Alphabetical Plant Listing

Miltoniopsis (Pansy Orchids)

Pansy Orchids, Miltoniopsis vexillaria, Miltoniopsis roezlii, Miltoniopsis phalaenopsis (Miltoniopsis)


Native to Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Miltoniopsis (Pansy Orchids) is a genus of 5 species and over 2000 hybrids of epiphytic or lithophytic orchids found growing in rain forests and cloud forests at elevations between 1,650-6,500 ft. (500-2,000 m). Resembling garden pansies, smelling like roses and reblooming quickly, these beautiful orchids are enjoying increasing popularity. These orchids are not hard to grow, but when new growth begins, they need adequate care and you must make sure to give them enough water.

Pansy Orchids are sympodial in growth habit (they produce multiple stems) with clustered, laterally flattened pseudobulbs and linear to strap-shaped leaves, usually pale green or gray-green.

The axillary inflorescences bear up to 3-7 large, showy, flat flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm). They can be white, yellow, red, purple and brilliantly patterned. The flowers are long lasting and can last up to 5 weeks or more but are very short lived if cut. The flowering season is heaviest from spring to autumn. However, some species and hybrids may flower at other times of the year.

As an added bonus, some Pansy Orchids are sweetly fragrant. These orchids are generally fragrant only in the morning. By afternoon or evening, they may not have any fragrance at all.

Miltoniopsis orchids make beautiful plants in the home or greenhouse.

Growing Miltoniopsis Orchids

Light
Miltoniopsis orchids require shady conditions with medium to low levels of light. No direct sunlight. The leaf color indicates if the amount of light is adequate. If a plant is grown in too much shade, the leaves become dark green and luxuriant. In too bright light, the leaves may be yellow-green. A grassy green color means the plant is receiving sufficient light to bloom.

Temperatures
Miltoniopsis orchids generally require intermediate temperatures between 60-64°F (16-18°C) at night and 73-77°F (23-25°C) during the day.

Water
Miltoniopsis orchids should be given plenty of water while growing. They need a moist medium - never soggy, but never dry. If they are not getting enough water or humidity, the leaves tend to grow with accordion-like pleats. They need less water while resting but should not dry completely. Miltoniopsis orchids are intolerant of salt buildup, so leaching every 4-5 watering is important when growing in pots.

Humidity
Maintain high humidity (70-80%) for most of the year by setting the plant in a tray of damp pebbles.

Fertilization
Feed your plant with a half-strength, balanced fertilizer every two weeks. This can be reduced by half in winter. A 10-30-20 blossom-booster formulation is beneficial in early spring when plants approach their flowering period.

Potting
Miltoniopsis orchids are healthiest when repotted every year. Repotting should be done after flowering when the new growth is starting. When repotting, all old medium should be removed, any damaged or diseased roots trimmed off, and the plant repotted using all fresh medium and a clean pot. A potting mix of 70% bark and 30% perlite and charcoal or 70% tree fern and 30% chopped sphagnum is suitable. If your orchid is mounted, mounts may be cork, tree fern or other hard wood.

Pests and diseases 
Miltoniopsis orchids are generally disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids, glasshouse red spider mite and mealybugs.

Tip for reblooming

If your orchid does not bloom, move it to a cooler location with a bit more light, and water it early in the morning or late afternoon to help keep the roots cool.

 

Guide Information

Hardiness 11 - 12
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2' (30cm - 60cm)
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers

Jack Kajon Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 11 - 12
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2' (30cm - 60cm)
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers

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