Color Changing Carnations

Recipe by Queenkungfu
READY IN: 24hrs 30mins


  • 6
    plastic cups
  • food coloring (red, yellow, blue and green)


  • You'll need at least 6 white carnations to do this project.
  • Fill each cup half full with water.
  • Add about 20-30 drops of food coloring to each cup of water. In this case, more food coloring is better!
  • Before placing any of the flowers in the colored water, have a adult trim the stem of each flower at an angle to create a fresh cut. For cut flowers, it is important for the stem tubes to be filled with water. If air gets in the tube no water can move up the stem. Many gardeners and florists cut stems under water so no air bubbles can get in to break the tube of water and make the flower wilt.
  • Place 4 cut white carnation in each of the cups of colored water.
  • Save the remaining two carnations for the next step.
  • Make some predictions: Which color will be soaked up first? How long will it take?.
  • Have your adult helper use a sharp knife to slit the stem straight down the middle. Put each half of the stem into a cup of different colored water (try positioning the red and blue cups next to each other, for example).
  • Do that with the last two carnations. Make a few more predictions: Which color will be soaked up? Will the colors mix to make a new color? Just remember to keep the ends of the stem wet at all times and make fresh cuts on the ends.
  • You'll want to check back every few hours to see how things are progressing. It may take as much as 24 hours (or under an hour) for the colored water to work its way up to the white petals.
  • At the conclusion of your experiment, remember to examine the whole plant carefully including the stems, leaves, buds and petals to find every trace of color.