Miltonia orchid: home care, reproduction, transplant, why it turns yellow

Miltonia orchid: home care, reproduction, transplant, why it turns yellow

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Flower miltonia (lat.Miltonia) belongs to the genus of herbaceous perennials of the Orchid family, which was first described in the middle of the 19th century. The plant got its name in honor of the prominent patron of arts and orchid collector Viscount Adligen Milton. In the wild, the miltonia orchid grows in the southern and central regions of Brazil, eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina, preferring shady moist forests at an altitude of 200 to 1500 m above sea level, with many types of miltonia more common at an altitude of 600 to 900 m.
Species growing high in the mountains are considered a species called miltoniopsis.

Planting and caring for miltonia

  • Bloom: in spring, summer, with good care - all year round.
  • Lighting: bright diffused light (east or west windowsills).
  • Temperature: the daytime temperature during the period of active growth and flowering is 18-22 ˚C, during the dormant period - 16-18 ˚C. The nighttime temperature should always be 4-6 degrees lower than the daytime.
  • Watering: regular and plentiful, on average once every 4-5 days. Water is poured in a thin stream along the inner wall of the pot. The immersion method can be used. After watering, excess water is drained from the pan.
  • Air humidity: high - 60-70%. It is recommended to place containers with water around the plant or spray the indoor air (but not the flower itself) with water several times a day.
  • Top dressing: fertilizers for epiphytes and orchids in a half dosage once every 2-3 weeks from April to September. Root dressings alternate with foliar: spraying the plant with a weak solution of fertilizer over the leaves (not over the flowers). During the dormant period, feeding is not needed.
  • Rest period: mandatory, within 2-3 months after the end of flowering: you need to reduce watering to 1 time per month, stop feeding and lower the room temperature to 16-18 ˚C during the day and 14-16 ˚C at night.
  • Transfer: once every 3-4 years at the end of the dormant period.
  • Reproduction: dividing the bush, less often - pseudobulbs.
  • Pests: thrips, scale insects, aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.
  • Diseases: root rot.

Read more about growing miltonia below.

Growing features

The miltonia plant is a sympodial epiphyte, that is, it has an oval-shaped pseudobulb at the base of 7-8 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, and aerial roots with which the orchid feeds itself, parasitizing on trees. Miltonia leaves 35-40 cm long of an unusual color - not so much green as grayish-yellowish. Peduncles develop from the axils of the leaves, on which velvety flowers 10-12 cm in diameter of various colors - white, red, yellow, pink or purple - open.

The flowers of some species of miltonia bear a resemblance to pansies, which is why the plant is sometimes called the “pansy” orchid.

Miltonia care at home

Growing conditions

Miltonia orchid at home will grow and bloom well if you create an environment for it close to that in which it grows naturally. Since miltonia in nature grows in the shade of subtropical and tropical forests, at home it must be placed under strong diffused light, reliably protected from direct sunlight. Eastern or western window sills are most suitable for the plant, but if all your windows face south, drape them with gauze, thin curtains or translucent paper.

During the growing season, miltonia at home feels good during the day at 18-22 ºC, and at night the temperature should be lowered by 4-6 ºC. During the rest period, the comfortable temperature will be 16-18 ºC during the day and 14-16 ºC at night.

Protect the plant from drafts and sudden temperature changes.


Accustomed to tropical downpours, Miltonia needs regular and abundant watering, especially in the summer, when it forms new shoots. How to care for miltonia? How frequent and abundant should watering of this orchid be at different times of the year, and what humidity should be in the room?

Miltonia should be watered once every 4-5 days, but do not forget to pour excess water out of the pan in time to minimize the risk of decay of the roots and pseudobulbs of the plant. For the same reason, a drainage layer should be laid in a pot with an orchid under the substrate. In winter, you need to switch to moderate watering - once every 3-4 weeks, since during this period it is more forgivable to allow a slight drying out of the substrate than overmoistening it. Miltonia, which is at rest in winter, need not be watered at all.

If the substrate in the Miltonia pot dries for more than 36 hours, this means that it is too dense and there are few voids in it. Or that the room temperature is too low.

When watering, they do not moisten the substrate or the orchid, but carefully pour water in a thin stream along the inner wall of the pot. You can moisten miltonia by immersion, making sure that the rhizomes and pseudobulbs of the plant do not get wet, and the leaf axils are not flooded. For irrigation, rain or settled water with a temperature of 40-42 ºC is used.

As for the humidity of the air, the usual indicator for an apartment of 40-50% is not enough for an orchid, and you will have to increase the level to 60-70%, because the leaves of a plant suffering from thirst curl and bend.

How can the humidity in the apartment be increased? For example:

  • place a vessel with water or wet expanded clay next to the orchid;
  • spray the air around the miltonia several times a day, being careful not to get water on the plant itself, as this may cause stains on it.

However, high humidity requires good ventilation and a constant supply of fresh air.


This orchid does not like anxiety, therefore, miltonia transplantation at home is carried out no more often than once every 3-4 years. You can determine that it is time to move the orchid to a large container by the following signs:

  • salty, crumbled, caked or foul-smelling substrate;
  • the aerial roots of miltonia sticking out of the pot in large numbers, many of which are dry;
  • the plant has slowed down its growth and development.

It is best to replant the plant in the spring, before the start of active growth. It is better to choose a plastic pot for miltonia, since it retains moisture longer than a ceramic one. As a substrate, you can use purchased soil for orchids, adding vermiculite or agroperlite to it, which tend to accumulate moisture. A large fraction of the bark is placed on the bottom of the pot as a drainage layer, and then a small fraction.

Or you can make a substrate yourself from foam, pine bark, wine cork, Akadama and a few pieces of birch charcoal. The acidity of the soil should be in the range of 5.5-6.5 pH. You can put a couple of pebbles at the bottom of the pot for stability.

Before transplanting, you need to moisten the substrate well, wrinkle the plastic pot and carefully remove the plant from it. The old substrate must be removed from the roots. If pieces of bark have grown into the roots, soak the orchid root system briefly in a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate, and if the adhering or ingrown pieces of the substrate do not come off on their own, carefully separate them, lower the miltonia roots into a new pot and, keeping the plant in weight, gradually add around the substrate, slightly compacting it. The first few days after transplanting, miltonia is not watered, however, the air humidity is increased.


Caring for the miltonia orchid involves regular feeding the plant with special fertilizers for epiphytes and orchids from April to September, and the dose should be half the amount recommended in the instructions. The regularity of top dressing is once every 2-3 weeks. Root dressing can be alternated with foliar dressing by spraying the plant with highly diluted fertilizer. In winter, if the plant has entered a dormant period, feeding is stopped.

Flowering miltonia

Leaving during flowering

Miltonia is a whimsical sissy who requires care, but when her amazing flowers open, she can be forgiven for all the whims.

In order for miltonia to bloom, you need to create the conditions described by us, observe the regime of watering, dressing and allow it to rest annually. During the period of active growth and flowering, keep the pot in such a place so that the sun's rays do not fall on the plant from noon. To do this, it is better to place miltonia on the eastern or western window sill, but by no means on the northern one - it is better then to keep the plant on the southern window, covering the glass to the middle with gauze or paper.

In a plant satisfied with its content, the leaves acquire a slightly pinkish tint, the color of the flowers becomes saturated, and the aroma is more intense.

Under ideal conditions and with the right care, Miltonia can bloom almost all year long, but you need to try hard for that. Firstly, every year she needs a period of rest, and secondly, as soon as the first peduncle begins to form in miltonia after a rest, care for it is resumed, gradually restoring the usual regime of watering and feeding. Flowering on one arrow lasts five or six weeks, but if you keep the miltonia constant and water it with rainwater, flowering can be longer.

Miltonia after flowering

Since the full and long flowering of miltonia directly depends on how well it rested, it is very important to correctly introduce the plant during the dormant period, even if there are no external signs of its fatigue. The orchid is transferred to a room with normal air humidity and a temperature of 16-18 ºC in the daytime and 14-16 ºC at night, stop feeding and gradually reduce watering to 1 time in 4 weeks. Miltonia rests for 2-3 months. The forming flower arrow will tell you that it is ready to grow, develop and bloom again.

Reproduction of miltonia

Like all other sympodial orchids, miltonia reproduces by dividing the bush. It is most convenient to do this when transplanting an orchid: when a plant that has formed at least six pseudobulbs is removed from the pot, its root system is cleaned of adhering substrate particles, and then divided in such a way that at least three pseudobulbs and developed roots remain in each part ... The sections are treated with crushed coal, after which the parts of the plant are planted.

You can try to propagate miltonia with pseudobulbs: the bulb is carefully separated from the plant and rooted.

Diseases and pests

Diseases and their treatment

Sometimes the salinity of the substrate leads to the fact that the tips of miltonia leaves begin to dry out, and it loses its decorative effect. To restore the salt balance of the soil, it is enough to switch to watering the orchid with soft rainwater.

Excessive moisture can cause miltonia roots to rot, and as soon as you notice signs of rot, trim off all affected roots, cut the cuts with crushed charcoal, transplant the plant into fresh, sterile substrate, and cut back on watering.

Miltonia turns yellow

There may be several reasons for this phenomenon:

  • too much sun;
  • water got into the axils of the leaves;
  • the room has low air humidity;
  • in miltonia, due to improper watering, compaction of the substrate, or too concentrated dressings, the root system is damaged.

Resuscitation of miltonia

If you get miltonia without roots, or the root system of the plant has died from improper care, you need to reanimate the orchid, which can last from one month to one year. The process begins with daily soaking of miltonia for 3-4 hours in water at a temperature of 21 ºC. A growth stimulant can be added to the water every two weeks.

As soon as the first roots begin to grow back, stop adding the growth stimulant, and increase the duration of the session by 2 hours. Once the roots have grown 5 cm, the orchid can be planted in the substrate.

Pests and the fight against them

The main pests of miltonia are thrips, scale insects, aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. All of them are sucking insects that feed on cell sap. Destroy them with solutions of insectoacaricides - Aktellik, Bankol, Biotlin or Mospilan - prepared in accordance with the instructions. Make sure that no chemicals get into the substrate during processing.

Types and varieties

There are 11 species and 6 natural hybrids in the Miltonia genus, many of which not only have earned popularity among amateur flower growers, but are also used by breeders to develop new varieties and hybrids. There are also known about 40 intergeneric artificial hybrids from crossing miltonia with orchids brassia, oncidium, cochliod, aspasia, odontoglossum, komparettia and others. Of the most popular species and varieties of miltonia in culture, the following can be called:

Miltonia white (Miltonia candida)

Orchid, which got its name because of the boiling white lip on brown star-shaped flowers up to 9 cm in diameter, which in the fall open on the plant from three to five;

Miltonia clowesii

Tiger orchid with brown stripes on a yellow background and a white lip that becomes purple-purple at the base. Flowers, shaped like cambria, form an inflorescence of 8-10 pieces;


A hybrid between miltonia and brassia with large star-shaped flowers of various colors;

Miltoniopsis moth (Miltoniopsis phalaenopsis)

It has flowers that at the same time resemble the phalaenopsis orchid and pansies. They are small - no more than 5 cm in diameter, white with yellow and red spots;

Miltonia Varshevich (Miltonia wascewiezii)

An orchid with large paniculate inflorescences, consisting of dark red flowers with a strongly wavy edge, a white or yellow top and a wide purple-pink lip with a red-brown spot in the middle and a white border around the edges.

The types of Miltonia Renelli, yellowish, brilliant, or magnificent, and hybrid Miltonia are also in demand in culture.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the Orchid family
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Indoor Plants Information

Sections: Houseplants Epiphytes Beautiful flowering Orchid Orchids Plants on M Plants on O

Rules for caring for miltonia at home

    Location and lighting level when growing "pansy orchids" you need to choose carefully, since if the latter should be bright enough, but scattered, devoid of direct rays of the sun. For this, the window sills of windows facing east or west are suitable. In the south - Meltonia will be very hot and in direct sunlight its leaves will acquire a pinkish tint. You will have to arrange shading with light curtains or stick tracing paper (translucent paper) on the window glass.

Content temperature. Since meltonia is a "resident" of the warm regions of the planet, keeping it in warm, but not hot, room conditions is suitable for it. In the spring and summer months, the thermometer should not go beyond 16–20 units. But with the arrival of autumn and during all winter months, the heat indices are reduced to a range of 15-18 degrees. The minimum temperature value that miltonia can tolerate for a short time is 3-4 degrees. Otherwise, the orchid will not bloom and will quickly die. Also, this delicate flower does not tolerate drafts, and when airing the rooms that are necessary for the orchid, you need to remove the pot with the plant from the cold air currents.

Air humidity when growing miltonia should be high, with rates of 60-80%. If the air in the room where the orchid is located is too dry, then this threatens the buds to dry out and fall off. The humidity should be increased in proportion to the temperature rise. To raise the humidity, it is recommended not only to spray the leaf plates of the plant, but also to install household air humidifiers and steam generators next to it, or just containers with water. If ventilation is not carried out at high humidity, then sooner or later this will lead to the development of fungal diseases on miltonia. When spraying, warm soft water is applied.

Watering. When an orchid begins to activate growth (spring and summer), then as the substrate dries in the pot, it is necessary to perform abundant moisture. Drying out of the soil is not permissible, as this will result in an immediate discharge of buds and flowers. But stagnation of water in a pot has a detrimental effect on miltonia. Constant waterlogging of the substrate will lead to the beginning of rotting of the root system of the flower. Watering your orchid can be done with a warm shower if you have soft water at the temperature of a tropical rain. Pi this indicators of water temperature should be in the range of 30-45 degrees. After such a "shower" procedure, it is recommended to remove all the water that has entered the leaf sinuses (at the very base of the stem) by blotting with soft napkins, otherwise the stagnation of such a liquid will lead to decay. You can also carry out "bottom watering": when the pot with the plant is placed in the basin for 15-20 minutes, so that the roots and substrate are saturated with liquid. Then it is taken out, the remaining liquid is allowed to drain and put in place. In winter and autumn, miltonia is at rest, therefore, soil moisture is significantly reduced, but they cannot be completely stopped. Water for irrigation is used only soft, if it is too hard, then soon the substrate will become sufficiently saline and the plant will begin to ache. It is recommended to use rain or river water. If this is not possible, then you can use tap water, but previously passed through a filter, boiled and settled for a couple of days. Also, some growers use distilled water.

Fertilizers for miltonia are also introduced during the period of activation of the growing season - in spring and summer. The frequency of feeding is once 14 days. Universal preparations are used for representatives of orchids, which are diluted in half the dose specified by the manufacturer in water for irrigation. Fertilizers can be used either to water the orchid or to spray the leaf plates with the specified solution. You can alternate root and foliar dressings.

Rest period. Immediately after new pseudobulbs mature in miltonia, a dormant period begins. In this case, young shoots should take the same size. At this time, it is recommended to reduce heat indicators to 15-16 degrees, and greatly reduce watering. When new flower stalks become visible, you can increase the temperature and moisture.

  • Transplant and substrate recommendations. For transplanting miltonia, a plastic pot is used, made of a transparent material that has holes on the surface - this will help access to the root system with a sufficient amount of light and air. The transplant is carried out when the orchid has just bloomed, and the length of its young shoots has become equal to 5 cm. The substrate can be purchased specialized, suitable for representatives of orchids. The optimal composition is that there are small pieces of charcoal, peat and small pieces of bark of coniferous trees.

  • Bloom

    How unusually aspidistra blooms, everyone who grew this plant will tell. If it was possible to achieve flowering, then the beauty will delight the hostess with a short, but such an extraordinary flower!

    The buds of the culture are formed on the roots and look unique: small, pinkish-purple inflorescences with a brown tint, somewhat reminiscent of a star. It blooms for only one day, after which it forms a fruit in which the grains are located.

    Important! In the wild, the flowering period lasts the entire season, at home - in spring or summer.

    Reasons for the lack of flowering

    Blooming of aspidistra at home is rare, since the growing and keeping conditions for this must be ideal. This is very difficult to achieve in the European zone.

    You can try feeding the plant with phosphorus and potassium, which help set buds. It is also good to loosen the soil so that the inflorescences can form and open up.

    How to water miltonia?

    • It is advisable to water the flower depending on the air temperature throughout the year.... during the period of active growth of the plant - in summer and spring, watering should be carried out every day, but in winter, during the period of calm growth - as the soil dries up, sometimes even reaching 1 time per week.
    • It is best to make a hole in the soil on top and plug it with a piece of moss, and before each watering, remove the moss, thereby checking the soil moisture level. If miltonia is contained in the "orchidarium", then watering can be replaced by spraying.
    • After watering, Miltonia must be fed with a special fertilizer, but this should be done no more than 1 time a week. During the budding period, fertilizing with mineral fertilizers should be stopped.
    • During the appearance of new shoots in the plant, with a lack of moisture, the covering scales can dry out and prevent the leaves and shoots from developing normally. To prevent such situations, the scales need to be sprayed with water, and if this does not help, then slightly tear them with your hands.
    • If the water in the plant pot stagnates, the root can start to rot, and this will lead to the death of the plant.

    Flowering miltonia

    In order for the eye to please the flower of extraordinary beauty, the plant must be fed. There are no difficulties in this - now there are quite a lot of mineral complexes on sale, the use of which will contribute to the flowering of miltonia. Feeding can be done from the spring-summer period once a month. It is believed that miltonia can bloom all year round. But, for this you need to create ideal conditions, almost greenhouse. This is very difficult to achieve, but there is a better option: if you want your orchid to bloom regularly, give it rest periods. To do this, in the cold season (from autumn), it will be necessary to significantly reduce watering (up to 1 time per month) and provide a reduced temperature of the content (15 - 16 ° C). When the orchid has a peduncle, you can resume watering and feeding. And if everything is done correctly, the owner of miltonia will have a wonderful 5 or 6 weeks, when he will be able to truly admire the beauty and tenderness of this orchid's bloom.

    Types of miltonia

    Miltonia snow-white (Miltonia Candida) - with peduncles (1-2 grows from each bulb), approximately 40 cm long, on which a loose erect raceme with 3-5 fragrant flowers up to 9 cm in diameter is formed. Yellow wavy sepals and petals with large red-brown specks and spots, and a white, highly wavy lip with a light purple or purple spot and three short brushes, the lip is almost rounded. Blooms in autumn.

    Have miltonia regnellii thin glossy leaves and upright erect peduncles with 3-7 fragrant flattened flowers with white sepals and petals, and the lip is light pink with pink-purple stripes and a white border.

    Have miltoniopsis phalaenopsis short peduncles with 3-5 flattened white flowers. The lateral lobes of the lip are small, white with light crimson stripes and spots. The middle lobe is white and deeply divided by a notch into two at the base - a purple spot of irregular shape, eroded to the periphery by small specks.

    On every peduncle miltoniopsis Retzla (Мiltoniopsis roezlii) 2-5 fragrant white flowers are formed with a lilac-lilac spot at the base of each petal and an orangey-yellow disc at the base of the lip.

    Miltoniopsis vexillaria characterized by large fragrant flowers, mostly pink with a white border or white with pink spots or stripes, a yellow spot at the base of the lip.

    Watch the video: Watch me convert a new orchid to water culture!


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