After caring for your chrysanthemum plants for six months, it’s important to understand how to chose the best blooms to enter in show competitions. Judges use a 100-point scoring scale based on a perfect chrysanthemum bloom; the scale is published in the National Chrysanthemum Society Show and Judges Handbook. By far the greatest amount of chrysanthemum show entries will be a single chrysanthemum cultivar grown on its own stem-a disbud.
Some important rules to follow when entering chrysanthemums for show competitions include:
1. All chrysanthemums must have been grown outdoors by the exhibitor.
2 Entered chrysanthemums may not have been shown in any previous show during the current year.
3. Only one entry for each cultivar variety may be submitted.
4. Disbudded chrysanthemum blooms must measure at least four inches in diameter except for pompon, brush, and thistle types, whose blooms are small.
5. A disbudded chrysanthemum bloom must measure between 18″ to 30″ in height from the table to the top of the bloom.
Point Scoring Scale for Chrysanthemum Disbuds
At a chrysanthemum show, judges measure five specific qualities of a disbudded bloom and take off points for imperfections.
1. Bloom quality (55 points total) – includes the color, form and fullness, size, substance, and freshness
2. Stem (10 points total) – includes size and substance, straightness, and the uniformity of the internodes
3. Foliage (leaves; 10 points total) – includes color, size, substance, and freshness
4. Exhibit as a Whole ( 25 points total) – includes, cleanliness, absence of damage, pose, and proportion
Ribbon Award Points
A blue ribbon award requires 90 or more points; red – 85 or more points; yellow – 80 or more points. A purple ribbon is given for the best bloom in a class (example: spider, spoon, quill, pompon)
Pictures of Three “Best of Class” Chrysanthemums
I paid close attention to the judging point scale when I chose the blooms to show at the 2010 National Chrysanthemum Society Show. I have included photos of three disbuds that won a purple ribbon as the best cultivar in their class.
Pat Stockett Johnston is an accredited National Chrysanthemum Society Judge.