This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This beautiful genus comes from Brazil. A few species from Mexico are now placed as Cyrtochilum, and these latter are not remarkable for their beauty. Miltonias mostly bloom in the late summer or early autumn months, and will commence to make new growth in the fall and winter, if kept in a good heat say from sixty to seventy degrees; and I find all orchids coming from South Brazil grow through the winter months, and do well and bloom well if kept warm and near the glass. At this time nearly all my Cattleya, Laelia, Miltonia, Oncidium and Zy-gopetalons from Brazil are growing strongly, and this coincides with what I have seen in Brazil, for it is late summer there now. Miltonias have two distinct styles of bulbs, one small, from two to three inches long and flat. These belong to the M. spectabilis varieties, and have short flower stems with one or two large flowers. The other form of bulb is more cone-shaped, narrowing to the top, and from four to seven inches long. M. Candida belongs to this class and they have longer flower stems and more flowers.
All Miltonias have very small roots, which I • think are only annual, the plants deriving sustenance from roots emitted from the young growth.
I find the spectabilis varieties do admirably on roughcork, the rougher the better. The stronger growing varieties grow well in small pots, well drained, always keeping the plants well above the pots. Those on cork need syringing twice a day when in active growth. They should never be allowed to get too dry, as the bulbs are small.