hold excessive amounts of water. It prefers tree-fern fibre mixed with perlite and bark composts. The day temperature for Miltoniopsis type is 85°F, while the night temperature is 50 to 60°F. For Miltonias, day temperature is 70 to 85°F and night temperatures 55to 65°F.
Miltonia grow throughout the entire year and must be kept evenly moist. Depending upon the temperature, Miltonias should be watered twice a week. Water carefully and do not allow water to stand in the leaves or soft rot may occur. Miltonia enjoy moist air, requiring a minimum of 55 to 65% humidity. An increase in humidity is needed to reduce the stress on the plants when the temperature and lighting intensity increases. Miltonias must be fertilized on a regular basis. Fertilize approximately twice per month when new growth is developing. They should be fed regularly with half-strength nitrogenous fertilizer.
The leaves on the miltonia plant should be light green. If the leaves are dark green, increase lighting. If the leaves turn yellowish green or reddish, increase shading. Repot the miltonias at least once every 2 years or when the potting medium begins to decay. Common pests associated with Miltonias are scale, spider mites and aphids. X-Clude, an encapsulated pyrethrum time-release insecticide, and Neem Oil are the most efficient methods of pest control.
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