Abstract The use of scaled-up liquid cultures could be an efficient system for mass propagation of Narcissus, as it can greatly reduce the costs involved with manual handling. Induction of hyperhydric meristematic leaf section clusters and proliferation were carried out in an ancymidol (ANC)-containing liquid medium in flasks and disposable presterilized plastic bioreactors. Non-hyperhydric bulblets started to develop from hyperhydric meristematic leaf section clusters after subculture on a 0.8% agar strength medium, and young bulbs formed after 10 mo. in vivo acclimatization with a 98% survival rate. The present study reveals that in Narcissus leaf sections cultured in liquid medium, morphogenetic changes in leaf sections were associated with metabolic changes. The changes in carbohydrate, protein, and water potential of the liquid media and leaf sections were found to be closely related to meristematic center initiation on Narcissus hyperhydric leaf sections. Starch, sucrose, and glucose were significantly higher in the hyperhydric leaf sections cultured in ANC medium. The water potential was significantly higher in ANC-treated leaf sections and significantly lower in the medium containing ANC, at the stage shortly before or after hyperhydricity and meristematic centers began forming on the leaf sections. A 30 kDa protein was found to be present in the hyperhydric leaf sections. Based on the present study, a large-scale micropropagation protocol of Narcissus in agar and liquid cultures is proposed.