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Ever wonder why big box stores never tag orchids with "real" names and just by genus?

This is a discussion on Ever wonder why big box stores never tag orchids with "real" names and just by genus? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Succumbed to temptation today, at a big box store, and bought what seems to be ...

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  1. #1
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    Question Ever wonder why big box stores never tag orchids with "real" names and just by genus?

    Succumbed to temptation today, at a big box store, and bought what seems to be a Dtps. Kuo Golden King? or something of the sort.

    It's almost like whoever supplies their orchid plants don't want you to know the given name and just refer to it as the "orchids" or someone MIGHT know the difference between phalaenopsis and dendrobium!!

    I just find it a bit annoying that's all, especially being fairly new to orchids and wanting to keep track of what I have from what I want!

    Just curious as to fellow members' experiences......

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Roy's Avatar
    Roy
    Roy is offline Senior Member
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    All the plants, particularly Phalaenopsis are grown in bulk strictly for the potplant trade to be purchased by NON orchid growers. They are probably cheaper to buy in flower than a bunch of garden type flowers. Their flowers last many weeks to months whereas a bunch of flowers may last a week to 10 days. They are a DISPOSABLE item, not a growers item. The plant finishes flowering and is to be thrown out like a bunch of flowers and replaced.
    Last edited by Roy; May 25th, 2009 at 11:55 PM.

  3. #3
    chandraluna is offline Member
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    That is SO true! I was horrified when a friend brought me one as a gift, the tag from the nursery answered questions and one of them was what to do with it once flowers are gone.......nursery answer was to throw out and buy another!

    I guess I might be caring a bit too much for my plants but I was shocked....I guess it's great for their business though!

  4. #4
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    playtime8978 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandraluna View Post
    ....I guess it's great for their business though!
    I think you have hit the nail on the head there, the more that people throw these poor souls away the more they will buy its a circle people who dont understand how to grow orchids get into. I think is a lot of the reason they are grown in moss that they keep moist for long journeys AND dont last well in it so the sellers win on both accounts. Very sad but I have not had much luck with big box store orchids so far only one of the 3 I have bought is alive still. I get very tempted when I see them then have to remember my sadness when the other two died. But they are what started me off on this addiciton so its not all bad.

  5. #5
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    When I was growing and selling orchids commercially, I HATED that boxstores were selling orchids so cheaply. People would buy them and think that all orchids were like those. Now that we just grow for the hobby, I can look at this issue from the other side of the coin.

    I think the 'mass' market approach to orchids is okay because it lowers the overall price of orchids and gets people who may never have thought about growing an orchid the chance to try. Unfortunately, box store employees may not know how to care for the orchids that are delivered to their stores or may not be giving the freedom to care for them correctly. These mass market orchids are grow in large greenhouses and watered by machine on a schedule. They also have heat and cooling and air movement monitored. When they are packed onto a truck and travel to your local big box store, they arrive stressed, but because the blooms are generally long lasting, they usually hang on just long enough to get purchased regardless of the employees taking care of them or not.

    Most of the big box plants that I have purchased (usually in a bag and not in sphag) have been fine. I try to get ones with healthy roots that are not too wet, and that have not been on the shelf for more than a couple days. Almost every time I have purchased one that is discounted or sickly, it has struggled and if it made it, it never really was vigorous.

    I just threw out a phal that I got last year from my orchid society. A big box donated a bunch of phals (wedding promenade) and I purchased one from the society table for 3 bucks. It rebloomed, but always struggled. It finally lost its leaves and yesterday, while repotting a bunch of orchids, I just tossed it out. It still had a few roots, but after a year, I expected it to be further along. (this is the orchid I mentioned before in another thread that had a spike from another phal tied to its roots with wire ) I always hate to loose a plant, but I should have known not to get one that had been grown in sphag and discounted from a boxstore. lol What was I thinkining! hehe..

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    eaglssong is offline Senior Member
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    My first orchid came from one of those places. That's the one where the spike was broken off and just shoved back into the medium to look like it was growing (sounds like yours Bruce). And it's the same one that had the mealy bug problem. So far, none of my others are showing signs of mealies thankfully, and the phal seems to be doing okay now, although it's down to two blooms and no sign of further growth right now. Roots look good though, so I'm hopeful.

    Just makes you wonder what we were thinking about, doesn't it? But they look soooooooooo very pretty sitting there, it's hard to resist.


  7. #7
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    I agree with you Bruce if it wasnt for that first discounted phal at the store I would never have got into orchids and look at me now over 50 and desperate to fit them all into limited space my hubby has got involved putting e up metal halide light and clearing the little spare room for me to put orchids in it is a bug that has us hooked he even cared for them for me for 3 days whilst I stayed at my parents while my mom had surgery and he did a grand job I came home to healthy happy orchids. SO without the stores selling off phals cheaply I wouldnt have got into orchid growing and look at all I would have missed out on not only the joys of growing these beauties but the wonderful friendships I have made on this site.

  8. #8
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    I have quite a few from the box store mostly phals, but also several onc, dend, enc, even couple vandas. Everything but the phals were purchased in a bag. They are all doing good so far even the two that I bought "baked". First thing I did when I took them home was to repot. I don't know if I am going to get any blooms but will see. I didn't care about the names back then but I am not looking for a tag until I get home and I always have tags missing (I should've learn my lessen by now...LOL)

  9. #9
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    Of our box stores one is decent with its orchids and the other is a death zone. I have bought two of those bag orchids from the decent one and they were spectacular plants. Huge Catts with amazing root systems. I rescued a vanda from the other store…their bag orchids were so dry they were desiccated. There potted orchids drown in containers with no drain holes. Other than that I don’t buy from there because I rarely visit those stores.

    Shann~

  10. #10
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    For me it's a love hate relationship..

    Sometimes you can go in there when they get a fresh shipment of bag babies and find really nice mericloned Catts for a good price. Also, for me it's a big surprise just to see what they get in sometimes.

    On the other hand, their huge Phalaenopsis displays quickly decline under poor culture. Most of them lead succumb to untimely deaths in dark display areas or in the blazing sun.

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