Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beware Of Unscrupulous Plant Nurseries (小心受骗)

I am lovers of exotic plants and have many good and bad experiences with dealing with various plant suppliers around the world. Oddly to say, the ones that gave me most doubts are some of the local Singaporean and Malaysian plant nurseries. This is a very sad thing as some of the Sing-Ma folks are getting a little dishonest these days.


You know, Malaysia is a tropical country with many rare and expensive collectors’ orchid species and other precious plants. These plants are very much sought after in the western world but as the supply is limited, any offerings of these plants will receive plenty of attentions within the plant lovers.


There is only one catch: there are many advertisements in the intranet, but which is authentic and which is not remains as the biggest question. Perhaps we will need to actually visit these nurseries and buy on site to be on the safe side.


I have an exotic plant lover friend who was looking for some Malaysian orchid species. As he couldn’t come to Malaysia just for two plants, he asked my help. Well, after looking at the nursery location which is in Perak, I figured that would be okay to visit. So, I call up the person in charge. Below is the conversation:

Me: “I am from Perak and want to buy some plants, can I visit you?”

He: “Oh. I am in Penang right now.”

Me: “Can I come to Penang to visit you then?”

He: “Oh I am on holiday and pretty busy. You can just purchase online.”

Me: “I know your mailing address which is only 10 minutes from my parent’s house…”

He: “Oh, there won’t be anyone. It is only used for correspondence.”

Me: “Can I visit your nursery then?”

He: “Oh, the nursery is located deep inside jungle; you must have a 4 wheel drive.”

Me: “…”

Well, after push and pull for a while, I gave up on the nursery as I am in doubt of its authenticity…

Now I switched my attention to a nursery in Singapore, but this one is more interesting… There is no contact number and the email directed me to another email; and this email never gets answered!


So, I had to reply to my US friend that it is better to buy in eBay or other more established suppliers. Perhaps it is safer to do the dealings there as I don’t really see any other alternatives.


For obvious reasons, I cannot disclose those doubtful nurseries, but if there is a nursery that can offer you many varieties of rare plants with seemingly low prices; please be very careful. The reason is that, these plants are not easily available; even the most established ones will only have a handful in their collections.


It is my hope that no one gets cheated by these unscrupulous nurseries; in Singapore, Malaysia or the rest of the world!

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