What's up with daffodil/narcissus bulbs ???
I bought a number of daffodil and narcissus bulbs, including King Alfred, Ice Follies, Tete-a-Tete, and Paperwhites, last fall for forcing, along with a number of other bulbs -- tulips, hyacinths, crocus, iris, and muscari.
I've had a lot of the various narcissus sit there and refuse to grow roots, doing nothing. If the foliage does eventually grow, it is stunted and yellowed, and doesn't do anything, no flowers. Some of each kind are growing, but it doesn't make for a very full or attractive pot this way, with some normal, healthy bulbs and some stunted, dead ones.
Depending upon the variety, it seems that anywhere from 10% (Ice Follies) to about 75% (the paperwhites and tete-a-tetes) are bad.
Everything else is doing just fine, and yielding beautiful flowers. I've got crocus, hyacinths, and iris in bloom right now, and tulips will open in about 2 to 3 days. Everything was purchased from same sources and handled same way, planted same time, etc.
I've noticed this problem lately in narcissus, and I don't think it's anything I've done. I believe it's a problem that is coming with the bulbs. They LOOK ok to the naked eye. I haven't, but should, cut some of them open and see what's going on inside. The first sign or symptom is that, when potted last fall, put into the greenhouse and watered in prior to going into cold storage, many of the narcissus bulbs just did not grow roots. Ordinarily, roots pop out of these bulbs very quickly, within days of being planted and watered. But, many of these just sat there, even the ones that did eventually grow, for up to a month before anything happened. I was concerned at that point, but nothing really I could do about it.
Anyone know what this might be? Some type of disease problem? Or, perhaps something is being done to the bulbs in the supply chain, like being cooked in the back of a UPS truck on a hot day or something?