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  #11  
Old 12-22-2013, 01:54 PM
NYCorchidman NYCorchidman is offline
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I have never ordered from Hauswermann, but I love surfing around on their websites.

One day, I will order big. All those colorful cattleyas and phals they have!!!
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2013, 03:14 AM
Laserbeak Laserbeak is offline
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I never had any problems with them, nice large plants with big spikes (if sold in spike).
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  #13  
Old 01-20-2021, 07:11 PM
Angel Orchids Angel Orchids is offline
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I have been ordering plants from Hausermann's for more than 20 years and, until recently, concurred with all of the positive reviews in this thread.
But I now test all new orchids for viruses, and in a recent order from Hausermann's, 5 out of 19 plants tested positive. I contacted them, and they said they could only offer a one-time credit of 50% of the cost of the virused plants, and they would not do this again in the future. They DO NOT GUARANTEE virus-free plants.
Needless to say, I will not be buying from them again.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2021, 12:45 AM
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I think the problem with virus is that Mosaic Virus is very easy to transfer from one plant to another, lasts a long time on surfaces, and it is often quick to begin expressing. Mosaic virus can be transferred from tobacco products, hoses, watering cans, fingers, etc.

It might be wiser for growers to develop orchids that are resistant to these viruses like is being done with many flowers, vegetables and other plants.

Buying from a large vendor that allows visitors and sells orchids at an affordable price is risky. In a big operation like Hausermann's that allows visitors, it is almost impossible to guarantee every plant to be clean without making the plants so expensive that they could never compete against cheap plants coming from elsewhere. I would be happy to pay $10 extra for a guaranteed virus-free orchid but many people will just look for the orchid somewhere else. Already, many orchid vendors have gone out of business or are close to doing so. With every orchid vendor that closes, the variety of orchids we can buy narrows.

Your best bet to avoid mosaic virus is to order from places that have just a few orchids, grow all of their orchids from their own flasks in sterile, lab-like conditions, never allow visitors, and test all their plants every few months and before shipping. If they are truly doing all of this, these orchids will be very expensive but virus-free.

In the early days of belonging to an orchid society, I took a Cattleya to show off at the orchid society that I had owned for many years. It bloomed faithfully at the same time every spring and autumn and put out new growth at the same times every year, too. On the show table, someone put their Cattleya (with color-break) against mine and some leaves touched. I wisely quarantined that Cattleya and, quite quickly, it began to have issues. The new growths were late, then there came the pattern on the leaves, the new blooms were late...and color break...all in less then six months. That is how easy it is for mosaic virus to spread.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2021, 09:58 PM
katsucats katsucats is offline
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I agree with Leafmite about buying plants from vendors that grow from their own flask, maybe do their own breeding, although nearly no vendor test their plants every 3 months or before shipping. Vendors like SVO or Rogue Orchids that have their own breeding programs are low risk. Hobbyist vendors like Diamond Orchids that have a small number of plants and occasionally do their own breeding are low risk. Vendors like Oscar Allen or Rare Earth that mainly propagate through divisions have some risk no matter how clean their operations are. Then there are vendors that primarily source from wholesale growers, like Seattle Orchids, Marlow's, Hausermann's, Norman's, etc., and I think this is where you'd find the most problems, especially with variegated and meristemmed plants. They might have a clean operation, but their sources may not, and they won't ever tell you who they buy from.
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2021, 11:47 PM
Angel Orchids Angel Orchids is offline
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Yes, I agree totally. Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2021, 05:17 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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There is the ideal world (= vendors who produce everything from flask). There are a very few, such as SVO. I buy as much as I can from Fred, but I need more variety besides his specialties. From every other source, there are occasional problem plants.

Then there is reality. With the heating cost of greenhouses in the central & northern parts of the country, it is prohibitively expensive to grow everything from plugs, let alone flasks (and yet, I still do some breeding on my own).

From my corporate career, I have some experience with inventory control and just in time manufacturing. In my greenhouse career, I know something about the wholesale Phalaenopsis production.

To operate a profitable nursery based on BS plants coming in, bringing them to bloom and sold wholesale, you need to have 3 inventory turns annually. These are the plants sold in super markets and box stores for $15-25 retail.

Hobby grower plants do have higher retail prices, but consider these numbers for plants purchased as plugs in very early 2018:
  • Zygopetalums started to bloom in 15 months, but some took 24 months.
  • Guarianthe aurantiaca bloomed spring of 2020 (28 months).
  • Corsage type Cattleya hybrids: 20% bloomed in 28 months, balance in 40 months.
  • (C. Motte Spot x Rlc. Hilo Grand) bloomed in 40 months.

Starting from flasks, you can add 12 months to each of these time frames.

When you start calculating overhead costs for 3-4 years of growing the plants in a heated greenhouse, we are not talking about $10 additional cost. We are talking about plants, that must sell retail somewhere in the $75-150 range.

When wholesalers offer plants, that can be resold for $30-40 at shows, there is no market for equivalent plants that must sell at prices 3-4 times higher.

I am in the process of changing direction:
  1. I am blooming out close to 1000 plants, so I can select those that are worth keeping, and eventually start selling divisions).
  2. I buy select plants when & where I can.
  3. I trade for divisions when & where I can.

However, in order to survive, in the meantime I have to bring in material from the wholesalers. And, yes, I have had to discard infected plants, which adds significantly to my overhead.
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2021, 11:31 AM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
...
Buying from a large vendor that allows visitors and sells orchids at an affordable price is risky. In a big operation like Hausermann's that allows visitors, it is almost impossible to guarantee every plant to be clean without making the plants so expensive that they could never compete against cheap plants coming from elsewhere. I would be happy to pay $10 extra for a guaranteed virus-free orchid but many people will just look for the orchid somewhere else. Already, many orchid vendors have gone out of business or are close to doing so. With every orchid vendor that closes, the variety of orchids we can buy narrows.

...
Right now, the closing of small nurseries is one of my heartbreaks. I don't want to buy my plants from the big boxes. In the midwest, places to see and be able to purchase non-phal orchids are few and far between and I mean really far between. Places like Hausermann's offer entry level enthusiasts the opportunity to see and pick out their own orchid, from a very wide variety. It's not possible that they are growing that variety of plants in-house, they have to turn to other vendors.

I have been to Hausermanns at least 5 times for anniversary sales and orchid fests which bring in a lot of people, many of us wild-eyed, clutching carefully prepared lists, and having to retire to the parking lot to calm down before plunging back into the fray. I would say that their goal is to reach casual and beginner growers. I believe they follow social media and trends, and bring in extra plants, tropicals, violets, succulents according to what is trending at the time. This is just good business for a large nursery competing with grocery stores, big boxes, and other nurseries. They also seem to do a lot of special event and occasion sales. Their nurseries are huge! From what I have seen, they work very hard and are very good at what they do, but the focus right now is not really on the collector planning for the long-term or for breeding. They do bring in specialty vendors with higher-end specimen plants for the big fests (and I never see many people buying those plants, probably because of the price tag which is steep if you are not experienced and confident in your ability to keep that plant alive), You never (or rarely?) see language on their website along the lines of "collector's must!" "for serious collectors!" What you will see, and I appreciate quite a bit, is "challenging to grow" or "easy to grow but challenging to bloom".

Hausermann's prices are also on the low end, which makes them very accessible to the amateur leagues (in which I consider myself). I see other nurseries offering the same plants, also brought in from other vendors, potentially infected, for much higher prices.

All of this to say, it is disheartening and disappointing to receive a plant in poor condition, infected, or infested. I feel that pain. I also have few resources and want them to stick around, and I try to understand their business pressures and goals. Right now, probably 85% of my orchids are from SVO for the simple reason that they grow for me, are (for me) easy keepers, and they thrive. I'll still be going to Hausermann's and Natt's in Chicago and find a way to give them some of my money, just for the experience of being in their greenhouses. If I were only able to buy from Hausermann's on line, I might not feel the same, but I do think that they are a serious business and not at all a scam.
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