DIVISION I – HORTICULTURAL – CUT LEAF SHOW TIPS!
PREPLANNING YOUR LEAF EXHIBITS … ‘Getting a Head Start’
1. Stroll through your gardens and select those eye-popping
plants that are sure to give you some great leaf specimens.
2. Protect leaves from falling debris and critter damage by
covering them with light weight netting.
3. Eliminate the chance of frost damage by covering with
frost cloth or sheets.
4. Broadcast slug bait early in the spring to prevent slug and
SELECTING YOUR SPECIMENS … ‘Getting Down and Dirty’
1. Select mature leaves located on the outside perimeter
of the plant.
2. Cut the stem close to the base at a 45* angle. This allows for
maximum water absorption which is critical to the vigor of the
3. Avoid leaves that have holes, blemishes, tears,
and evidence of critter damage.
PREPARING YOUR SPECIMENS! … ‘Cleaning up your Act’
1. Leaves can be picked several days before the show.
Place them in a cool water bath to preserve their rigidity.
2. Begin the grooming process at home. Techniques for grooming
and cleaning can be found in the show booklet.
Getting a head start means you’ve done an initial grooming
and now a final inspection can be done before staging them in the
appropriate test tube or vase.
3. To save time label the leaves and fill out the exhibit tags prior to the show.
Show rules now requires you to enter the leaf size (length x width)
on the show card. Classification lists will be available at the show to help.
JUDGING YOUR SPECIMENS! … ‘Here Come the Judges’
The judges will be looking for the following while judging the exhibits.
1. FORM – Form and shape are true to the variety.
2. SIZE – The leaf meets the size qualifications as found in the
3. COLOR AND PATTERN – Color and pattern should be typical
of the variety. Mottling and streaking must be uniform (symmetry) and
4. TEXTURE – is the surface quality of the leaf such as ribbed, puckered, or
silken gleam. The lack of normal feel or appearance is a fault.
5. CONDITIONING AND GROOMING – Wilting, flabbiness, disease,
insect holes, and dirt are faults. Cleanliness and a well trimmed stem
would indicate good grooming.
6. SUBSTANCE – Applies to the firmness and rigidity of the leaf and
petiole. Leaf should be: firm, strong, crisp.
7. LABELING – The exhibit should be correctly labeled and the entry
tag correctly filled out. Make sure to add the leafs dimensions (length
x width) as this is a new requirement for this years shows cat damage,
MOST COMMON FAULTS AS VIEWED BY THE JUDGES !
‘Looking it over and checking it twice’
1. Conditioning/Grooming – leaves are dirty, damaged by insects,
and holes are evident. Care should be taken to remove dirt from
leaves with puckers or deep veins.
2. Size – immature leaves are selected.
3. Color and Pattern – left side of leaf does not match right side,
4. Substance – leaf lacks firmness and rigidity. Droopiness
is due to insufficient substance.
5. Form – avoid leaves that are misshapen due to insect,
rodent, and weather conditions. Leaves should be attractive,
fully developed, not frail or immature.
NOTE…Help will be available for grooming leaves during the prep time on
Friday, June 6th from 4 pm to 7 pm. This is a learning opportunity as well as a fun
activity. If you are a novice (first time exhibitor), bringing only a few
leaves to exhibit will help you overcome your entry anxiety
and you could very well go home with an award and bragging
See you at the DHSWP Hosta Show on June 7th at Soergels Orchards
2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford, PA 15090
Chuck O…Ed/Judges Chair