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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17 Replies to “Colour Changing Roses – Simple Science for Kids”

  1. 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!

  2. 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
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