This is a super easy and neat way to change up any flower display. Whether you’re looking for a unique twist on a floral arrangement to brighten up your home and your day or whether you’re looking for a fun experiment to show to the kids this “how to” is what you’re after.
This short and sweet experiment is a great one to do with the kids. It will get them involved in a scientific experiment, keep them busy and excited all the while learning about science and nature. Plus you’ll be left with some gorgeous albeit unique flowers to enjoy and make your home look beautiful.
What You’ll Need:
- Freshly cut flowers – preferably white (for now), they’ll be able to show off their new colour better. White daisies and carnations work perfectly for this experiment. Other flowers may not work as well, though it would be interesting to do a side by side comparison as an added feature to the experiment.
- Food colouring – the darker the better. I prefer to use blue but red and dark greens work well too. Lighter colours like pinks and yellows don’t work as well.
Colour Your Flowers:
Step 1. Trim Your Flowers
Cut and trim the stems of your flowers so they aren’t too long. A stem of around 20cm should work well.
Step 2. Cut the Base
Make a slanted cut at the base of each flowers stem. The cut needs to be slanted to ensure the flower doesn’t sit flat in the vase. This will ensure that the flower will drink up the water and dye. This cut should be made under water to prevent air bubbles forming inside the tiny tubes in the stem which would also prevent the water and dye being absorbed.
Step 3. Add Food Colouring
Fill your vase or glass with about half a cup of warm water (warm water will absorb faster and easier than cold). Add about 20 to 30 drops of your chosen food colouring to the water.
Step 4. Place Your Flower
Place your flower into your vase or glass of coloured water and watch as your petals change colour. The petals should start to change within a couple of hours though it may take up to 24 hours, depending on the flower.
For Extra Credit
If you want to get really fancy and brighten up your plain flowers even more or want to add some more excitement to this already fun science experiment, slit the flowers stem into two or more sections and place each section into different coloured waters. Sit back and watch the magic!
The Science behind the Fun
As water evaporates and leaves the flower, more water is pulled up through the stem in tiny tubes called xylem. The capillary action keeps the water in the xylem, think of it like drinking through a straw. The water sticks to itself and the xylem due to the evaporation and the resulting biochemical reaction.