Miltonia spectabilis

Miltonia spectabilis

Miltonia spectabilis is the type species of the genus Miltonia.

It has the biggest flower but also the smallest plant of all Miltonia.

It is a strong grower that can tolerate variations in culture conditions and is thus relatively easy to grow.

It is widely used to produce hybrids for cut flowers.

Miltonia spectabilis belongs to the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Maxillarieae, sub-tribe Oncidiinae, alliance Oncidium, genus Miltonia.

Description:

It is an epiphytic orchid.

The plants have ovoid pseudo-bulbs, some distance apart from each other on the rhizome. Each pseudo-bulb produces two linear leaves, 25-35 cm long.

Each inflorescence measures 10-25 cm long and produces 1 or 2 flowers of 7-8 cm in diameter. The sepals and petals are white or cream, tinged with pink, while the purple lip is very broad, with six to eight dark lines in a fan shape.

The flowering takes place between spring and autumn and it is not unusual for the plant to bloom twice a year.

Origin:

Brazil and Venezuela

Habitat:

This epiphyte lives both in the mountains where the climate is cool and in the warm plains, but most often are found scattered along the coastline at an altitude of 800 m.

Etymology:

The name Miltonia was given in honor of Earl Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton, the patron of horticulture in the United Kingdom in the 19th century.

Spectabilis comes from Latin and means remarkable, showy.

Synonyms:

Macrochilus fryanus, Miltonia bicolor, Miltonia spectabilis var. aspersa, Miltonia spectabilis var. bicolor, Miltonia spectabilis var. lineata, Miltonia spectabilis var. porphyroglossa, Miltonia spectabilis var. radians, Miltonia spectabilis var. rosea, Miltonia spectabilis var. virginalis, Oncidium spectabile

Care:

Temperature:

Diurnal: 21-30 °C
Nocturnal: 12-18 °C

If exposed to more than 24 °C for longer periods, humidity must be higher and it needs proper ventilation.

Light:

Prefers bright light but no direct sunlight.

Water:

One or two times a week during the growing season. Reduce watering dramatically when new pseudo-bulbs are formed.

Prefers rainwater or non-alkaline water at room temperature. Do not use water from a water softener, because it contains too much salts.

Humidity:

70-80%. At higher temperatures, the humidity must be higher. You may put the orchid over a bowl of water.

Substrate:

This orchid can be grown in pots or mounted on cork or bark. Use a classic pot substrate of pine bark and polystyrene and make sure you provide good drainage.

Fertilizer:

A weekly fertilization in spring and summer with a 6-6-6 NPK fertilizer garden is sufficient.

Repotting:

Every 3-4 years, when the plant is grown too big for its pot or support. You can also divide the plant. Make sure that each new plant has at least 3 pseudo-bulbs

Propagation:

Seed:

Only to obtain hybrids. This is a difficult and time consuming technique and the offspring are not guaranteed to have the same characteristics as the parent plant.

Division:

When repotting the plant in spring you can divide the plant. Make sure to have at least 3 pseudo-bulbs per plant.

Image sources

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