Exhibiting Horticulture Successfully

Selecting Plant Material

  1. Select plants from your garden for cutting early in the morning, and place them directly into cool water.
  2. Cut at the peak of maturity – for show purposes, that means when the main bloom is 3/4 open.
  3. Cutting on a slant encourages the uptake of more water for hydration.
  4. The plant must have been grown in your garden for at least 3 months.


  1. Do not show plants with damaged or spent flowers
    1. They should be removed as inconspicuously as possible – or trimmed if removal would destroy symmetry.  Trimming should follow natural line of the leaf.
    2. A small blemish should not take an otherwise perfect specimen out of contention.
  2. There should be no dust, dirt, pollen or spray on leaves.
  3. The specimen should be free of evidence of pests and disease.
  4. No leaf polish may be used.
  5. If a container plant is being exhibited, the container should be clean.


  1. Wedging material should be used to hold plant upright and in the best position for viewing.  Cotton has been used frequently in the past, but it is preferable to use a clear material such as saran wrap or bubble wrap.  Celery stalks or stalks of other plants may be used as wedging material.
  2. The bottles should be uniform for fairness in judging.  They must be clear glass so that the stem is visible.  In the past, some clubs prefer green or brown tinted bottles, but we encourage you to make the change.  (A lot of beer comes in clear glass.)
  3. The plant should be well hydrated, preferably conditioned for several hours.
  4. The stem must be visibly submerged in water.
  5. Only one stem may be exhibited in each container.
  6. There should be no foliage below the water line.
  7. The plant must be properly and legibly labeled.  Genus and species preferred, but common name is acceptable at club meetings.