Flowers are divided into two categories for showing at your horticulture shows, they are...
- Cut flowers and
- Pot plants.
Cut flowers can be divided into two main shapes
Spike and round.
Gladiolus and snapdragon are examples of spike flowers.
Rose, Zinnia's and chrysanthemum are just some examples of round flowers.
When selecting spike flowers, look for long spikes with half the florets open and half unopened.
The bottom florets should show no signs of over-maturity in the form of browning around the edges, shriveling, or fading of color.
Spike form flowers should be just single spikes with no secondary side shoots.
Maturity is an important factor when selecting round form flowers.
The center petals must not be so tight and immature as to be green, but they should be tighter than the outer petals.
The outer petals should begin to turn down, but show no signs of wilting and drying.
Spike or round flowers in the same class should be of one variety or cultivar and have typical characteristics of that variety.
Select your flowers as you see them, not by what they could be if properly trimmed, cleaned, etc. for the show.
Flowers should always be free of irregularities, spray residue and blemishes due to insect, disease, or mechanical injury.
Stems should always be the same length, straight and strong enough to support the flower head without bending and with out support from any other means eg florist wire etc.
Foliage should be clean, fresh and a bright shade of green.
Size of bloom, symmetry, color, freshness, arrangement of petals and true-to-variety flower shape are other important points to consider when selecting your flowers for showing.
Potted flowering plants
should be short, compact,
well-shaped plants having dark green foliage
with flower buds just beginning to show color or
perhaps with a few buds open.
Specimens having the most flower buds are normally more desirable.
The selection of your foliage plants is similar to selecting potted plants, but much more attention should be given to the quality of the foliage.
The size, color and number of the leaves as well as the size and shape of the plant and whether it appears to be growing, are all criteria to consider.