Daylily tips for exhibitors at the county fair

By Sarah Creamer - OSU Extension

The Daylily Show at the Fayette County Fair is rapidly approaching. There have been many questions about how to exhibit them for the fair.

Keep in mind that there will be people at check-in to help you pick the correct category. If you know the name of the daylily be sure to bring that with you. Here are some basic tips for displaying daylily scapes at the Daylily Show at the 2016 Fayette County Fair on Tuesday, July 19:

The flower scape (flower stem) should be picked and groomed before the sun is hot, the more buds the better. Remember that daylily flowers only last one day. Yesterday’s perfect flower will be dead tomorrow. If a partially open bud has the pistil (female flower part) showing, the bud will open the next day.

Remove all spent flowers and seed pods. They should snap off at a natural breaking point. That point will be the bloom scar. The bloom scars should remain so that the judge can see how many flowers were on the scape. If the bloom scar is browning, a fresh cut with a sharp razor blade knife or scissors will make the whole scape look fresher. You should only remove a bud if it is interfering with a perfect bloom.

Any browning bracts (small leaves on stem) should be removed. If they are still green, leave them. Be sure to inspect the scape thoroughly for insects. Any pollen on the midrib or throat of the petals should be removed gently with a paintbrush but do not remove the stamen (male flower part that has the pollen on it). Water on the inside of the flower may cause the color to bleed.

The scape should be anchored upright in the vase (nine inch vase will be provided) with cotton balls or shipping peanuts (don’t use the ones that degrade in water). This keeps the scape standing up straight and visible from all sides as the judge inspects the flower. Be sure to position the scape so that it is in good proportion to the vase. Remove any foliage that will be below the water line in the vase.

The biggest hazard to your carefully groomed daylily is getting it in and out of the car. Watch the door frame and ceiling carefully.

Remember that it only takes one perfect scape on the day of the show to win “Best of Show.” If you have any questions, contact Sara Creamer at (740) 335-1150 or Good luck.

By Sarah Creamer

OSU Extension