A great variety of bulbs are shipped in well madder cases or cartons. Damage should be considered in the light of stowage, packing and the probability of pre-shipment damage not immediately apparent. Special stowage is usually required and this should invariably be studied. Packing and stowage varies with season and the particular type of bulb.
The following may be of assistance:
Most types of bulbs are susceptible to damage by frost. Decomposition, humidity and slime are the external features, while internally discoloration occurs. This damage may occur while awaiting shipment or after discharge. Begonia and gloxinia corms are probably the most sensitive of all bulbs. When these two types are chilled they will not grow. Frost damaged corms will decompose immediately they are exposed to normal temperature.
Damage can also arise from sweat, brought about by fluctuation of temperature during voyage. Sweat can also occur when bulbs are shipped too early after harvesting.
Usually dried out roots signify old roots. With certain types of bulbs, if roots longer than 3 cm have developed, and they are only few in number, there is no likelihood of injurious effect as there are sufficient root buds to ensure normal root growth. This assumes no damage to the basal plate itself and the absence of mould; otherwise, damage is possible. With some bulbs, no ill effects follow from rooting in transit unless there has been excessive delay.
Mould on outer skin of bulbs does not always assume damage. It could be brushed off after drying. Sprouting: This usually occurs in spring shipments but is generally not harmful unless the sprouts are of an extensive length. Also, if pre-cooled bulbs have been too long in shipment, they can or will show excessive sprouting.