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internet orchid syndrome

This is a discussion on internet orchid syndrome within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ugh! ever get excited to find that orchid you've always wanted, finally order it, then ...

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  1. #1
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    Default internet orchid syndrome

    ugh! ever get excited to find that orchid you've always wanted, finally order it, then have it show up at death's door??? i'm probably one of the pioneers of internet shopping. and even though i live in los angeles, i find it hard to locate the orchids i want (or maybe i've just gotten the local ones already? and gotten bored with them?) and i know we can't name vendors and sites here, but i just gotta unleash a howl of outrage at some of the things people have mailed me. in the last 2 years, i have ordered phal mannii 4 times, only to recieve something that just doesn't look well. the 4th was chucked out last night after i found it rotting from the stem out. the poor thing showed up with no roots at all. i've only had it 3 weeks, and when it arrived it looked questionable, kind of pale yellowy at the edges and a very dark green center of the leaves. and limp. twice before i ordered something 'with a four inch leafspan' and got something with a 2 inch leaf span fresh out of flask. both died within a week. i think people are just culling the worst from their shipments and selling them to people over the internet to get rid of them or something. there is one seller i've ordered from, as he gets the coolest things, always a real amazing selection of things listed that are otherwise very hard to find at realistic prices. lots of small epis, cool oncidiums. but everything from him lately has been near death. dried up like raisins. several things have died within a month. and there seems to be a lot of people using the same grower, who is growing in 'plug trays' where the plant is crammed into a piece of foam or sponge not much larger than a wine cork. and spiking when they arrive to the sellers, who would pot them up and upcharge them to the public. but on the internet they are selling these after finished blooming, still in plugs (they call it bareroot) or freshly potted in cheap large bark in 4" pots for premium prices. and look like raisins. i bought a shelob tolein like that, and immediately after opening the box i drove 2 hours to a decent shop and paid 5 dollars more for a larger plant with 2 spikes. that has since bloomed again already for me.

    and i have to say, before these last 2 years or so of half dead orchids, i was having some real good luck shopping for orchids on the web. even from some of these same sellers, i used to get much better plants.

    i seem to have missed all the orchid society shows. i should start going to them though. maybe i can find some local shops with interesting things that way??? i'm tired of getting my best orchids with noid at hardware stores. grrrrrrrrr.

  2. #2
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I feel your pain. I got a Cattleya orchid in the mail about a month ago...when it arrived it looked like a full, healthy plant that had previous bloomed several times over. I unpotted it only to find it broken apart into about 3 sections, the biggest part having only 3 pseudobulbs and a few healthy roots to speak of. The other parts had no roots and weren't worth the effort to save (nor do I have the space for 3 of the exact same plant). The part I did save is throwing out roots and a new growth, but this so called "blooming sized" Cattleya will obviously not bloom again for quite some time. Very frustrating.

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    I once got a phal that was actually two phals tied together with some wire at the root level. We were doing a repotting demonstration at my orchid society and one of the member purchased a bulk shipment of phals to give to the members to learn about repotting. I got a phal that had the remains of a yellow bloom on the spike. As I unpotted it, I found that the spike was actually attached to a phal that had no leaves and hardly any roots (mostly a rotty mess) and it was tied to the phal that had two smallish leaves and just a few roots. I threw away the one with the spike as it would never have survived. The one with the two small leaves died too. Sad they way it was packaged and sold.

    cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
    Miller's Avatar
    Miller is offline Senior Member
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    I've only ordered twice online, the first time (my fault) I had no idea the plant would be so small. The second time was my mounted Schombo Ticbinis (sp?) and it arrived beautifully and healthy mounted. I am going to try this guy one more time just to make sure it was not a fluke. He has several more Shombos I want that are already in my shopping cart, I just need to pull the trigger! Wish me luck.

  5. #5
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    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I have ordered quite a few things online. So far all have been good experiences. I did get one plant in an order that I was disappointed with at first. Turned out to be quite a good little grower. It just looked a little shabby when it got to me because the grower had tidied it up by removing older leaves. Things are frequently smaller than I expect, but I will just go ahead and say that I suffer from having unrealistic expectations of almost everything!
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  6. #6
    Daethen is offline Senior Member
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    I have ordered a LOT of plants on line and usually have good luck. Once in a while I get a sharp stick in the eye, but most of the time I am happy. Sorry you are having a string of bad luck.

  7. #7
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    Default

    i have not had ALL bad luck, i must say. but wow, are there some bad orchids out there. i recently ordered a 6-pack of oncidiums out of bloom, knowing there were these 'orchid plugs' that had bloomed out already, but 5 bucks each. and they were what i expected, in fact in better condition than a few other sellers who put the same thing into a 4" pot and sell it for 25$. two had no roots, but are still plump enough i think they will root if i pay attention. there is only one i'm worried about. it's a bit skinny. i've already rescued 2 oncidium from worse shape, so there is hope. these are supposed to be 'test orchids' anyway, to see how well they do in the bedroom window. i just need to nurse them a little first. i guess they're testing me too.

  8. #8
    k_andreev's Avatar
    k_andreev is offline Senior Member
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    i'm the one who enjoy for online shopping,only once from franc die and i got full refund.the vender said may be the package stuck some place.over all i can say that i'm really happy for the shopping.last shooping was last week,i bought Vanda Manuvadee to reward myself for coming birthday and it came perfectly.

  9. #9
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    I order most my orchids online, and I think I have about an 80% satisfaction rate. Probably less when I was starting out and more now, because I've gotten savvier about how to read people's sites and ads. And there are several sellers whom I've tried and know never to go back to, either because the plants they send are in poor condition or, like coeruleo said, they're baby plants overpotted in 4" pots. The stupidest thing I've ever had happen was a seller who for some reason cut off all the roots before sending me my plants -- I still have no idea why she did that.

    Mostly, though, my stories about ordering orchids online are very happy. Most the sellers I've ever dealt with are responsive to email, will answer questions quickly and honestly, and they send me plants that I love. Some of the bigger nurseries seem to like to include a free seedling, too, which is always a nice surprise. I hope your bad run doesn't put you off of all the good sellers out there!

  10. #10
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    I haven't ordered an orchid online in years. I prefer to hit the orchid shows (thereby not paying postage and handling fees) or doing trades. However, there were one or two vendors I did get plants from online years back -- ones that unfortunately never do shows in my state -- and I was always happy with the condition of the plants I received. So I lucked out in that respect. I do toy with ordering now and then, simply because as I have gotten pickier with what plants I want to allocate space to, it gets harder to find ones even at shows that I really really want.

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