Bill Carter, Washington

Is this bulb of Jodi diseased ? Dispose of or revive?

March 15, 2015

Category: Diseases and Pests

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IMG 7094I’ve never had issues with diseased bulbs.  I put all my new 2015 bulbs in pots to lessen the chance of introducing a disease to my garden soil.  This one pot looks sick.  11b Jodi.  Please help.IMG 7095

9 responses to “Is this bulb of Jodi diseased ? Dispose of or revive?”

  1. Clay Higgins, New Jersey Clay Higgins, North Carolina says:


    That looks a lot like a “Frozen daffodil”.


  2. Bill,

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say your bulb is very sick!

    I suspect it’s roots will be very weak and the bulb is rotting with the addition of small narcissus fly larva.

    Remove from proximity of other bulbs and destroy.

    If you pull it all will be revealed do this well out of the way from other bulbs and wash your hands afterwards.

    See you soon,



  3. Bill Carter, Washington Bill Carter, Washington says:

    It was not frozen.  It was located with 150 other pots in a cold greenhouse.  No other pot was damaged.  Thank Clay and Ian.  I hate loosing a bulb but it really looks sick.  I guess its curtains for Jodi.


  4. Bill Carter, Washington Bill Carter, Washington says:

    What is the proper way of disposing of a diseased bulb?  If I just throw it in the trash does the diseased bulb still have the chance of spreading?  I say yes.  So what do others do?  Burn the bulb and soil?  Any ideas?

  5. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    Ian is hinting at what I also suspect but it is not prudent to make such a suggestion in a public forum. As this bulb been in your possession for only a few months then we must suspect that it was diseased when you received it. On the other hand there is a friend who I often get bulbs from and they look like this first year in pots. They seem to settle over time.

    If this bulb IS severely diseased I would throw complete pot, mix and bulb in a waste container. If we are wrong then just throw out the bulb and potting mix then sterilize the pot.


  6. Clay Higgins, New Jersey Clay Higgins, North Carolina says:


    If you are going to dispose of the bulb Marie Bozievich put them in a plastic bag and put them into the trash. Not to much disease will come out of the trash dump and infect others.

    Pull it up and look at the bulbs. Dissect them and take a close look. If it is mushy you have a real nematode problem. If it has dark rings around the layers of the bulb it could be several things. Dispose of it at once. Do not put in you compost. Wash your hands in a 5% bleach mixture after handling the bulb or you could spread it by your hands.

    I have several clumps that were frozen this year, and that was my first suggestion, however, it is always best to be safe than sorry. Back in the 1990’s I had a severe problem that took me several year to eradicate as it was a general infection before I recognized that I had a problem.


  7. Keith Kridler, Texas Keith Kridler, Texas says:

    I would still dump out the potted plant and inspect the roots and as others have mentioned check to see if the bulb itself is soft or has signs of basal rot. Several types of disease can move up from damaged scales of the bulbs, up into the leaves. You need to determine if it is, or was, just mechanical damage to bulb, slightly crushed during shipping or digging and or damage from a bulb fly. Granular fertilizer used in potting soil can get up against the sides or bottom of a flower bulb and cause severe damage to the bulb, which can show up as root and or leaf damage.

    Fungal or bacterial issues can move down from leaves that are damaged by very heavy rain, sleet or hail will damage the surfaces of the leaves allowing entry of pathogens into these damaged leaves. Then spreading within the bulb scales to other leaves. Fungal leaf diseases are from common fungi spores found locally so you would probably not be spreading a “new disease” by putting the bulb and soil in commercial trash bins for pick up.

    Since you only have one bulb and one pot of soil you could put this in a five gallon “Plastic” bucket, fill the bucket 3/4 full of fireplace ashes and add water. The extremely high PH of fireplace ashes will/should kill any disease and or pest when you add about 1&1/2 gallons of water to the bucket with the bulb, soil and fireplace ashes.

    You could also use Hydrated lime and or “Quick Lime” as a substitute for fireplace ashes to cover the diseased plant in a plastic five gallon bucket. Add enough water to saturate the lime and cover the plant.

    You could also use about a gallon of household bleach. Let all of this soak for multiple days.

    ALL of these materials are caustic to your hands and can cause damage to your eyes! A couple of days in the bucket will/should kill any pathogen. Fireplace ashes and hydrated lime can be used as a soil amendment if you have acidic soils, but you only need about one pound of dry ashes (1/2 Kilo) per 100 square feet or 10 square meters of surface area if you have a PH of 6 or less.
    Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

  8. Jason Delaney, Missouri Jason Delaney, Missouri says:


    I strongly advise not making any hasty decisions or destroying the plant until you have contacted your local extension service or your state university to find an appropriate plant pathology lab that can test the bulb for the actual answer.  Hunches are good, but when dealing with disease or insect issues, absolutes are far superior.

    (I found this online–perhaps one of these may be of assistance to you:   If nothing more, tell them you have a daffodil bulb that needs testing for possible bacterial or fungal infestation, or worse, nematodes)

    I have needed to test new, first-year bulbs from other growers for similar reasons, and some of these bulbs have tested positive for nematodes–never good news to receive from the lab.  However, it’s helpful to find out what is going on so you can treat the situation accordingly.  That yours are in pots, versus outdoors, in the ground, is already a benefit if you have nematodes; however, you will still need to clean the greenhouse area and be mindful of tracking soil from one area to another.

    For the testing (at least for the state of Illinois), you mail in the whole plant, intact–roots, bulbs, leaves, flowers, and attached soil as you have it.  You have to overnight the sample(s), or two-day post at most.  You pay $40 per sample to be tested.  This is a costly procedure–not only do you destroy the bulb you paid for (it is pureed for the assay), but you’re also spending a fortune on shipping and on each test.  However, you have to look at this as a necessary expenditure: If it’s something really malignant that could spread, you want to find out what it is and how you can most effectively eradicate it and prevent it.   No offense to fellow friends and colleagues on Daffnet, but don’t risk the guessing game as to what your bulb’s problem is–spend the money and have it tested so you can find out for certain.

    Regardless of the results, privately share this with your resource, especially if the results are positive.  The grower will want to know this, too.  It’s never an easy conversation to have, but they may not know they have a problem, based on their ideal climate or growing situation where signs of infestation are easily masked.  Your unfortunate discovery may prevent countless others from experiencing the same fate.

    Good luck!




  9. Melissa Reading, California says:

    This is the Daffnet I love, such sage and prompt advice from folks who have seen the problems before.  Good luck, Bill, let us know what it was, whenit is established.