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Colour Changing Roses – Simple Science for Kids


The other day I shared a photo on Facebook of a bunch of white roses from our garden. I had a reply from the lovely Trisha that reminded me about colouring flowers using food colouring. So that’s exactly what we did :)

This is the simplest little science experiment.

Rainbow Coloured Roses

  • Pick some white flowers (lilies are a popular choice but the roses worked well).
  • Fill several clear containers (glasses, vases, jars) with water and add a different colour of food colouring into each container.
  • Pop the flowers into the water and watch and wait.

Pebble was in charge of putting the food colouring into each glass of water, so I can’t guarantee that they each had equal parts water to food colouring :) I KNOW that the ‘rose pink’ food colouring (it looks purple) on the far left had a HUGE slosh into the water, which is why they changed colour so well. The green was the fastest to change, we saw that start to turn within an hour.

Other experiments to try:

  • Add scent (essential oils) to the water – does it change how the flowers smell?
  • Split a flower stem in two and put one half into one colour water, and the other half in a different coloured water. What happens?
  • Colour the water using different agents – try cordial, fruit juice, paint, powdered chalk. What happens?
  • Celery is a another fun choice for this experiment, instead of flowers. When you slice a cross section of the colour-stained stalk you can really see how the veins have absorbed the colour.


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  1. Lovely idea, we’ve got a lot of white roses in our garden, so we just might do some rose colour changing too :) Thanks for sharing!
    K xx

  2. I remember doing this as a kid and loved it! Thanks for the inspiration…will have to do it with the girls…so pretty! Love your idea of adding scent!

  3. Glorious photos. Hadn’t thought of using different flowers for some reason, duh! lol. Shall have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing :)
    Debs recently posted..Christmas in AustraliaMy Profile

  4. I’m in love. How beautiful do the flowers look all lined up on the window sill. …..Oh, and great learning activity too. :)
    [email protected] Little Bookcase recently posted..A Christmas Wish List for BookwormsMy Profile

  5. I so need to do more science activities like this with Miss Possum. Love the idea of using white roses!
    Penny recently posted..Candy Cane Clingers: Wildlife Decoration & Gift IdeaMy Profile

  6. I have always found this idea intriguing, but never actually did it. Yet another thing to add to my list for the Spring. :)
    stephanie recently posted..Teacher Mama: Teaching the Magic eMy Profile

  7. Within the hour that is quick. Such a great activity to do with the kids. Thanks for sharing.
    Pinkoddy recently posted..Christmas with the ChildrenMy Profile

  8. Oh, I LOVE this!! I saw it on FB and had to share it on our page. Our neighbours have tons of white roses that line the fence and my girls always stop to smell them when they ride their bikes past. We have this planned to do next week thanks to your awesome idea and our neighbours beautiful white roses! I will link up when we post about it! Thank you! x
    Janice recently posted..You & Baby Christmas Gift IdeasMy Profile

  9. Isn’t it amazing how quickly the colours start to change? Jack was awestruck by it. We love this little science experiment. Everytime we have white flowers now, Jack asks to colour them :D If you still have them, pop the red one in the blue water and watch it turn purple. Very cool :)
    Kate – An Everyday Story recently posted..A New Art Experience: Gooey Glitter PaintMy Profile

  10. They look so pretty will be trying this at home x

  11. They look so pretty all in a row, I’ve had something like this on the to-do list for awhile, must give it a go :-) And I love the idea of trying out the scents… do they go through??
    Kelly recently posted..A child’s tea setMy Profile

  12. They turned out so well! Very pretty! Splitting the flower and turning it two colors has been on my to try list for a while. I just need to get the white flowers. :)
    Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories recently posted..The Sunday Showcase – Christmas TreesMy Profile

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  16. thats a beautiful project i bet shes ganna get 1st place!

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