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Miltonia looking yellowed.

This is a discussion on Miltonia looking yellowed. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a miltonia I've only had two months. I repotted it in a bark ...

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  1. #1
    nagal1 is offline Member
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    Default Miltonia looking yellowed.

    I have a miltonia I've only had two months. I repotted it in a bark mix after I got it home as there were insects in the old medium which I didn't notice until I got it home. Nothing I thought would be bothering the plant but I wasn't certain. Now the plant is beginning to look sickly. It was uniformly green and healthy looking but it now looks a bit yellowed on the outer leaves. I took it out of the pot and the little short roots seem to me to be less robust to say the least. I put rooting hormone on it and put it back in the pot. I'm not sure if I am overwatering or underwatering it. I was watering three times a week as it is so dry indoors at the minute and the bark was drying out fast. Any advice? What should the roots look like on a miltonia? I know they are shorter. The roots on mine are brownish from the bark even though it is new bark. Can you sphag and bag a mitonia?(Just checking in case it comes to that).

  2. #2
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    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not expert but I believe miltonia are moisture lovers and they need to be in a smaller medium compared to other oncdium genera. I actually bought mine growing in a peat/coir based medium. Were the dead roots mushy or dry? Mushy roots are a sign of overwatering generally. 3 times a week is more than I would water so I suspect overwatering is the issue. I think sphag will work fine with a miltonia. High humidity is required for these orchids because of their thinner leaves. I think leaves are supposed to fall off eventually on these, but I'm not sure.

  3. #3
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    I have one Miltonia , the roots are thin and white , it is in small size bark , sometimes an old leaf will die off , but not a lot of them . Might be over watering is the problem ,the bark will hold water in the center of the pot . Be careful about water sitting in the leaf junctions . hope this helps a little I am not a Miltonia expert Gin

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    nagal1 is offline Member
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    Default roots!

    The roots didn't seem dry but they weren't mushy either. They were dark colored however and didn't look healthy. We have had a huge snowstorm here (I'm in N.Ohio)and I have no chance of getting anywhere to get a different potting medium from what I already have here at home. I have regular size bark mix which the plant is currently in or I do have sphagnum moss. Should I stick with what I have or should I put it in the sphagnum? Was it okay to put the rooting hormone onto the roots?

  6. #6
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    Rooting hormone will promote more root growth. While that doesn't sound bad, I usually let the plant figure out where it wants to put its energy. Unless it has no roots. But if you've already done it, don't sweat it. It may stall leaf growth or spike development is all.

    I prefer sphag for my Onc intergenerics, because I can manage their watering more precisely. When it just dries out, I water them. Bark is harder to read and you can over or under water more easily. If you have a Miltonia rather than a Miltoniopsis, it shouldn't need cooler temps, but higher humidity in these dry winter months certainly wouldn't hurt!

    McJulie

  7. #7
    catfan is offline Senior Member
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    Don't panic nagal1...there's not always a right and wrong medium...just right or wrong for your growing conditions. Even if it is the wrong medium, you'll still have time to sort it out.
    Just to clarify, what most folks call Miltonias are actually Miltoniopsis...the large pansy type flowers with waterfall patterns on the lip, light green foliage, no true pseudobulbs, and their parent species come from the mountains of Columbia, Venezuela, and Peru...so they are naturally cool growing plants.
    IOSPE PHOTOS
    True Miltonias are generally native to Brazil and grow at lower elevations...so are warm growers. They are closer in growth habit to oncidiums, and can easily form a large plant as the speudobulbs creep out and clam new territory.
    IOSPE PHOTOS
    That said, I personally would try putting your plant in a mixture of quality sphagnum moss with some spongerock mixed in (to keep the sphag from compacting over time,) in a small clay pot. The moss should dry out briefly between waterings, but not remain 'crusty' for more than a day or so...
    One of the dangers with these types of orchids is root rot, because the roots are very fine and need air (dry time)...and overpotting in too large a pot will not allow the medium to dry out in a reasnable amount of time. I prefer clay to plastic pots because of the wicking action of the clay, pulling moisture out of the sphagnum as evaporation occurs.
    Humidity in the growing area is a must, as too low humidity will cause accordian pleating of the leaves. I don't try to grow miltoniopsis here in the south, as it is just too hot and humid in the summers...These are not the easiest orchids to grow in the home...Good luck...

    c.

  8. #8
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    Miltonia are not easy to grow in the home? I'm glad I read that; I saw one at the orchid show this past weekend and I was seconds away from buying it!! My second favorite flower behind orchids are pansies, so an orchid that looks like a pansy is like heaven!!

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