Norman's Orchids

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SlipperFan

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Over the time I've been on this forum, there have been many posts that are quite negative about experiences with Normans.

I'm wondering what kinds of experiences anyone has had with Norman's, say, over the past year or so. There is something on their website I'm interested in, but I'm rather leery of ordering from them based on what I've read here.

Any changes? Experiences?

Thanks!
 

mormodes

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Over the past decades I have purchased from Norman's both on line and at the nursery. I don't buy from him a lot ( I don't usually buy mericlones), but occasionally he has stuff I want. Over all my experience has been good. I've bought various cattleya hybrids from him, a few paphs and last year or year and a half ago I bought a series of phal species. Since members of the Orchid Source Forum talk about how many phals come out of Taiwan virused I tested them. They were all clean. I'd buy from him again.

Hope this helps.
 

eOrchids

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Hey Dot!
I have ordered from them twice (both Paph orders) and been satisfied with them. Looking to place my third order soon....
 

Sirius

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I guess it depends on what you order. When you get good plants from them, they are really good. When you get bad plants from them, they are really bad, and if you call them with a problem, they WILL blow you off.

I got a good paph. from them. I got two healthy, beautiful phalaenopsis once, but they were not the phals I ordered, and they refused to return/refund. The other three plants I ordered from them were covered in aphids and near death, so be sure to inspect and quarantine if necessary.

I really think about ordering from them sometimes, and then I come to my senses and avoid them.
 

Heather

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They have some good things, they have some bad things. I've had several good experiences but I've heard of many negative that make me think twice now. Oh, I have not bought in the last two or three years, FYI.

Buyer beware, I guess.
 

Scott Ware

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I have ordered from Norman's Orchids at least 10-12 times over the years and I have absolutely no complaints.

My last shipment was only a couple weeks ago. Norman called me personally to let me know that he was holding the order an extra day to let some of the plants dry out a bit, and then he followed up after I received the order to see how the plants arrived. The plants were all healthy, robust, and exactly as advertised.

On the only occasion that the wrong plant was inadvertently shipped, I notified customer service and a replacement was sent immediately and entirely at their expense.
 

NYEric

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My only experience with them, a couple of years ago, was a hang hybrid with lots of unwanted guests! :mad: I'd be very careful.
 

mormodes

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My only experience with them, a couple of years ago, was a hang hybrid with lots of unwanted guests! :mad: I'd be very careful.
What? Are you saying Norman's Orchids in California USA has/had Paph hangianum hybrids for sale? I thought Paph hangianum and all the fruit of that poisonous tree were illegal in the USA. Are we talking about the same company?
 

slippertalker

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He has had a bit of problem with mealybug, but is diligently taking care of the situation. He does have some very nice paphs with a Taiwanese origin as well as a full range of phals, catts, etc.
 
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etex

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Norman is on Facebook and shows lots of interesting stuff. He posted Lycaste macrophylla last fall as being warmth tolerant. When I commented on it ,he put one aside for me,and also suggested Lycaste Concentration as being good for Texas. Both plants are great and the macrophylla has 4 new growths this Spring. Also got 3 phals,2 of which were upsized-one from not in spike to spike,and the other from 1 spike to 2. Received a very nice sized P philippinense,too. No bugs on any of these.
 

Sirius

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It is so interesting to me, the range of comments in this thread. I do notice that those who claim to have received good plants mostly ordered phals and paphs, so that could be an indicator of what to order if you want a better shot at good plants.

However, the people who have really been burned by him probably would have bought a small fortunes worth of plants from him, had he not screwed them over by sending bad plants with poor customer service. He bends over backwards for someone who orders 3 plants, and totally defrauds someone who would have bought 25 plants.

Maybe those people who are just on their second order with him haven't hit the crappy plant lottery yet? :)

All I know is, I will never buy from him again. Sucks for him because I just spent nearly $100 on plants from other vendors, and he had those same plants in stock.
 
N

nikv

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He has a booth at the POE in San Francisco each year. I've purchased plants form him there in the past. The plants I've seen have been healthy. I haven't purchased anything via his website, however, so I cannot speak on that topic.
 

SlipperFan

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Thanks, everyone. Interesting responses. It seems there is a real mixed bag of experiences. Do you think any of the problems stem from exactly who takes your order? With a place that seems to be as big as his, he must have employees, and some may be more customer-oriented than others. Do you know if your orders were actually filed by Norman, or by an employee.

I'm questioning this because my husband, as a historian and researcher/writer, has said over and over that the responses he gets to queries so much depends on who takes the query, no matter what institution he contacts.

I sent him an email with a question today. I'll let you know if he responds.
 

cnycharles

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your observation is likely correct; when I ordered some things from him, I was later told that he was sick and had many helpers; I had two plants one which was sick and died a few days later; emailing got reply that owner wasn't available. later on I ordered something, and asked about and purchased another phal, and received two of them (one free) with regards from norman himself. so, he had noticed the problem and after getting well made up for it.

where I work, it is a very large wholesale greenhouse nursery. in any growing area we have great plants and junk depending on which spot you are in (dripping water, cart fell over etc). when there is a big rush there are a ton of people picking up plants and putting on carts, then getting moved all over the place. no matter how much you may tell people to only pick good plants, your customer is at the mercy of the weakest link in the chain, and you can't be everywhere or check every cart. if you are big, then you need to have many people doing quality control or else you will have misses. if the shipping manager is having a bad day or the boss has jumped on them, then you may get great things or junk depending on their mood at the moment... this is why I always try to be polite when talking to customer service where I can't pick out plants myself, and why I would rather have someone else go to a nursery and pick things out for me if I can't get it myself
 

SlipperFan

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Now it's two and a half days since I sent them my question, and still no response. I guess I'll take my business elsewhere.

Thanks, everyone, for your replies here and through PMs.
 
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