packing bulbs for shipping

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 23:46:57 PST
Dear all,
 I find this a most interesting topic as I am faced with the problem every day. Under our packing 
tables we have the choice of nets, paperbags, plastic bags,  and filling (or protection) material;   
saw dust, woodchippings,  peat, potting soil, sphagnum, polystyrene.
 I try to be systematic,  in general we have the following rules:
Dry dormant bulbs: paper bags or nets, no filling material)
Freshly lifted bulbs with fleshy roots (amaryllidacea), cyclamen,  alstroemeria, agapanthus:
thin plastic bag in paperbag filled with slightly humid peat or sphagnum
Delicate tubers etc (Glorisosa, Bletilla, Dahlia) paperbag with dry woodchippings
The use of plastic bags must be controlled carefully; as  a period too long or bulbs too humid 
may lead to  rotting.
An excellent example of packing were the Crinums sent to us by Tony Avent.  The  bulbs with 
fresh roots were wrapped in sphagnum and damp newspaper. Roots remained intact and are 
still there three months after planting. (In many cases the fleshy roots disappear during the 
months after planting)

The choice depends invariably  on the genus, time of lifting prior to shipping,  length of 
shipping period. Many times  it is intuition which guides.
 Kind greetings
Lauw de Jager, France

I find that almost invariably where I err in the storage of bulbs is 
in keeping them too moist.  Woodland corydalis, for example -- which 
usually arrive from overseas packed in a moistened medium -- actually 
do better for me packed in a dry medium in plastic bags, which keeps 
them plump but discourages rooting.  The same with most frits and 
erythroniums.  On the other hand, as long as green tissue is not an 
issue, most bare-root geophytes will keep quite well even if moist 
and in root.  I have separated masses of erythroniums that have 
formed veritable rootballs within their plastic packing, all the 
while fearing that I was doing near-lethal harm.  But they just 
shrugged it off

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