Thursday, May 20, 2010

Read the fine print

Cattleya intermedia shown in the listing

After the Laelia sincorana bloomed my orchid addiction kicked in and I went on a Brazilian buying spree. Over a three week period I bought 11 plants for $100. Some were seedlings but still I think I did ok. I have got all the commonly available species.

I have always thought I was a smart shopper I still have more to learn. The first lesson was to buy only from sellers shipping from the US. The second was to read the listing as if it were a used car ad.

All my experiences with US sellers were good except one who is now on my never-buy-from list. The first issue was shipping. It was 20 days from payment to getting the plant. The second is deceptive wording on the ad, like a politician answering a question. It seems as if more was said than actually was. I suspect I have some generic Cattleya intermedia, not the variety shown in the picture. I will have to wait a couple of years to find out.

Cattleya intermedia seedling with poor roots

The main issue is the plant itself. It is a small seedling, smaller than I expected. It arrived in a 2-inch pot with some dry bark pieces but the roots still had seedling mix attached. The plant had never grown in that pot. I can almost visualize someone sitting with a compot putting these together for shipping.

Worst of all were the roots. All but one piece was dead. I can save it but the root condition adds another year to the time until it gets to be blooming size.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe it would be useful to know the names of those sellers. I had an unhappy experience with some that sent me rootless plants and a recycled baggie from Lowes [which is the only one that survived]. The whole order was 23 $ incl shipping... still never resolved the issue. No replies from the seller. Wonder if it is ethical to post spomething on Orchidboard. Well hope your Cattleya intermedia will perk up. you seem good at that,