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  #11  
Old 05-25-2014, 09:54 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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This is really why I now only buy orchids that I can personally inspect. It makes for fewer orchid purchases. I have been shocked, and surprised by the purchases I have made online, so I no longer do that. And it all comes down to not having a final say over the actual plant which is sent to me. As far as rescues, most I have purchased at $7.00 median price are still alive, and have taught me a good deal of knowledge. These days, people seem to become interested in orchids due to a gift of a BBS Phalenopsis. It is like anything else. When I see a plea for help from a new orchid lover that their favorite Phal is at deaths door,
I think of all the phals I have lost, and that Phals are not the right plant for me or many folks. But you simply do not say the secret to having great orchids is living in the right house, but it is.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2014, 10:41 AM
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orchidsarefun orchidsarefun is offline
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I suppose another moral of the story is that impulse buying is fine, provided you do due diligence. Fortunately I now have a basement set-up for cooler growers and other set-ups for warmer growers. I have my bases covered as I was tending to purchase orchids that I saw for the first time and really liked, without close regard to cultural requirements. It should go without saying that if you can't replicate the plant's requirements, any healthy plant will soon fade. Masdies are apparently notoriously fickle. I have had people tell me that they are infamous for dropping all foliage - overnight - in the wrong conditions.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2014, 11:58 AM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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If you know a vendor's specialty or what he/she has grown from seed/divided, those are usually the orchids that are the most worth buying. Because orchids are rather 'expensive' to flask and grow to blooming size, many vendors do order from other vendors. To give their customers a variety, they order plants that are not in their specialty and they have no real interest in growing. Yeah, those aren't going to be your best deals unless you can buy them soon after the vendor has received them.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2014, 12:58 PM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
If you know a vendor's specialty or what he/she has grown from seed/divided, those are usually the orchids that are the most worth buying. Because orchids are rather 'expensive' to flask and grow to blooming size, many vendors do order from other vendors. To give their customers a variety, they order plants that are not in their specialty and they have no real interest in growing. Yeah, those aren't going to be your best deals unless you can buy them soon after the vendor has received them.
Good point, you're right, many vendors do specialize.

I didn't even think of this, because I kind of take it for granted, but it is true.

It is something to think about as well.
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2014, 11:47 AM
Corsetière Corsetière is offline
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One "mistake" I made at a show when I was newer to orchid growing was buying a particular Catasetum. This specific plant had crazy root growth over and out of the pot and I thought at the time that this was an encouraging thing. Well, when I got home and took it out of the pot, the smell of decay assaulted me and it was so root bound around the decaying sphag that it took me forever to repot it. I had to cut so many dead roots. The plant took a major hit in health and is actually still in recovery.

I learned 2 lessons in plant shopping from this -

1) Sometimes if the roots are growing out of the pot, it is because they are trying to escape the environment of the pot.

2) Don't get overly excited if you find that rare orchid you have been looking for at a show. Keep your head and critically evaluate the plant.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2014, 12:28 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsetière View Post
One "mistake" I made at a show when I was newer to orchid growing was buying a particular Catasetum. This specific plant had crazy root growth over and out of the pot and I thought at the time that this was an encouraging thing. Well, when I got home and took it out of the pot, the smell of decay assaulted me and it was so root bound around the decaying sphag that it took me forever to repot it. I had to cut so many dead roots. The plant took a major hit in health and is actually still in recovery.



I learned 2 lessons in plant shopping from this -



1) Sometimes if the roots are growing out of the pot, it is because they are trying to escape the environment of the pot.



2) Don't get overly excited if you find that rare orchid you have been looking for at a show. Keep your head and critically evaluate the plant.

I wish there was a like button in tapatalk!

I made this same mistake myself, found a mealybug instead of rotten roots, but I do wish I had inspected the plant more closely now.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2014, 01:14 PM
Corsetière Corsetière is offline
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Ugh! I hate mealy bugs!
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2014, 01:16 PM
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This whole thing with Catasetums, brings up another thing about orchid purchasing…

Some orchids, such as Catasetums and Habenarias, have a definite dormancy period.

While there is no definite time period when anybody can choose to purchase them, there is a definite time period when one should avoid having to disturb them. And that period is when they are in full blown active growth.

If you tend to get these kinds of orchids, make sure they are shipped to you correctly, or you will have to adjust and buy them during dormancy or other periods in the plant's yearly cycle.

What I mean is this…

Let's say someone decided to buy a Habenaria. Habenarias grow during the spring/summer, and go dormant during the fall/winter.

These orchids are readily available during most times of the year. Many sellers only present them for sale during spring, summer, fall, and remove them from their availability lists during the winter. Some sellers will continue selling these during the winter.

If these are purchased during active growth, they cannot be shipped out bareroot. And if they were purchased with the pot, they ideally shouldn't be repotted unless there is an absolute need to. But this is when things can get tricky especially when you know the plant needs to be repotted because if it doesn't it could eventually affect the health of the plant, however, if you do, it will stress the plant out because they're actively growing.

Usually the best time for a beginner, (or any level hobbyist for that matter), to purchase something like a Catasetum, Cycnoches, Clowesia, Galeandra, Cyrtopodium, Habenaria, Ponerorchis, or Cynorkis is right before they go into full blown active growth. Call the seller and ask at what stage in the cycle the orchid in question is in at the time of inquiry. At this stage you can do anything you need to do with them, in terms of husbandry/maintenance.

Ideally, for intermediate to advanced level hobbyists, orchids that have definite dormancies can be purchased during periods when they have just about started to go dormant, or during times of complete dormancy.

Ideally, only advanced hobbyists should ever try purchasing these orchids during any time of the year, or getting them from vendors that are from the southern hemisphere, (if you're in the northern hemisphere), or vice versa; if your'e in the southern hemisphere and purchasing from the northern hemisphere.

Purchasing from 2 different hemispheres is very tricky. There is a lot of room for error because the seasons are reversed between hemispheres.

"Corsetiere", I'm by no means criticizing your decision. I think you made the right move. Unfortunately, it set your Catasetum back a little. It should be fine after the next season, though. I'm not a huge Catasetinae expert, but I do grow a few, so I have some experience with this kind of stuff.

I just wanted to share what I've experienced and observed from buying these kinds of orchids.
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Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 01-04-2015 at 02:28 AM..
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  #19  
Old 05-26-2014, 01:17 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Thankfully, I had OB to help me out and I believe I have eliminated the problem. I got lucky. The mealies I saw were just a couple of hitch hikers, so I did not end up with an all out infestation, but I would not have had to deal with insecticides and gloves and being careful to treat plants early in the morning so that I didn't harm local bee populations and the worry about using insecticides on plants that I have around my dogs... if I had looked more carefully at the plants before I purchased them.
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2014, 01:31 PM
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RosieC RosieC is offline
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Great thread!

The title didn't fully change when Philip changed it (I think it's a permission thing), so I've done it and made it a sticky as well.
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