Show Iris

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How to Show a Winning Iris Flower

After growing your iris you might want to join an iris show. This is what you need to know to successfully show your iris.

    • Terminal bud must be open
    • Facing Front
    • Fresh, not one day past
    • Judges can see light through old petals
    • Flawless
    • No holes
    • No livestock (bugs)
    • No tears
    • No wrinkles
    • No spots from water or bugs
    • Petals of branch flowers must not touch main stem
    • Stems must not lean over—stake the likely show specimens a week in advance to ensure an upright flower
    • A day or so before cutting, place styra-foam between branch and stem to force a bit of spread away from the stem so that when the bud opens it will not touch a stem
    • A single stem that is well balanced is preferable to a main spike and branch, if the branch makes the overall effect too busy
    • The branch may be divided into thirds visually, top third will have the terminal bud and side branch, middle flower and branch perhaps, and large clean leaf to balance the stem in the lower third
    Judges look for new features, colors, and interesting qualities

Presentation or Staging

    1. Turn vase to have the terminal bud facing you, branch(es) pointing to the sides
    2. Think thirds; the entire flower stem showing should not be more than tow times the height of the vase
    3. Have the right size vase. Proportion counts.
    4. If you are going to use material (a piece of stem) to brace the flower spike in the vase, be sure to have it lower than the top of the vase.
    • To avoid finger prints on the stem, brush stem with a makeup (blush) brush. Some people use baby powder to resemble the natural grey “frosting”
    • A branch or leaf should be above the top of the vase, not resting on the rim of the vase
    • Do not be afraid to trim
    • Make a neat, clean trim, looking as natural as possible
    • If you had to cut deep into the leaf, and the two sides of the leaf a re exposed, use a drop of contact cement between the open sides of the leaf where you have cut—hold closed for a few seconds to secure the leaf togethe