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This genus of orchid has for a long time been reunited with the genus Miltonia, from which however it is very different; the pansy orchid species originate from the Andean forests of south-central America, between Perch and Colombia; the Miltonia instead provide from the rainforests of Brazil. Even at first sight, even an inexperienced grower distinguishes the two species, in fact the flowers are very different, in particular the flowers of Miltoniopsis resemble pansies, showing very wide petals and a noticeable stain in the central area of the labellum. Pansy orchids are not very easy plants to cultivate, although in reality we can easily find the many hybrids of this genus, much more suitable for cultivation in apartments than species.
Origin and appearance
As we said before, the pansy orchid species come from the Andean forests, so they are adapted to a cool and fairly constant climate throughout the year. They prefer positions that are not too bright, and need minimum and maximum temperatures not too far from 15-20 ° C; therefore in summer it is important to place them in a cool and well-ventilated place, where the summer heat does not make them suffocate; in winter they are cultivated in temperate greenhouses, because the climate of the apartment is excessively hot and dry. In the nursery we rarely find the typical species, more probably we find hybrids, which bear without difficulty the temperatures present in the apartment, in any case it is advisable to keep the plants away from direct heat sources and in summer place them outdoors, in a place in which they can enjoy good ventilation and not too hot. These plants have fairly large, roundish and turgid pseudobulbs; the flowers are very large and showy, they bloom in variable numbers, from 5 to 12, on a long stem, which develops between the long thin leaves. The miltoniopsis they bloom in spring, but if the growing conditions are optimal we can easily get a second autumn bloom.
In addition to the fairly cool climate, these orchids need good environmental humidity; the thin roots also don't like drought, the same goes for pseudobulbs. So let's remember that throughout the year the substratum should remain slightly damp; in winter we can let it dry, but we avoid leaving it completely dry. So we water regularly, even every day in very hot and dry periods; throughout the year, let's remember to vaporize the leaves, using demineralized water and avoiding wetting the flowers, which could be ruined. From March to September we add to the water of the watering fertilizer for orchids, every 10-12 days; during the remaining months we continue to supply the fertilizer but in half the dose.
Every year we repot the plants, changing all the substrate contained in the pot; a mixture is used for orchids, but since the roots are very thin and delicate, the substrate tends to be further crushed.
Pansi Orchid - Miltoniopsis: Some tricks
These plants certainly need some experience to be cultivated, even if, especially as regards hybrids, they can find an ideal habitat at home, provided they are checked periodically. In fact it is easy to see if the plant is vegetating at its best simply by observing the changes; in fact if we place one miltoniopsis in an excessively bright place its leaves will tend to become reddish; if instead we grow it too dark, the foliage will turn into very dark green. If the water and the fertilizer are scarce the foliage will tend to develop showing visible folds.