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orchid527

Norman's Orchids

orchid527
13 years ago

Has anyone in the group had any problems with Norman's orchids recently. I ordered 6 orchids and when they arrived, I tested and found that 3 were virused. I wrote to complain and was informed that they do not guarantee their orchids to be free of virus. What kind of nonsense is this? Virus test kits are less than $5 per sample. Seems like it would be easy to test a lot of plants from overseas before they pass them along to the general public. They don't have to test every single plant.

Comments (79)

  • aerides
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Not to be a meanie, but I don't think it's so sad, or in the least surprising. The sad thing is the demise of the great American orchid houses. And what's taken their places, by and large, are import houses and the big box stores selling mass-produced orchids that are just as likely to be virused as anything from Norman's.

    John

  • orchid527
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Brooke, I used to do this kind of work for a living and I have documented every test on every plant with photos. I saw the Agdia validation data and have a great deal of confidence in their work. Regarding the ebay auction, don't you understand it is a spoof? Who is going to intentionally buy a virused plant that will destroy their collection, WHICH IS WHY I PUT IT IN CAPS. Wait until the May issue of ORCHIDS. I think there will be an article on the use of immunoassays for virus detection. Also, I had a conversation with Russ Vernon, the next IPA President, and he indicated that he would address this issue of virused meristems from Taiwan. It's hurting all of us.

    Regarding the lawyer, that would be a great opportunity to recover my losses. Maybe a class action for others to recover their losses. Sounds good to me.

  • whitecat8
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Orchid527 - You should have issued a spew alert before the e-Bay posting. What a riot.

    Your message will reach more orchid people than a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Norman's doesn't seem to be listed with them, and I don't recall anyone here except myself saying they check BBB before ordering from a vendor.

    It's too bad the orchid world now has to deal with this virus issue. The danger to people's collections is bad enough, and John, I agree - it symbolizes the passing of an age. Painful and maddening.

    Now I'm nervous about my one Phal from Norman's. Ack. Orchid527, thanks again for passing along the results of your expertise and experiences.

    Whitecat8

  • wildpaph
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    orchid 527 i think you need to have a life out side of orchids. i purchased from normans for the past twenty years. they are a company i respect. i think sometimes it's good to look in the mirror and see how you apporach the customer service. and yeilds the response you receive. if you are so CONCERN about the virus. YOU should ask before you purchased.you been on this form attacking norman's is pitty. i feel sorry for every one that seems to take his situation so serious and depride themself of beauties that can be purchased for normans. lets all remember the war is still happening and orchid 527 is so worry about virus. are you missing the big picture?

  • orchid527
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wildpaph, I think you have a valid point. Everyone should ask about the vendor's virus policy before buying. And I do not like the coflict that this orchid virus mess has brought into my life, too much negativity. I do have many other interests and some of them have been put on the back burner this week. However, I do not understand the link between war and orchids. If we are concerned about orchid viruses, we aren't concerned about the war? I do know that if you have purchased some of these diseased meristems, you are going to be a very unhappy grower in a few years. Ignorance is bliss, and the choice to be so is yours.

  • ginnibug
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    WOW!!! Wildpaph, you leave my head just totally spinning. Take that whatever way you want to.

    Orchid527 that is totally awesome that you talked to Russ. That might really be important. The thing that occurs to me is unless somebody of any influence gets ahold of this and runs with it; it's not going to go anywhere. The main reason being that most of these larger growers and some smaller that we both know, do wholesale business. These florists that they deal with REALLY DO NOT CARE a lick about a plant with virus. And the majority of the people that those florists sell to, don't give a lick about virus. Which I don't know if that side of the business has more weight behind it than just the hobbyist side. I would almost guarantee that it does. I just feel someone has to be responsible for cleaning this up; or like you said earlier, there won't be one place to get clean healthy plants that aren't going to die on you in a couple of years.gb

  • stitzelweller
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    wildpaph, Welcome to the GW Orchids Forum.

    First registered on April 2, 2008.


    --Stitz--

  • tee530
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    O527, thanks for bringing this issue up for discussion, and sorry that you have to take all the blowback from it. Personally, I thought the ebay auction was a clever and well-crafted way to draw attention to the problem.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your earlier comment that

    "I think to have the best chance of getting a virus free plant you need to avoid meristems from Taiwan."

    A thread on this same issue on another forum brought up the same point: the hygiene in the mericloning operations overseas is not always great.

    Doesn't mean that other plants won't be carrying virus, but seed-grown species and hybrids will probably be less likely to be infected. Doesn't of course speak to arthur's point about the plants on the society exchange table.

  • bullsie
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    jemsta made the suggestion to start a list of virus free vendors. I second that! I would love to know who tests and offers virus free or in the least states what they know does carry virus (which many older heritage awarded plants do - quite acceptable to a collector).

    It cannot be that hard (not to say there isn't any effort)to offer virus free plants as the industry is continually breeding, new seedlings are being awarded that the bulk of plants could be clean.

    I also say to the ebay posting RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!

  • employee
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Response from Normans Orchids:

    We are not in the business of selling unhealthy plants, we would not ship diseased plants. However, we do not guarantee all our plants to be virus free.  No orchid nursery in the US does this.    Plants can be perfectly healthy and may test positive for the presence of a virus from tests that may or may not be accurate. Virus tests can only be performed accurately in a controlled environment in a certified laboratory. Do-it-yourself home kits, obviously, can produce false positive results. As an analogy, 99.99% of the population in the US would test positive for some form of cold virus  -- we do not conclude from this that the whole US population is diseased and quarantine this country from the rest of the world.

    Our plants are constantly inspected by plant experts at the federal and state level and have always been found disease free. If a customer wishes, we can arrange a phyto sanitary certificate to be issued , this requires an inspection of the plants by an expert from the California Department of Agriculture and provides certification that they are pest and disease free. We often do this for our clients in Puerto Rico and Hawaii, areas that require such certification before plants are allowed to be brought in.

    In this particular case, we offered the customer a full refund for any plants that he didn't want as long as he returned them to us. The customer had requested a full refund without returning the plants. We understand he is filing a chargebacck with the credit card company and auctioning off the "diseased" plants on E-bay.

  • gotsomerice
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I know for a fact that H&R in Hawaii has a printed guarantee their catalogs that their plants are Virus free. As a customer I would never return a plant and pay extra shipping cost to get a refund. I would just eat the lost and would not order from the same place again. I would vote with my wallet. The most important thing in business to me is customer services.

  • highjack
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you for the other side of the story.

    Brooke

  • jemsta
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I somehow doubt that the photosanitary certificate requirements include testing for ORSV and CymMV since they are obviously already present in the US (including Hawaii).

  • arthurm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    In the early days of web-pages some public minded souls thought that it would be a great idea to have rating systems of aquarium fish suppliers, orchid nurseries etc. etc.

    Why didn't these rating systems work?

    They are subject to abuse.

    * The feedback tends to mostly come only from unhappy customers

    * The vindictive find these are great places to vent spleen

    * You only get one side of the story

    * Business competitors can post false information

    * "Friends" of the Business can post glowing references

    There may be legal problems. Some ot the local growers there may be able to add to this re. the demise of OGRES????

  • komi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    true, but if you search for "plant nursery ratings" you'll find other resources too.

    Note also that while we tend to see more negative reviews posted than positive, it is also possible that "no reviews" means bad. At least some of these ratings websites allow businesses to opt out.

    I recently heard someone from the BB say that their database is going online - hopefully that will make them much more relevant and useful.

  • jane__ny
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but are these plants for sale on Ebay???

    Why weren't the plants returned to Normans's for refund??

    Jane

  • lunaticvulpine
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm gonna have to put in my two cents on this, wildpaph is actually one of the fangs, =D every time some thing like this happens with Normans orchids we get a new one time poster or ten, also if memory serves right Normans is about 20 years old currently if not slightly less maybe I'm thinking of some other recent orchid grower who's had problems in their practices.

    but concerning the topic at hand i think , and this is solely an opinion from some one who deals with multiple aspects of business, what they're doing is considered negligence, and in some way or another although im not saying you should or should'nt, the very least you can do is get the state ag dept to do some thing. also if one group of plants has them knowing that these viruses can be spread rather rapidly by vector, it's not to far off to assume that maybe 2-3 of the green houses are already contaminated. basically the only thing happening is that normans would suffer a biiiiigggg monetary loss but any who i suggest a list of vendors who provide some form of guarantee that their plants are virus free would be a great idea to help people in the future.

  • xmpraedicta
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Jane - I think the original poster put the plants on e-bay for sale as a way of getting the word out about this incident he/she had with Normans - harnessing the power of the internet to it's full extent, if you will. To be honest I think it was a little harsh, but that's just my opinion!!

    This was a good wakeup call - I've never checked my plants for virus and I've bought from small and large vendors as well as the society sales table...I could be breeding a cesspool of virus in my collection as we speak! That said, I kind of see it as a risk that is unavoidable...I mean, has everyone here tested every society table/small vendor bought plant for virus? Will you stop buying plants from the society table/small vendors now that this incident has come up?

    *IF* it is indeed the NORM that vendors guarantee virus free plants in the US (does Oakhill guarantee virus free plants because I have some from them!), then I agree that Normans should have a similar system in place, and I would throw a fit too if they broke their guarantee. If it isn't the norm and there was no guarantee, then I'm of the opinion that the onus falls upon the consumer - it is unfortunate that they sold plants that are infected, but they did offer a refund which in my books is good customer service.

  • arthurm
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Calvin, your comments are right on the money and that i why i said in an earlier post that i had sold two in-bloom plants on Ebay that looked Ok but i could not guarantee that they were virus free.

    I have a thousand plus orchid collection garnered over 36 years where there are bound to be some plants that have virus.

    Orchids are going to get very expensive if we go down the path of testing every plant that is sold.

    I still waiting to hear what the effect of Cymbidium Mosiac virus is on other Genera. But, of course, those people selling virus kits are not going to tell us that sort of info. They want to maintain the hysteria.

    In an orchid growing career spanning 36 years i'm seen plenty of that hysteria, particularly from Cymbidium growing experts where newbies have been reduced to tears and lost to the hobby by "experts" announcing to all and sundry in loud tones VIRUS.

  • lunaticvulpine
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    the problem stated by "employee" is that Normans plays the role of maximizing revenue while cutting losses to a minimum.

    the fact that they want the customer to pay return shipping is kind of a case in point example. imho thats a load of BS 100% usda select.

    but such is the caveat that buyers have to be aware of. normally i post a question to gain info about a vendor before i make a purchase.

    any ways normally the opinion on Normans is generally one of two extremes and all i can say is, get a back up verification on the plants infected before you make any more statements against Normans as they can if you're not careful get you for slander and some thing else i cant remember off the top of my mind. but then again they cant cause they cant access origin ip and mac addresses.

    I just had a funny thought, although kinda mean but only cause i get the question from some people some times my self.

    the way wildpaph types is the way the guy sounded on the other end of the line when i called normans about the quality of the orchids i got and wanted a return

    and a correction to employee

    virus testing does not have to be done inside of a lab, in fact, the fact that you'd try to pass that as the truth is ridiculous and you should slap your self...

    lol some one should go put this up on all the orchid forums XD. what a world of pain that would be,

    any ways as a final thought. now a days i try to only purchase when i can visually inspect plants before hand. saves me a lot of fuss later on

    =D
    Gaston

  • toyo2960
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The legalities of so-called virus free plants is a tricky thing. Unless stated in writing that ALL plants are virus-free is one thing. But if it's not in writing, you really can't hold the nursery to any oral claims it makes. Or doesn't make. With a large stock of plants, it is virtually or economically impossible to test each plant for virus. And once the plant leaves the commercial greenhouse, many times the guarantee is null and void. Unless you suspect virus immediately and have it tested quickly. The nursery can claim that you contaminated it (plant). With most seedling stock, unless the nursery doesn't practice good repotting hygiene, you more apt to have a clean plant. But not always. Same goes for mericlones. Just because it's a clone doesn't' mean it's virus-free. It could have been infected from the inception (mother plant) or along the way as it was repotted up in size. The importation of plants from foreign countries like Taiwan are problematic. The plants brought in may have phyto certificates clearing the plant of bacteria, fungus and insects. Plant may be put in quarantine. But these plants, to my knowledge, are not tested for virus. And if it was done, it might be a random test. You could not feasibly test an entire wholesale quantity. Way back when, there was an orchid nursery that sold quantities of fine mericlone cattleyas (Orchids Orlando) where famous named plants were cloned and distributed for sale. Now you can't find these plants. Where are the Lc. Arecas FCC, Lc. Sargons and Lc. Ishtars? Most likely dead now because the mother plants were virused. Cloning cannot eradicate virus. At least not today. You can expect most plants over 20 years old to have virus unless the owner took proper precautions. So expect most stud plants to be infected. But there are many fine stud plants out there that are clean. A different story for plants that are relatively young. They should be clean. But again, with plants coming from all over the world now, there isn't a standardized procedure for testing plants for virus. You have to get it in writing that your plant purchase is "virus free."
    And whether the nursery guarantees their plants to be clean or not, it should be good business practice to refund the consumer the infected plant, providing the consumer recognizes the problem immediately. As far as putting the plant on Ebay, I wouldn't personally try to sell known virused plants. If your trying to make a statement, well.. However, through blogs, word of mouth, etc you can put out the word that such-and-such nursery is selling "bad" stock.

  • ben_in_sofla
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There are nurseries who pride themselves on putting out a clean product.
    Norman's orchids is not a cheap discount place to buy plants
    I rate them at above average price to expensive. Why not offer a 'Tested' and confirmed virus free plant and just add the price of the test to the plant. I would pay an extra $5 for a plant I really wanted.

    The AOS should show they really care about the hobby growers and push for a virus cleanup campaign, though I doubt that they will do anything that goes against the commercial grower's grain. The potted plant business has evolved into a throw away market and it would be too expensive for the growers to start from scratch to ensure all plants are virus free.

    This virus problem is long overdue to hit the proverbial fan, maybe this is the starting point. Posting the virused plant on Ebay is GREAT advertising for the cause. I doubt they'll reconsider their business practices.

    What would shake Norman up is if most of the perspective buyers at his next show/event inquire about virus policy before buying plants and then walk away when they don't like his answer.

    Kudos to orchid527 for pushing this issue...

  • stitzelweller
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    orchid527,

    In your post dated Sun, Mar 30, 08 at 18:11, you wrote "I used the Agdia Immunoassay test kits. The supplies were fresh, I was trained by the company..."

    I would like to get this same training. Please, advise me on how to proceed? Thank you.

    --Stitz--

  • orchidnick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think there is a lot of unnecessary hysteria being exhibited about viruses. I have a 1,000 plant plus collection of plants for over 12 years. I continually inspect all flowers and new leaves for signs of virus and have discarded a number of plants over the years. I don't set aside special times for this, I do it automatically as I water the plants and enjoy the flowers and the new growths. I don't test as signs show up soon enough which brings me to my dispute with what has been written.

    It takes 'exchange of body fluids' to transfer a virus, no different than Herpes or HIV in humans. People who claim to have contacted Herpes from a toilet seat were not alone in the stall. Similarly merely watering or handling intact plants will not transmit. I only use precautions when handling plants whose fluids have come to the surface as in dividing or trimming. Gloves, flaming, keeping aphids under control and newspaper surface covering to be changed after each plant seems to be enough. I know I have had virused plants as long as 10 years ago and if simply splashing water or handling intact plants could transmit the virus, my entire collection should be virused by now, this is obviously not the case. If I discard 3 or 4 plants per year, I can live with that. Without freaking out about the problem, loosing sleep and testing each and every plant, my system seems to work.

    I think a good dose of common sense will keep your collection healthy but not 100% virus free. Most vendors I know will refund WITH RETURN OF PLANT AND PROOF OF TESTING. Norman is in line with this and should not be faulted. Good public relations is another issue, not reputed to be his strong point.

    I remember years ago when one of my big beautiful Cymbidiums showed chlorophyll breaks in a new leaf, I showed the leaf to one of my orchid club's Cymb experts who confirmed what I all ready knew. "But this is one of my really beautiful Cymbidium" I whined. "Have you got a really beautiful garbage can?" was his response.

    Viruses are a fact of life but really 'No Beeg Theeng'. Literally, the buggers are very small, don't make them any bigger than they really are.

    Nick

  • toyo2960
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    A U.S. Phytosanitary Certificate is really useless for non-agricultural diseases. Specifically ornamental plants like orchids. Quarantine and inspection is to protect mostly agricultural products, so inspection would be for specific insects and diseases like various rusts, citrus cankers, sudden oak death, soybean rust, etc. Orchids can from foreign countries can harbor pests. Or nematodes. So most orchids are sent bare-root. No soil. Since soil can harbor pests and disease. Clean long-strand sphagnum moss has been cleared for importation since is is soil-less. There is a big question of many orchids coming from Taiwan that are virused. Including mericlones. There are no guarantees from those overseas companies that state they're plant are virus-free. And the importers don't disclose anything. So buyer beware.
    Most orchid companies do their best to control pests and disease. They don't knowing try to sell diseased plants. However, if they do, they should refund the price of the plant AND the cost of shipping. This is only fair. And if the orchid vendor states that the plant is a known to be virused, such as an old famous stud plant, that is fine and legal. As long as the consumer is aware.
    However, to knowingly sell virused plants and not notifying customers is a breach of good business practices. They are in fact selling defective products.
    Virus. No big deal? It is a big deal when you are in the business of selling plants. You cannot ethically condone it. It's fine if you want to keep a virus plant in your collection. I have many, since collect old and historical plants.
    But I do not SELL my plants that are virused. I make no profit from them. If a friend wants a plant, knowing full well that is is virused, that is fine. As for
    "wildpaph", this person should get a life. Or at least get a clue. A customer should ask each the vendor each time if he or she guarantees their orchid to be free from virus at time of purchase? Okay. Let's go. Let's do it. Give me written guarantee. No oral promise. A written one. "wildpaph" just set himself up for a legal battle. Now that's naive. And linking the Iraq War and orchids. What kind of idiot is this person? We're talking about running an ethically correct business. Yes, there are more important things in the world to fret about. But this forum is about ORCHIDS. NOT POLITICS! This person obviously doesn't know how to debate. Childish. And as for "Nick", virus is spread more than through exchang of plant fluid to plant fluid. Yes, it is mostly spread through dividing with unsterilzed tools. But insects can be a vector. And plants that are beneath a bench or underneath hanging plants, can get virus from dripping water. I've seen so many plants that were unintentially infected by dipping plants into the same insecticide bucket. So there's a lesson for you. Don't dip plants for scale. Spray them. As for virus testing, read a current article in the AOS Orchids magazine on home-testing. It is reliable.

  • whitecat8
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi, Nick,

    My concern is that, after 3 short years in orchids, I don't recognize viruses, so anything weird-looking could be trouble... or, worse, a virused plant might not look suspicious to me.

    Also, 2 different professional growers w/ multiple greenhouses have told me they take the precautions many of us hear about: changing gloves (or washing hands) between plants when repotting or trimming roots or leaves, sterilizing tools, using a clean surface for each plant, etc.

    Yes, water gets splashed among plants in their greenhouses, but many of those folks can spot trouble sooner than a lot of hobbyists.

    Until I know more, I'll worry about viruses periodically.

    Related note from March, 2006: "Members of the Orchid Society of India today called for a ban on the import of diseased flowers from Thailand and other South Asian countries, a trend which was harming the Indian floriculture industry." It's the 8th article down. Also, it's unclear if the members are speaking for the society itself, or if they're individual members of a local chapter.

    Anyone know if theyre having any success?

    Whitecat8

  • orchidnick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    All of my orchids grow outside, even in Southern California, Phals cannot tolerate the winter so I don't have any. The situation of diseased plants from Taiwan is disgusting, I was not aware of it. The trend is unmistakable though. Zuma Orchids, on our coast, used to be one of the great breeding sites of Phals, many famous clones originating there. I'm pretty sure they have given up their breeding and hybridizing and just import massive amounts of Asian plants. I guess its like walking through WalMart, "Made in China, India, Bangladesh" etc,etc. There is no pride in quality, mass production to get as low a price as possible and to sell as many units as possible is the mantra of today's business. Luckily there are still a few good and honorable vendors around who take pride in their work. The comment about lack of pride does NOT apply to Zuma Orchids who take plenty of pride in the quality of their plants and are definitely first class operation, only the comment about no longer growing, too expensive and no longer profitable I guess.

    One can coexist with virused plants. Most Portias are, by definition, virused. The original cross accidentally introduced virus into the cross which was cloned and like the medieval plague spread through the orchid world. I have a few Portias which I keep separated from the others. I tested one and sure enough it was positive. Year after year it produces beautiful flowers and I cannot see evidence of the disease. Portias are the exeption to the rule. Unless the plant goes downhill, I will not discard it as this group for some reason seems to tolerated the unwelcome passenger.

    Any comments on Portias?

    Nick

  • ruthann1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    WOW!! Ovewhelming for a newbie. I live close enough to Norman's to go there and purchase. I have bought numerous orchids with no issues. Even had good luck with his fertiler. ruth ann

  • cbarry
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nick!!!

    Welcome back, gee, I haven't seen you here for AGES!
    Oddly enough, I was thinking about you the other day - My Stan tigrina just completed it's annual bloom, and I got that one from you :)

    Good to have you around,
    Carolyn

  • orchidnick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi Carolyn

    Had a health problem 3 years ago, totally fixed now and moved to a house with a large back yard at the same time, the 'Perfect Storm'. Did not re-establish the complete climate control I had then, growing under shade cloth only, no greenhouse, and therefore had to cut back to the Cyms, Cats, Onc etc Have a lot of Australian Dendrobiums, everyone has to be happy in my backyard as is or they are not welcome. So no more species but I still have over 1,000 plants that like the environment as is.

    Nice to hear from you, Nick.

  • smwboxer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I only have a small collection of about 30 plants. Several are from Norman's so I sent samples of them out for testing. All came back free and clear. I will keep ordering from Norman's. I've always gotten great plants from them.

  • stitzelweller
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    smwboxer,

    Thank you for sharing your test results!

    --Stitz--

  • aerides
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nick, enjoyed your post and your 'steady as she goes' common sense approach. Funny story about the really beautiful garbage can. LOL.

    John

  • orchid527
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    smwboxer

    Thanks for the info. Were these phals that you had tested? If so, could you tell me which MC numbers? Thanks.

    Mike

  • cattman
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I placed an order with Norman's a few years ago, my first and only. I ordered 3 mature catts, one of which was a famous clone ("Napoleon"). It was growing pretty obvious striping in the leaves, a complete no-no for a cattleya so far as I know, and I reluctantly quarantined it, bloomed it out and let it go. I had a leaf chlorosis virus show up many years ago and run through my entire collection - 600 plants - before I learned that it wasn't normal for cattleya leaves to fade out in cloudy patterns only a year after growing. So I'm very leery of keeping suspect plants any more.

    Incidentally, I had a Bow Bells from Carter & Holmes show up with curled, weak growths and the same, cloudy look show up in my last order from them, a real disappointment. I'm about resigned to buying only the orchids I can examine in person. I use a separate razor on every plant whenever I prune, but I worry about the occasional insect invader munching on one root here, then another one there, and the inevitable water splash.

    Just thought I'd pass this along.

  • smwboxer
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    No, the only phals I have were gifts and are noids. I really don't like them all that much.

  • Fjc2973_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi and thank You ! for this information ,live and learn I was buying a lot of orchids fronm norman's but the always die on me and I was thinking this was because in my country is different climate but now I'm suspecting it was because they were infected with some kind of virus ,I just give up the hobby thinking I have bad luck with the plants in America .Thank You for all the information !

  • lonegypsie_aol_com
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Have bought lots of orchids from Normans and after nearly7 years I have no problems with any of them. Normans has also
    gladly refunded my money on two different ocasions and has never been anything but courteous in coustomer service and have even found a flaw in the order and called me back to straighten it out ( in my favor no less). To my knowledge all my plants (small time 47) are doing well and blooming their little hearts away.
    YEAH FOR NORMAN'S KEEP UP THE GOODE WORK!!!!
    I PERSONALLY WILL KEEP BUYING FROM THEM UNTIL I SEE DIFFERENTLY AND AM TREATED DIFFERENTLY!

  • poop2spammers_globalinfo_com
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't see why orchid growers don't guarantee the plants they sell. Obviously, it costs too much to test every plant in the greenhouse and there is no reason to, if the plants look healthy and they have good cultural practices.Spot testing plants wouldn't hurt either, I imagine they would want to protect their inventory. But if a customer receives an unhealthy or virused plant, they should offer to send a new one. The grower can then test the replacement plant so not to repeat the issue, or offer a refund. As with any sale it's not unreasonable to ask for the return of the defective product (to keep the customers honest). If a greenhouse has 10% virus rate (I have no idea what is common, just throwing a number out there) then 1 in 10 plants might come back to them and they have lost the plant they wouldn't want anyway and some testing and shipping costs, but hopefully have kept a customer. The only places that wouldn't guarantee their plants are ones that know they have a problem in their greenhouse.

  • Patty Lank
    4 years ago

    My first purchase from this company was simply breathtaking. I bought three phalaenopsis orchids for my kitchen and they were thriving and a joy to behold. I wound up purchasing several pricey gift orchids for various recipients. I then made a second purchase for myself. The orchids that arrived did not resemble whatsoever the orchids pictured on the site. Firstly, I ordered three of the same. Two were matching the and the third was a different color. These were meant to be displaced all in the same location. Next, the orchids picture had 4 stems and I was sent two with 2 stems and one with one stem - sparse and spindly and not at all like what was pictured. Next, the orchids began to fail almost immediately - after one day. The blooms began to dry up and fall off and the leaves - many of them - started to turn yellow, droop and brown out at the tips. I emailed them, photos included, for six days straight - showing them the horrendous condition of these plants and how they were progressively getting worse each day. I received no response whatsoever. Finally, I called and they claimed they never received my emails. I was only requesting that they replace these three totally unacceptable orchids with three new ones - the same ones I had ordered the first time. They said they would send my request to "claims." Wow. Who was I dealing with - a national concern like Amazon or Walmart? Two days later they contacted me and offered me a $10.00 credit and I would have to repackage and send back the three dying orchids at my own expense. The order was well over $100. They told me the orchids were failing because of "direct sunlight." The orchids were never exposed to direct sunlight. I am only hoping that the several gifts I sent - over $150 each for one orchid - arrived in good condition. I would never know because the recipients would probably not tell me if they didn't. Believe me, you do not want to do business with this company. You could be lucky and receive healthy orchids, but if you don't, tough luck to you. Horrendous customer service. They will not back up their merchandise - even with explicit photos showing the failure of the orchids.

  • jane__ny
    4 years ago

    You should start a new post. No one is going to look at a post going back to 2008.

    I have bought from Normans and it is hit and miss. I only look for unusual plants. I rarely order but when I do I make sure the plant is in 'season.' If you buy a Phal, look to see when the bloom period is. Buy before blooming so the plant isn't terribly set back. Also, if buying in the summer, you need to track the shipment and chase the truck!

    I've done that to prevent it sitting in the heat all day.

    Jane

  • Patty Lank
    4 years ago

    Thank you for the advice. How do you start a new post? I sat at home just as you say to make sure the box was not sitting outside. Took it in immediately. Knowing a little about about orchids, I saw immediately that the leaves were drooping and yellowing and several of the blooms were dried out. I found a new site - Hausermann orchids - recommended by several people online. Should receive next week and I'm hoping they will be healthy. In the interim, I have contacted my credit card company and put the charge in dispute. I will forward to them the photographs I have taken, along with the photograph on Norman's site, to show the difference and also the failure of the plants. I believe I will have no problem in having the charge removed. I have no problem in paying a premium price for something, I just want to receive what I have been promised. I also realize that sometimes for reasons beyond anyone's control, things are not as they should be. That's what customer service and guarantees are for. If someone will not back up defective merchandise, I will not stop until things are made right. I'm tired of people taking my money and not providing what they should. I am quite tenacious about dealing with people who are fair and reasonable. Again, please tell me, if you can, how I can start a new post. I have left negative reviews on several sites. I informed Norman's of my intent to do so if they would not replace the orchids. I gave the sufficient time to respond but they once again left me hanging.

  • jane__ny
    4 years ago

    If you look at the top of the main page under 'orchids' you will see a title and box to add your post. I think you have a very legitimate complaint and should get your money back.

    I never tried as I haven't had plants fail but certainly would if I had your experience.

    I haven't ordered from them for years and the plants I got were nice and healthy but I am careful about the timing I order. I rarely buy plants in spike or bloom. I try to buy before their growth period to allow time to repot and adjust to my environment.

    They do not tell you that. They used to be a reputable company, but heaven knows what goes on now. I would fight them and post wherever you can.

    Jane

  • Aga Slupeczek
    last year

    I bought quite a few plants two years ago from orchids.com and I lost my entire collection ( 200 plants ) due to the virus transmitted from those plants. I'm devastated.

    It doesn't happen in Europe. Plants are tested regularly and if the virus is presented, they destroy all plants around. This should not be happening. Should do something about it

  • jane__ny
    last year

    Please start a new thread. This thread is over 12 years old!


    I have never heard of so many plants dying from virus in two years. Most virused plants will grow and flower for a very long time. I have a few virused plants which I love and are over 15 yrs old. They are grown outdoors in Florida and not near my other plants.


    If you didn't know orchids, you would never know they were virused. Virus in orchids is rarely a quick killer.


    Jane

  • Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Jane I am with you and good to see you are safe by the way. I hear the Carona virus has a grip down there. Please be careful ok..

    As for Normans, they have never sent me a sick plant. In fact I have some from years past flowering like crazy. I know for certain they would not ship out sick plants. They take pride in their collection and product.

  • Patty Lank
    last year

    Baloney Meyermike. Just what do you mean you "know for a fact?" They sent me dead/dying orchids and they take absolutely no pride in their product. They wouldn't respond to me after sending out multiple photos several times. It took forever to get in touch with them and finally they offered me a $10 credit on a $140 order. Not even a replacement! That's NOT taking pride in your product for sure. I have since made several purchases at orchidsbyhausermann and received gorgeous plants each and every time. By the way, corona virus is spelled with an "o" not an "a." I see you follow the news.

  • jane__ny
    last year

    I was responding to Aga regarding virus.

    Patty, I am not dismissing your anger at Normans for poor customer service. They should have refunded your order quickly. I agree with you 100%.


    I have had luck with Normans over the years. As Mike said (hi Mike!) they have unusual plants which you really can't get online. I guess I've ordered from them over the years quite a few times. I like species and can find some really nice plants from them.. I have never been shipped a diseased plant but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.


    I have not had to deal with their customer service as my plants were all healthy. I recently ordered a few dendrobium species which I couldn't find elsewhere. They all arrived healthy and are doing well.


    Mike, we are doing okay, staying in as much as possible, masks anytime we go out. It is getting depressing because the cases are rising and I see no end in sight. I want to travel back to NY to see my daughter and granddaughters. We will not get in a plane. So we are stuck. My orchid society has their meetings through Zoom which is nice, but not the same as seeing everyone in real life!


    So my plants keep me busy (thank goodness) and I look forward to life getting back to normal. I hope you are well and keeping safe. I'm sure all your plants give you the joy you can't get by getting together with friends.


    Jane

  • Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Hi Patty, I didn't mean to sound like a disagree with you. Just that by fact in my experience I have never gotten plants like that. Just because I never had doesn't mean you have not had a bad experience and if you have that really stinks. I will tell you that their customer service could use much improvement because they are not good about getting back to me either when needed. But thank God my plants have always been ok. I order with them because of rare plants as Jan said. I wish you all the luck if you decide to keep going to them. It must of been a huge bummer and cost. Sorry to hear of it. They should of reimbursed you..

    Jane, so glad yo are ok...I was worried about you. I have a couple of friends down there and lost a couple to that dreaded flu and it worries me about others know there including you. I have been working hard to keep my Mom safe and my Dad in the nursing home had to have the national guard come in. It will be a threat until something good happens. yes, thank God for our plants and plenty to do in the yard. I just started to work out but they only allow a limited few with masks and sanitize everything behind us than god. You have always been such a blessing here and even when you were picked on you stuck around here for the love of helping others. My hats off to you. You are very special and I have learned lots from you. Always thinking of you.

    The zoom is good but you are right, I so miss the shows and the close contact with friends. I have not been able to hug my mom since August((

    Prayers that you stay strong and healthy through this time.

    Mike

  • jane__ny
    last year

    Thank you, Mike.

    Hang in there...take good care of your parents and yourself.

    This will be over one day. Our flowers and pets have never been important.

    Jane