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Science Rocks!

Coloring Flowers


your results

Sent in by:
Renee of Washington, D.C.

Change the color of a flower!

Materials Needed

  • white flowers, like white carnations or Queen Anne's Lace
  • food coloring
  • water
  • a plastic container



  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.
  2. You know that plants need water to grow, make seeds, and stay healthy.
  3. Renee of Washington D.C. told us a way we can see how all the parts of the plant get water.
  4. Fill a plastic container with water and add a few drops of food coloring.
  5. Cut a small piece of the stem off of the flower.
  6. Put the flower in the container of food coloring and water.
  7. Check every few hours to see how the petals are changing color. The only way the petals can change color is if the food coloring travels up the stem and goes to the petals.
  8. After about one day, the petals of the flower will turn from white to the color of the food coloring.
  9. Here's how this works. The leaves and petals of plants have lots of small holes called stomates. They're too small to see. Water evaporates through these holes. This is called transpiration. After the water evaporates, the plant needs more water to grow.
  10. If the flower is planted in soil, the roots of the plant get the water from the soil and then the water travels up through its stem.
  11. But, if the flower is in a container of water, it doesn't have any roots so it just sucks up the water through its stem.
  12. So, now when you see a flower that's an unnatural color, like a bright green carnation on St. Patrick's Day, you'll know how it was made. You can also dye a flower two different colors by splitting the stem in half and putting it in two different containers of colored water.

What do you think will happen to the flower if you change the temperature of the water? Experiment. Think of a question that you want answered. Like, what would happen if you put the flowers in water with sugar and food coloring? Make a prediction. Test it out by setting-up three flowers in three different containers of water. They should each contain the same amount of water and food coloring. Then, to one container add a little sugar, to the other add a lot of sugar, and to the third, don't add any sugar. Make some observations and then send your results to ZOOM.

Some of your Results

Angle, age 10 of Quebecy City, QC wrote:
i had a science project so me and my group disced to do it on why plants (flowers) change colous so we put food colouring in a small pot with 2 other flowers after 1 hour it started to chang colour but after 2 days the flowers were died

Jada, age 9 of Greenacers, FL wrote:
it worked! it really worked! I did a perfect science project!

Sunny, age 10 of Brighton wrote:
Dear zoom, when I tried your experiment I tried to make the flower turn 3 colors

Jacey, age 4 of Woodruff, SC wrote:
I chose to make a rainbow of flowers and used a different color for each flower. It was interesting to see the different ways the colors turned out and which ones turned faster.

Irene, age 11 of Lawrence, KS wrote:
When I double colered my flower it was like a blue border on the tiip of the petals.

Jamya, age 15 of Bennettville wrote:
my had turned into and red color because my food coloing was red and that wat I use for my coloring flower and thanks!!

Brittney of Talladega, AL wrote:
USE CARNATIONS! I teach 7th grade life science. We tried white daisies first, and they only took a little color before finally wilting and dying after a week. We switched to "mini" carnations today, and after only 3 hours, they have already changed color. Carnations work much better.

Anna, age 14 of Idaho Falls wrote:
coool bean my school is doing the science fair this year I am doing this experiment but drifference room and I am add sugar in and I cant wait until I find out what happend

Stacy of Portage, MI wrote:
The best way to do this is to use white carnations and add a lot of food coloring to the water. Also, you will see faster results if you cut the stem pretty short. I'll leave the reasoning on that to all you little scientists out there!

Msadeeke, age 14 of Hamtramck, MI wrote:
it did start changing the first night, but after 4 days it start to go down

Lorryn, age 12 of GA wrote:
The lighter the dye the color will not develop, but the darker the color the darker it got

Heidi, age 13 of Sulphur, LA wrote:
i used it for my Middle school science fair project an me and my friend got 1!!! we used an orange die and turned it full orange and used other colors to show what the process looked like during diffrent times

Jaire, age 12 of High Point wrote:
it changed colors

Liz, age 15 of Pomona, CA wrote:
i try it with a white carnation it works it turn blue but I did it with another one and it didn't work why?

Kelly, age 10 of Seattle wrote:
well I did it with a dandylion but it didn't change color! Why?

Steven, age 11 of Harvey, IL wrote:
the color change and front of my face it was weird

Bianni, age 12 of Miami, FL wrote:
well... the flower just turned blue because of the vascular system

Kenya, age 11 of Hillsboro, OR wrote:
Cool! It works! Im going to do it for my science projest at school. You should try it at home.

Lexx & Laury of Montebello, CA wrote:
We tried it for our science fair project. The tip of the petals AND the leaves turned blue!! Sooo cool!

Nyra, age 13 of Fort Riley, KS wrote:
the pedals changed to red, and the growth slowed down.

Mackenzie, age 10 of Cleveland, OH wrote:
I'm going to use red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet(purple), lavender, pink & last lemon. Check it out. I use Queen Anne's Lace. My faveroite white flower of times.

Samatha, age 15 of AZ wrote:
its was wonderful.

Dulce, age 13 of Four Oaks, NC wrote:
Me and my friend chose this experiment for our final science grade/project of 8th grade. We did this experiment as a class but we wanted to see it with our own eyes and it worked.

Ana, age 11 of CA wrote:
when I first did it i thought it was not going to work but it did. I was so amazed.

Jada, age 10 of New York, NY wrote:
the flower turn purple. cool.

Lilly, age 9 of San Isidro, TX wrote:
in a day the flower turned green!

Carinna, age 8 of San Diego, CA wrote:
it was awesume!!! When I first put it in I went to bed. today the edges stared to turn green. it was so cool but im not done.

Cheyenne, age 11 of Hillsboro, OR wrote:
I'm doing this for science and it works. you should try it at home.

Madison of Highlands Ranch, CO wrote:
I tried using daisies and carnations. Both kinds of flowers turned color, but the daisies did it the fastest and were darker. The blue and green worked the best.

Hannah of Highland Village, TX wrote:
I did the sci project for a science project at school. These are my results complete and absolute failure!!! what happened???

not yet implemented