Getting nervous about preparing leaves for an AHS accredited leaf show?
Here is their recommended list of steps to take before the show
Look over your leaves and select those that you wish to show. 1. No holes in leaves 2. No edge damage 3. Make sure the pattern on leaf matches the description of the variety as closely as possible. 4. Make sure the size of the leaf is as close to the description as possible.
How to cut leaves. 1. Cut all stems as long as possible. 2. Label all leaves as to variety. I used a label tag that had a long string attached. Drop the cut leaf into the loop and then place stem into a containter of cold water.
How to condition leaves. 1. If you cut your leaves a day or so ahead, you may put them into a bathtub of cold water and let them soak overnight. By so doing you loosen the dirt on the leaves and stems. Cleaning the leaves then becomes considerably easier. DON'T LOOSE THEIR NAMES!!!!!!! 2. You may add a little mild detergent to the water if the leaves are very dirty.
Cleaning the leaves for show 1. Arm youself with cotton swabs, cotton balls and water. 2. With wet swab or cotton ball carefully but firmly remove ALL DIRT from all dimples, veins, inner stems and all leaf surfaces. Dry surfaces with a dry cotton swab. 3. DO AS LITTLE SURFACE CLEANING OF BLUE VARIETIES AS POSSIBLE. A blue leaf is blue due to a coating on the leaf's surface. Rubbing to hard will remove the blue coating and make the leaf appear green. Sorry, no ribbon now.
4. When the leaf "glows" with beauty and good health, place the stem back into a proper container filled with cold water----along with its name tag.
5. MAKE SURE TO HOLD ALL LEALVES UP TO A GOOD LIGHT SOURCE AS YOU ARE CLEANING THEM. IF THERE IS A PIN HOLE OR DEFECT, DISQUALIFY THE LEAF AND SELECT ANOTHER ONE FROM THE PLANT
Transporting the leaves to the show 1. Find a container suitable to the size of the leaves you wish to transport it in. 2. Stabilize the containeror containersso they do not shift location in your car. 3. TRY TO ENTER YOUR LEAVES ON FRIDAY OF SHOW WEEKEND. YOU WILL HAVE TIME TO PRESENT YOUR LEAVES PROPERLY AND PLACE LESS STRESS ON THE STAGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS