Ask a Question forum→Begonia arrived poorly - what exactly is the matter?

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PithayaPyrrhula
Dec 12, 2020 4:08 PM CST
Hello!
Against my better judgment I recently ordered a begonia brevirimosa online despite the cold temperatures. I paid for it to be sent in an insulated box with a heatpack. When I unpacked it, it looked a bit sad, but ok. I didn't look too closely but when i returned home a few hours later, i found it to have deteriorated quite a bit. The second large-ish leaf is really limp and in part crispy and there are some dark grey spots on it (they are difficult to see against the dark colour of the leaf). The other bigger leaf isn't limp, but it has a hole in it with greyish fraying - it does not look like mechanical damage.
Could this plant have powdery mildew or is it just in shock? Should I send the images below to the seller and demand a refund?
I would be very grateful for any advice on the subject.
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Thumb of 2020-12-12/PithayaPyrrhula/ba0673


Thumb of 2020-12-12/PithayaPyrrhula/e6aa4f


Thumb of 2020-12-12/PithayaPyrrhula/9d735b

Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Dec 12, 2020 5:06 PM CST
I think it is suffering the effects of being shipped. Give it a month or two to recover. It should perk up!

Just give it a bright windowsill, water and NO fertilizer!!! Fertilizer will do nothing except stress it even more.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
Europe
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PithayaPyrrhula
Dec 12, 2020 6:07 PM CST
Thanks a lot for the assessment and the tips!

I did send the pictures to the seller, though, since I think it's important to document these things, just in case there really is something wrong with it.
Name: Sally
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sallyg
Dec 13, 2020 8:48 AM CST
Good idea, as the seller will hopefully know if this is unexpected and serious damage, or the best they can do with shipping this plant.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Dec 13, 2020 9:46 AM CST
This is the cold hard facts when you buy on line.
A seller is not going to spend 20-30 dollars shipping and wrapping a plant that costs them $5! They would be out of business quickly!!
Cold, hard, but think about it.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
Europe
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PithayaPyrrhula
Dec 14, 2020 4:39 AM CST
Well, sure, but as I said, I paid extra for the styrofoam insulation and the heatpack and if they sell this type of extra, I expect it to make a difference and protect my plant. And shipping for that thing cost me plenty, almost the same amount as the plant itself, so I have certain expectations. It's also not like it got sent around the world, just from Germany to Austria.
It's tough in times like these, when online sellers cannot rely on analog markets to sell their goods at and have to ship sensitive plants like these in winter, but if they do take my money, I expect them to arrive in acceptable condition or at least perk up at some point soon. We'll see, with this one. Surely, I'll think twice about purchasing a thin-leaved exotic plant like this online in winter (or ever, maybe), the next time around.
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Dec 14, 2020 7:22 AM CST
How long did it take to get there? That is the key!

Here we can us USPS the United States Potal Service which lately has been delivering packages with a 2-3 week delay!!!!
We can use UPS the United Parcel Service. Better but 3-5 days is typical.
Or we can use Fed Ex. Fed Ex is the best at 2-3 days.
Can you imagine what your plants would look like after two or three weeks??? All I am saying is it might not be the vendor.

That and don't get a plant shipped if there is cold weather possible.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
[Last edited by BigBill - Dec 14, 2020 7:22 AM (+)]
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Europe
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PithayaPyrrhula
Dec 14, 2020 8:23 AM CST
It took around 6 days for the plant to get to me from Germany. Of course that's not ideal, but I wouldn't expect that kind of shipping time to kill a plant or maybe give it powdery mildew.
It should be pointed out that with this particular seller, I'm a bit wary from the outset since the plant looks nothing like the image advertised. Add the state it arrived in and one feels a little misled.

Of course it's not always the vendor's fault and of course having plants shipped in winter is not ideal, but as I have pointed out, there is an expectation (at least within European consumer culture) that the vendor will be aware of shipping conditions at the moment and of what can and cannot survive being shipped in winter and take that into account before taking people's money for said plants. I recently ordered a much bigger, sturdier plant from the Netherlands and there was no problem whatsoever - and it didn't even have a heatpack.
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Dec 14, 2020 8:32 AM CST
I feel your pain. You rely on vendors to do what's right. But honestly in my 47 years of orchid growing, my disappointments have been few. I use the same vendors again and again.
But I never order during cold weather. May 1st to October 1st only.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
Europe
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PithayaPyrrhula
Dec 14, 2020 11:10 AM CST
Yeah, I guess I've learnt a lesson. I'm new to ordering plants online.
But thankfully the seller was very decent in the end and has refunded my money by now.
It's just a shame that it's so hard to get this type of begonia offline where I live. I'll try to get my local plant shop to get a hold of it for me in the spring. That might be more expensive, but at least I'll know what's what and I'll be supporting a local vendor.
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Dec 14, 2020 11:29 AM CST
At least this ended well.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.

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