I recently purchased a Miltoniopsis Bert Field Am/AOS orchid and a Miltoniopsis Lennart Karl Gottling” Red Rim” orchid. They are both jammed very tightly into their pots, so I pulled one out of the pot to check what medium they were planted in. I watered them one day and the following day, a leaf had completely yellowed . I’m assuming it was too wet. Both of these orchids are planted completely in sphagnum moss and they are saturated wet. Should I remove as much of the sphagnum moss as possible and plant them into larger pots with a good fir bark mixture? All my other orchids are doing great in just fir bark. And could you please tell me what family these 2 orchids are in? Thanks so much.
This information is further to our response to your very similar question of a couple of days ago.
You are right in that the moss can become saturated and lead to rotting of the orchid roots. Miltoniopsis orchids like to be kept evenly moist in order to maintain healthy roots, so the mix used must drain well but at the same time should not dry out too quickly. A mixture of fir bark, charcoal and perlite should meet these requirements. Pot size is very important. When repotting, choose a pot that comfortably accommodates the roots – it should not be too large, but also you should not have to “stuff” the roots into the pot for these to fit. Miltoniopsis roots like to be a bit crowded.
Miltoniopsis, or “pansy orchids” belong to the Orchidaceae family, Subfamily: Epidendroideae, Tribe: Maxillarieae [synonym Cymbidieae], Subtribe: Oncidiinae.
The American Orchid Society has a number of helpful links about care of Miltoniopsis:
- Miltoniopsis Culture: Colombian-Type Miltonia (Miltoniopsis) Culture. This article is particularly helpful, as it discusses the needs of the orchid’s root system – in terms of potting mix and watering requirements. Although the author suggests a mix of fine fir bark, redwood fibre and charcoal, he notes that perlite can be used.
- Miltoniopsis. This provides information about the tribe/subtribe.
- Miltoniopsis Culture Sheet includes good general information on how to grow Miltoniopsis.
For additional information, see also
- The Canadian Orchid Congress’ MILTONIOPSIS: The Pansy Orchid
- Orchids garden centre & nursery Miltoniopsis Culture. This site has particularly good information about pot size.
Finally, you may be interested in joining the Southern Ontario Orchid Society.This very active group publishes monthly newsletters that all orchid growers should read.