Show Tips from the Top​

By Don Lesmeister

(Important tips from expert camellia grower and shower, Don Lesmeister.  

Everything you wanted to know to win trophies at the camellia shows.) 

DON’T judge your blooms in your yard…take them to the show.

  1. Start your bloom entry plan the week before the show.
  2. Pin back leaves with clothes pins, disbud and prune if necessary.
  3. Move container plants to protected areas.
  4. Read show schedule.
  5. Clean boxes and get tools (brushes, tweezers, cotton etc.) ready.

  1. Remove leaves next to bloom from plant.
  2. Get cup/Perlite/sand and preservative ready-use correct cup size.
  3. Put bloom in preservative within 8 seconds of cutting.
  4. Put bloom in container surrounded by cotton, batting, etc. (Do not use newspaper or Easter grass.
  5. Do not clean blooms until you get to the show.
  6. Clean leaves with milk or cream or mayonnaise (don’t leave TOO shiny). Put leaves in separate baggies by size of leaf.

  1. Walk the show…See what the competition is.  Decide to enter single or trays etc.
  2. Gather up necessary trays,
  3. Clean bloom
  4. Put out entry card, place bloom & cup on table so only bloom names shows.
  5. Slice leaf under damaged petal if flower is red. (does not apply to white or pink blooms)
  6. Put damaged blooms in rear of class.
  7. If your bloom is BEST, put next to next best bloom.
  8. If your bloom is NEXT best, put far away from best bloom.
  9. Tilt the bloom slightly so it “smiles” at the judges.
  10. If bloom is not fully open, push gently with cotton Q-tip, blow on the petals to fully open.
  11. Use cotton, tissue etc, to stage bloom.
  12. Place bloom in middle of table if there are few entries.
  13. Stage every bloom as if it were the ONLY one you have.
  14. When finished, go over show again to review competition/single or tray entries and collections.

  1. Gas up the car/check oil/clean windows etc, a couple of days before the show.
  2. Get directions to the show location.
  3. Don’t drive in the slow, bumpy, truck lane of the highway.
  4. Bring heavy coat or blanket in winter as you do not want to turn the heater on.
Good Luck!

94th Annual Sacramento Camellia Show
March 3 & 4, 2018
Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J Streets 
Sacramento, CA  95814

The 94th Annual Camellia Show will be March 3th & 4th, 2018.

Hours are Saturday, 3 pm to 6 pm and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

Many great memories over the past 93 years. Come to the show and share some of yours!
This is the oldest camellia show in the United States.

​​Best of Show 2017, Lady Laura grown by Art and Chris Gonos


Camellia Shows of Northern California
​​2018 Show Schedule 

Grafting CLINIC - SATURDAY, Date to be determined


February 17 - 18 2018

San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Show

CAB Community Activities Blvd

1400 Roosevelt Avenue

Redwood City CA.

February 24 - 25
Camellia Society of Santa Clara County

Community Recreation Center

969 Kiely Blvd

Santa Clara, CA

March 3 - 4​

Camellia Society of Sacramento Show

Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

1515 J Street

Sacramento, CA

March 10 -11
Northern California Camellia Society

St Andrews Celebration Center
1601 Mary Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA
March 17 -18

Camellia Society of Modesto Show

Ernest & Julio Gallo Administrative Building

Modesto, CA



Camellia Society of Sacramento Show Schedule

If you want to enter a camellia, your bloom must be in place no later than 10am.  

The doors open to exhibitors at 7:30am.  There are entry cards with instructions available.  If you do not know the name of your camellia, we have members that can help you.  Children are also welcome to enter camellias in the Youth Category.

​Beautiful Camellias of many sizes and colors!

Spectacular trophy table with winning blooms!

The "Paint In", held this year on Sunday, March 4th

2018 button and magnets, as well as other collector buttons for sale

The Floral Design Guild will have beautiful floral designs featuring camellias

A display by our Sister City, Matsuyama, Japan

Camellia Waxing

Plant Sale (click here to see plants for sale)

There will be over 200 camellia plants for sale at the Show.
Many of these varieties are not available ​for purchase locally.


(916) 371-2174

Click the red box below to find directions on how to complete an entry blank needed to enter each of
your ​camellia blooms.

The Camellia Society of Sacramento cares for a camellia grove in Wm Land Park.  This grove was established in 1986. Volunteers to help with the care of the plants are always welcome.  Contact Carol Schanz, if you are interested.  We hope to add more camellias to the grove.

2018 Camellia Show

Northern California Camellia Council (NCCC) meeting. President Don Bergamini hosted the meeting at his home with his wife Mary.

American Camellia Society (ACS) has revised the Show Rules and Regulations.  A workshop is scheduled, February 3, 2018, to review the new rules and give hands on practice through a mini show.  This event will be held in Atherton, California.  ACS Judges and Novices judges and those who are interested in becoming ACS Novice judges are encouraged to attend.  Contact Don Bergamini at if you have questions.