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Why do big-box stores sell phals in non-draining pots?

This is a discussion on Why do big-box stores sell phals in non-draining pots? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I almost bought a pretty little phalaenopsis today, white with tons of dark purple spotting ...

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  1. #1
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    Default Why do big-box stores sell phals in non-draining pots?

    I almost bought a pretty little phalaenopsis today, white with tons of dark purple spotting all over the blooms, but didn't, partly because I have a hard time keeping them alive, and partly because it came in a ceramic pot without any drainage holes at all and I didn't feel like repotting something this week. It wasn't inside a pot that drained, with that set inside the ceramic pot, but planted in sphagnum moss directly into the non-draining one. What's up with that? I know phals like to be kept moist, but surely that can't be good for them. Are the companies assuming the plant will be bought just for its flower and trashed afterward? That's totally sad, if that's the thinking there.

  2. #2
    orchidlady's Avatar
    orchidlady is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Unfortunately the goal is to produce something as cheaply as possible and make it decorative so that it will hopefully sell quickly. Keeping the plants alive is really not a consideration .

    Susan

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    This is unfortunately true. This holiday season we were give three phals that were in non draining pots. We repotted them and passed them on to new homes. The containers they were in were really pretty. One was in a silver plastic container (very modern looking) and the other two were in ceramic. None of the containers had holes in them, but the orchids were actually in plastic pots that did drain, but the pots were buried down in the containers that do not drain or allow air movement.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds so familiar...and as e1 knows, it's one of my favorite rants since I love Phals! lol I go in and huff and puff at the salesgirls who think they've got a "mental" girl on their hands. Even more offensive to them, the idea i'd want a price reduction on a sick one. What for, they just go back to the company anyways. That's where I turn colors and walk out calling them rude names under my breath. lol Then e1 in the parking lot thinks i'm mental too. Ah well...

  5. #5
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    I had hopes that there were just tricks to get phals to flourish without drainage, but, apparently not. This is going to make me want to start rescuing every phal I see there. Except that I have such a hard time keeping them between drying out and rotting that it wouldn't really be rescuing on my part anyway. Half tempted to write the store's home office but I doubt that would do as much good as the time it took to rattle off the email. Bleah!

  6. #6
    phytochrome's Avatar
    phytochrome is offline Senior Member
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    As a buyer for a large store in my area i have been working on just that. Ihave called every purveyor in 3 states for orchid pots that I can use in the store.Something that won't topple over when the customer accidentally brushes up against it. Something that will allow the orchid to get the air they need,,etc, I found one in Washington but they only had 24 pots. I have a person in Hawaii looking for me right now. I can't pay a fortune because it brings up the overall cost of the product, but I want a nice quality too. I am trying!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Good for you phytochrome. I wish the big box buyers in my area were that caring. My husband laughs at me because I feel like that when I see a beautiful orchid in a store like that that I have to "rescue it" before they kill it. And what about some of the directions on those pots that say to water it with ice cubes. Thats about really stupid. I realize that is to keep people from watering it too much but it sounds cruel to me. Why not just tell them to water the plant and then turn it upside down while holding the plant and the moss and let it drain back out? That is what I do until I have a chance to repot.

  8. #8
    phytochrome's Avatar
    phytochrome is offline Senior Member
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    I feel that the plant should be healthier after I have cared for it than when I received it. I want my customers to have the best they can have and I like to help them with any problems they encounter.A happy grower is a repeat customer.

  9. #9
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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Unfortunately the stores and growers do think that the phals they sell are going to be disposed of after bloom and the have good reason the think that way. most people do pitch them and buy new ones. I am the floral manager for an up-scale grocery chain( no not W FS) We take very good care of all our plants company wide and have a small private grower grow our orchids for us. Any that are not sold are returned to him for credit. His policy not ours. Our company will not sell anything unless it is in pristine condition. If it is not it is disposed of. Too many times customers by plants that are near death and tell there friends that they bought the half dead phal at this store or that. Before long the story has been spread that so and so bought this plant at such and such a store and it was in horrible condition. nothing is mentioned about it being discounted. Unfortunately many customers want instant gratification and as soon as they tire of a plant they pitch it and buy another. I have several customers that buy 5 or 6 phals every few months to decorate their homes. The old ones are pitched in the trash. Can't believe that people will throw away $200 plus dollars in plants and buy more just because they tire of the old ones.

  10. #10
    phytochrome's Avatar
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    my job is so much like yours, I do the same thing ,just in one store for now, but want to upgrade to corporate. We aren't a big chain...maybe 20 stores in three states, There are alot of silly thingsgoing on but the customer has to be number 1 period. I have to be able to answer all their questions and get them incredible propuct. I work on doing just that! Help is always appreciated.

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