The Miltonia Sunset is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 1961 by W.W.G.Moir and is a cross between the species Miltonia regnellii and the hybrid Miltonia Goodale Moir. The flowers have a pale to bright yellow color, while the lip is purple and presents a dark purple waterfall pattern. The two colors make for a splendid contrast and this particular cross is very desirable in the orchid hobby for its star shaped flowers and beautiful colors.
The flowers are about 7-8 cm in diameter and are displayed on a thin flower spike. Each spike can produce up to 4 or 5 blooms, while the total length of the spike is about 30 cm. The spike forms when the pseudobulb is mature, or almost mature and usually emerges from between the pseudobulb and the first leaf.
The flowers are not fragrant, but the orchid can bloom multiple times in one year. Usually, with every maturing pseudobulb a flower spike can be produced. In some cases the orchid can produce 2 flower spikes emerging from each side of the pseudobulb.
The flowers usually last between 4 to 6 weeks, depending on environment and usually the orchid blooms in the spring and autumn, but summer blooms are not uncommon. After the blooms fall, usually the orchid starts to produce new pseudobulbs. The spikes can be cut near the base after the blooms drop, as they will not rebloom, or produce plantlets.
The pseudobulbs are about 5-7 cm in height and about 3-4 cm in width, with an oval shape. The normal color for this orchid is light green. The leaves are long and slender, measuring about 30 cm in length and about 3-4 cm in width. The leaves are prone to obtain accordion shape growth if the orchid is kept too dry and in too low humidity.
The roots are thin and healthy roots are white, but as they age, they can turn green when wet. When in active growth they have bright green tips. New growths usually appear from between the last exterior leaves and take between 8 to 10 months to fully mature.
Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.
Soft spots: spider mites, pleated leaves if kept too dry, pleated flower spikes if the leaves don’t develop normally.
Overall the Miltonia Sunset is a medium difficulty orchid. With basic orchid knowledge and basic Miltonia care, it can be grown successfully in a home and is generally much more forgiving than its relatives, the Miltoniopsis orchids.
Miltonia Sunset Basic care:
Light: Intermediate to bright
Temperature: Intermediate to warm
Humidity: Tolerant to low humidity, over 50% ideal
Water: Water as the media approaches dryness
Growth cycle: not deciduous, does not require a winter rest, does not regularly shed leaves, can bloom all year round