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2023 GCDHS Daylily Show
Saturday, July 8

Setup is on Friday July 7 at 7 PM

Prep time 7 - 10 AM
Judging 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Plant Sale 10/10:30 AM - 3 PM
Exhibition will be open to the public 12:30 - 3 PM Earlier if judging is complete. 
Clean up will start at 3 PM

Krohn Conservatory 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati OH 45202

Entering a Daylily Show

Showing Daylilies is one way of sharing your garden with many people who probably would not see your flowers otherwise. Do not be under the impression that you must have the latest and greatest Daylilies to be able to show them.  Anyone can win the flower show on any given day if you are lucky enough to have that show winning bloom open on the day of the show.  It is a good idea to enter as many categories as possible to increase your chances of getting to the head table.  Check out the Judging Daylilies Handbook for detailed instructions. 

Choosing Your Scape 

Walk around your garden the day before the show and mark scapes that might have potential and may open for show day. 

If two buds look like the blooms might touch you can wedge rolled up wet newspaper between the blooms so that you don’t have to cut one off to improve points. 

Look for branching - many of the judges look for this quality. 

Grooming can make or break a winning scape so be sure you arrive on show morning allowing enough time to do it well. 

Some people will cut their scapes the night before but you might loose some size, as they will open much better in the morning.  If you bring them into the air-conditioned house they might not open well. 

Scape height should not be more than 36 inches except seedlings, which should be cut off as near to the base as possible. 

Transporting your Scapes 

transporting dayliliesIf you have time and a handyman around they can build you a carrying case with PVC pipe so that scapes can be carried with water.

A  tall plastic bucket can be used with tubes of rolled up newspaper to hold the scapes while using duct tape to criss cross the bucket to hold them up.

Some people will use separated liquor cartons with bottles in them with water in the bottom.  You can use blankets between the buckets or boxes to hold them steady during the trip to the show. The blooms are delicate and can easily break. Be sure they are well away from dashboards, windows etc. 

Click here for more ideas on transporting your scapes courtesy of the American Hemerocallis Society web page.

Grooming Aids 

These are items that you might assemble ahead of time and put in some type of travel container. One of the plastic shoe containers is a nice size and keeps everything together from year to year.

Cotton balls - for cleaning the scapes and buds
Q-tips - for getting in between the buds
Makeup sponges or eye shadow applicators (small sponges on a stick) - for removing pollen.
Small cuticle or other small scissors - to trim scapes
Exacto knife - to trim brown scars from scapes
Stick on address labels with your address - make it easy to put your address information on the entry tags.
Pen - to fill out the other information on the entry card 

The Grooming Process 

Go over the entire scape with a damp cotton ball. 

Freshen up the bud scars where previous blooms have been by taking your exacto knife and trimming the first layer of tissue. First blooms are best but with careful grooming a second or third bloom can win. 

Brush off any pollen that has fallen on the petals or sepals with your makeup sponge. 

The idea is to make everything appear green - no brown or as little as possible.

Trim the brown on bracts to a point. 

If a flower doesn’t want to open all the way you can hit it lightly with the air from a hair dryer set on low. 

Things you don’t want on your scape are open flowers on the scape that overlap, a bud interfering with the opening of a bloom, a torn petal, bug droppings or spider webs and, of course, no brown showing. 

Do not remove pollen from anthers on a bloom you are showing.


More tips from GCDHS

Tips from the Ohio Daylily Society (PDF)

Tips from the ADS website