Preparing Flowers for the Show

Arrangement Triple and Single Entries Staged Baskets


Several days before the show prepare your vases. Fill with foam and pack lightly so the foam will hold the bloom upright. Add 1 drop of bleach to small vases and 2 drops to large vases; adding water immediately so the water will mix with the bleach. Add a rubber band to the lower part of the base to hold the show tag. The vases can be used for additional shows in the same year. To reuse, check to see they are full of water and if it has been several weeks since the last show, add additional bleach. Note: Add the bleach sparingly as too much bleach will burn the foliage.

Place buckets filled with water throughout the garden the evening before the show. Early in the morning, the day of the show, cut only blooms that are show quality (properly disbudded, blooms at a 45 degree angle to the stem, good stems), or the best blooms you have. As soon as the blooms are cut, place in one of the buckets of water and move to a cool dark room. Mist the blooms and keep them misted throughout the staging process up until the time they are judged.



The show tags can be completed with your name and address several days before the show. Address labels may be used instead of hand entering the information. Just be certain address labels are identical for all entries. Complete a show tag as soon as the bloom is staged. Refer to the Show Schedule for Section No. and Class. Then enter the name of the bloom, ADS 4-digit classification number, Size, Type, Form, and Color. After completing both the top and bottom of the show tag, fold the bottom half up on the perforation. Place a rubber band around the base of the vase and slip the show tag under it, making sure the bottom half of the tag is secured over the top half with the rubber band. (This will keep the exhibitor's name hidden during judging). Note: To ascertain the 4-digit classification number, refer to the on-line ADS Classification Guide. Click on "Dahlia Search" and then type in the variety name. The classification number will be listed on the next screen. If you do not know the name of the variety, complete everything that you can on the show tag, and then arrive at the show early to get help from a senior judge.


About Show Tags

The morning of the show, place the entries on the show bench in the correct section, making sure the show tag is complete. MDS members will be available at the shows to assist with any questions regarding location of the sections.









Show Time

Staging and showmanship is an important part of winning that blue ribbon.  When entering a single or triple entry, staging and artistic appearance is very important.  Overall 15% of the score is determined by proper staging.  Start with a clean container and before placing on the show table, make sure no foam is on the container and it is properly placed for judging.  Each flower should be grown, staged and placed in the proper section by the exhibitor.  Blooms should be disbudded and shown with at least one set of leaves; more than one set will not be rewarded or penalized.  The blooms should be properly classified.  Be sure to read your show schedule carefully for the rules of the show.  Blooms need to be placed in containers so they can be easily seen by the judges. 

The Montana Dahlia Society invites you to enter your Dahlia blooms at the shows.  Containers, staging materials and show tags are provided by the society.  We hope to see you at the shows!


Kalispell Center Mall Awards Table 2012


Dahlia "Tyr Joann"