I bought 2 plants last Aug. The Psychopsis Mendenhall 'Monarch' is wonderful - 2 spikes & has continued to bloom on & off since I got it, well worth $50! The other was a paph - it's a roth X, the plant is fine & healthy. Maybe I was lucky....?
Norman's orchids is a great place to shop if you want to buy fraudulently misrepresented, overpriced, pest ridden, and virused orchids.
My first order from them was beautiful. All the plants were healthy and I was impressed with the shipping. This must have been a fluke.
My second order contained a plant nearly dessicated by an active mite infestation. I tried to have the plant replaced with a healthy one, and I was told that all of the plants of that particular grex were in the same condition. Customer service was a snotty teenager of limited intelligence.
My third order was my last. They sent me the wrong plants, and one of them was covered in mealies. I tried to get them to fix the problem, and they told me that the plants that were shipped to me were more expensive than the plants I ordered, so I should just be happy with what they sent. Really, this is what they said! I talked to the same arrogant kid who handles customer service for them. He is so mouthy over the phone, he better hope I never meet him at an orchid show.
Don't take my word for it. If you feel the overwhelming need to order from them, go ahead. In time, you WILL be screwed by them and have zero recourse.
I've never ordered from them....been tempted, but the after reading all the bad reviews over the past several years, decided that they were not worth the attempt. At this point, why bother? I have done very well with the vendors on this list, and the few ebay vendor's I bid on. Take care, Eric
gotsomerice, whoever told you paphs are immune to virus was very wrong. You typically find more virus in catts, phals and dendrobiums due to the ablility to clone a virused mother plant into thousands of virused seedlings that are then grown out and hit the market. Whereas the science of paph cloning isn't there yet. Also, paphs aren't usually divided with tools so that lessens the chance of spreading it with dirty tools. But here's a quote from Bob W. on another thread that says it all....
"Maybe just bad wording, but at any rate Paphs are susceptible to the three most commonly found viruses in orchid collections, I know of no data scoring susceptibility of different genera, but I have found enough virused Paphs, usually older clones that have been around forever or clones from collections with lots of Cattleyas and Cymbidiums. I believe the thought is Paphs are rarely exposed to viruses because we don't tend to cut on them as much as Cattleyas or Cymbidiums, and since they aren't cloned they are not distributed pre-virused as many other genera were. Also a word about summering out. Bean Yellow Mosaic virus has many, many hosts (rarely beans these days as they've been by and large bred for resistance), and is readily transmitted to orchids by aphids. It is the only virus that I have seen have overt serious consequences for Paphs (as in death)."
They are more or less. One thing, most hobbyists and professionnals get their orchids tested for 2 major viruses, CyMV and ORSV, and sometimes BYMV for masdevallias, plus one or two others ( Tomato Ringspot, etc...)
I visited the cloning labs of some companies. Back to several years ago, those labs were generalistic, from orchids to tomato, to micrografted zucchinis. They did not care at all about cleanliness of the tools, they were there to make very, very cheap "plants.
At the same times sprouted the first reports of tomato ringspot virus and some others in orchids. The dreadful Orchid Fleck Virus ( apparently seed transmitted as well), and many others attack any type of orchid, anytime.
Some nurseries used their breeding plants as cut flowers when they did not want to exhaust the plant. Hence, they cutted the flower stems... Some others got a worker cutting a couple brown tips on the plants when they repot, etc...
Basically, I got virused paphs, tested for CyMV and ORSV, but I suspect that some chlorosis and necrotic patches can be virus-induced. I have no proof for that, but it is possible. At any rate, I have seen sometimes seedlings a couple of months out of flasks with very heavy necrotic and chlorotic patches, that did not test for any known fungus or bacteria. Apparently the others grexes were not affected in this dutch nursery, so it should not be a mineral deficiency. Remains only virus, or nearly so, as a possible cause. BYMV in paphs is most frequent, to my experience, in old complex hybrids and some pot plant types, but there are so many virus that it is impossible to assume a plant is really virus free, except by complete ELISA testing ( we speak about a thousand or more US$ for all the viruses known, only for the reagents, not the workers !), followed by electron microscopy.
As well, before many people were sowing paphs as dry seeds. Now, to gain time, most labs will do green seed caps, so virus transmission is likely... I had sometimes flasks from a few suppliers whose seedlings would never perform well, and always have kind of chlorosis and necrosis at a time or another...
From reading Sanderianum's post. I just wonder that maybe we worry too much about infection.
I think that everything that exist on land will have virus, bacteria, fungi in them (may be not the ones we can detect, or harmful ones, or with obvious symptoms).
All living things that are big enough will have something else inside them.
This is probably true, Hien. Heck, humans have probably thousands of endogenous retroviruses (integrated right into the genome), most of which are 'dead' but a (very) few of which could activate at any time with unknown consequences. Plant genomes are probably similarly cluttered. It would be impossible to make any organism completely virus free.
However, it is still not really an excuse to be sloppy. Especially with viruses we know cause harm, like TMV and bean mosaic.