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Pansy Orchid Miltoniopsis roezlii

Previously known as:

  • Miltonia roezlii
  • Miltonia roezlii var. alba
  • Miltoniopsis roezlii var. alba
  • Odontoglossum roezlii
Phonetic Spelling
mil-toh-nee-OP-sis ROZE-lee-eye

The pansy orchid is a tropical, epiphytic herbaceous perennial in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). It is native to high-elevation cloud forests in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. The genus name uses the Greek suffix -opsis to liken this orchid to the genus Miltonia (in which it was once classified). The species epithet commemorates Benedikt Roezl (1824– 1885), a Czech explorer and botanist who first brought this orchid to the attention of European botanists.

The pansy orchid, because it comes from cool, wet forests, is not the easiest orchid to grow in the home. It requires very high humidity, it must never dry out, and it prefers day temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F and night temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees F. These orchids do not require high light levels; about 1,200 foot-candles or the morning light from an east-facing window is ideal. Pansy orchids have sensitive roots. The specialist, bark-based, orchid mix in which these orchids are grown deteriorates quickly under these conditions, and the plant must be repotted at the first sign of deterioration of the potting medium. They are also sensitive to salt build-up in the mix and to minerals in water. These plants do best when supplied with rainwater, distilled water or deionized water. A specialist orchid fertilizer should be used sparingly, and the root zone should be flushed with pure water periodically to remove fertilizer salts.

The flowers are white with yellow centers, two large purple spots sometimes present. The large lip and spots on the flower give this orchid a resemblance to pansies, hence the common name.

This orchid can be grown as a houseplant or greenhouse subject. Unlike warm-growing orchids, the pansy orchid should not be placed outside for the summer if temperatures rise above 80 degrees F. 

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems: These orchids have few problems. They are generally not affected by pests, but watch for mealybugs. Excessive warmth suppresses flowering. Brown leaf tips result from excessive mineral salts in the water or potting mix.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
#epiphytic#high maintenance#tropical perennial#orchid#heat intolerant#drought intolerant#high humidity#cool summers
Cultivars / Varieties:
#epiphytic#high maintenance#tropical perennial#orchid#heat intolerant#drought intolerant#high humidity#cool summers
  • Attributes:
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
  • Leaves:
    Hairs Present:
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Hanging Baskets
    Design Feature: