Criteria for Judging Flowers

Flowers are carefully selected for judging.
Flowers are carefully selected for judging. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Subramanian Kabilan)

Judges pore over flower entries at shows, scrutinizing every detail to separate the elite from those that don't quite measure up. Consider the criteria judges look for when choosing the blue ribbon blooms as you make your entry selection.

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Judges do not look at a flower's color intensity. Judges look at a flower's color authenticity. A flower will receive a lower score if its color is muddy or streaked. The color of the back of the flower is judged in the same way.


Each flower will be judged for perfect appearance. It should be free of defects, dirt and disease. Judges look for blooms that are in their prime stage of openness.


A flower should be the size recommended for that species in the region in which it was grown to receive a top score for size.


Scores for structure include examination of the flower's form, pose and stability. Form is a flower's shape. Judges look for a flower posed at a right angle to the stem or evenly spaced flowers if the entry is made up of many florets.


Each component of a flower is examined for perfection. The stem provides stability and should be straight and in proportion to the flower size. The surface of the petals should be smooth and they should have a healthy thickness.

A flower's petals are closely examined.
A flower's petals are closely examined. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Kevin Dooley)


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