Miltoniopsis Care & Culture
I have had the most success with a bit of direct sun in the early hours of the morning. An East-facing window is idea because your plant can get bright light without being too hot. LED grow lights would be very effective too because they put out a lot of light without much heat.
Miltoniopsis are cool-growing plants. They do not like being hot and for best culture you need temps between 16-22C and provide bright light without also increasing the temperature. Many growers struggle with Miltoniopsis simply because they live in hot or seasonally-hot climates. If you live in California or Florida, you may find this orchid challenging…it’s not your growing method, but your temperatures that are causing the issue.
Substrate / Potting Media:
Because I live in a dry climate I either plant Miltoniopsis in small-sized bark (with a top-dressing of sphagnum moss to keep the base of the pseudobulbs continuously moist); or I use pure sphagnum moss. There aren’t many other orchids I would plant in 100% sphagnum moss (oncidium twinkle is about it)…but for some reason (perhaps it’s the abundant moisture), pure sphagnum was magic for my miltoniopsis. I even got rid of the accordioned leaves when using pure sphagnum.
With sphagnum moss though, you need to repot every 8-12 months because it breaks down faster than bark; and because you want to keep it evenly moist, that wetness accelerates decomposition. If you don’t repot soon enough, the sphagnum begins to decompose and compact around the roots. Then the roots choke and start to rot.
If you’re not one to repot exactly when you’re supposed to, you may have better success or longevity of your potting mix by adding 50% perlite to the sphagnum moss. This will give it structure and prevent it from compacting as quickly as it decomposes.
Miltoniopsis come from cool & wet regions; they need ample water and do not like drying out between waterings. Your goal with watering is to drench/flush the sphagnum about once a week and have it start to approach dryness, but not go bone dry. The moss should feel soft and fluffy…if it is getting crunchy…you should have watered the day before.
Want to know more about Miltoniopsis Care/Culture?
Check out: Orchid Culture Sheets for Miltoniopsis Orchids