Q. I purchased a Militona about a year ago and it was lovely. I kept it for the greenery but it hasn't rebloomed and I understand they are tricky to get them to rebloom.
A. Yes, Miltonia are a bit trickier to rebloom, but if you’d like to try, you can use our 7 steps to reblooming your Phalaenopsis. Specifically, the drop in temperature may trigger new flower spike growth.
Q. I have one of your beautiful Miltonia orchid plants from a birthday gift. It has three stems, all blooming (new blooms). When is best to feed? I also have another orchid that had 38 flowers recently, now about 20 flowers. What do I do with the browning stems?
A. We like to feed our orchids after they’re done blooming. They have plenty of nutrients to keep going and going for a long time! You’ll find that flowers start falling, and in two to three months your Miltonia will be done blooming. We recommend removing any brown or dead foliage as you see it. For the healthiest plant, it’s best not to leave it on. You can just hand-pick – or deadhead - these off.
After your Miltonia is finished blooming, you can keep it for its foliage or start fresh with a new plant. Some people in some regions have luck re-blooming, but they are more finicky than Phalaenopsis. If you do want to try, we recommend putting them in an area with slightly cooler nighttime temps to spark blooming. A 15-degree difference should do. They will tolerate varying temps from 60°F nights up to 85°F days. They usually flower in spring, but need a few months of cooler nights to do so. You can also start fertilizing every month with an orchid fertilizer once finished blooming. Find out more at www.matsuinursery.com/reblooming
Q. I was given one of your beautiful yellow Miltonia orchids as I was recovering from surgery and cared for it as instructed but all has now turned brown and I don’t know what to do with it as I am not an experienced orchid grower. Can you give me some advice. Is it going to come back or should I discard it. It was so beautiful I would love to know it will revive.
A. It sounds like your Miltonia may not be doing too well. We consider these orchids a long-lasting “orchid bouquet” and once the foliage starts turning brown in most parts, or falling off, it’s likely time for a new plant. Sometimes this happens after a few months. However, if you’re just seeing the blooms fall off and turn brown, then you can deadhead those and then keep the plant for its foliage. Some climates and growing conditions allow for this plant to be evergreen and long-lasting, and it is a bit more finicky than a Phalaenopsis when it comes to keeping alive for more than a few months or re-blooming. Fortunately, our orchids fall in the $20 range — comparable to a bouquet that lasts just a week —and hopefully you saw blooms for several weeks. We like blooms to last at least four weeks to two months for you, but there are a number of variables, from the way it was handled before you received it to the humidity in your home to the light from your window, that can shorten or lengthen that timespan. Thanks and don’t give up! We recommend trying a Matsui Phalaenopsis for the longest lasting blooms and easiest reblooming.
Q. If one has cut the spent Miltonia stalk of blooms, will the orchid plant regrow a new stalk, or will it remain only foliage? My mother gave me the exquisite plant last year. Thank you.
A. Unlike Phalaenopsis, but much like Exotics, Miltonias have to grow a new pup, or shoot, for it to produce a new stem. The old one will be foliage from that point on.
Q. We have a Miltonia orchid that has now finished blooming. We enjoyed this lovely orchid and would like to try to get it to bloom once again. I am new to this type of orchid. It is my understanding from reading about this orchid (via the www) that the existing orchid will not re-bloom and new bloom will only occur with new growth. Is this true? If so, do I divide the orchid now or wait until spring? What environmental signals does this orchid need, if any, to bloom (period of dark, lower night temperature)?
A. Some people in some regions have had luck reblooming, but Miltonia can be more difficult to coax into re-blooming and keeping healthy over the long-term than a Phalaneopsis. They certainly thrive in our Salinas, CA, greenhouses, but it’s difficult to replicate those growing conditions. If you do want to try, we recommend putting them in an area with slightly cooler nighttime temps to spark blooming. A 15-degree difference should do the trick, but it’s not always a sure thing. They like 60% humidity and will tolerate varying temps from 60°F nights up to 85°F days. They usually flower in spring, so now is a good time to start. They need at least a few months of cooler nights to do so. Typically a north-facing window will give you the right amount of light. Yes, new blooms will come on new growth, so you can cut the old stems that had blooms off. However, you don’t need to repot or split the pseudobulbs for about two years. You should also start fertilizing about every month with an orchid fertilizer once finished blooming. If you don’t have luck re-blooming, you can always keep it for its foliage or start fresh with a new plant.
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As orchid experts, we love sharing our knowledge and ideas so we can make orchids easy — and fun — for everyone. While it doesn't take much effort to grow our orchids, the more you know about growing them, the easier they are!