Color Changing Flowers

Watch as flowers change colors before your eyes!! A great science project that gives a really visual demonstration of the way that plants use water.

Color Changing Flowers Color Changing Flowers

Project Info

Difficulty Slightly challenging
Duration Several hours
Age 5+
Submitted by


  • Food coloring
  • Small Clear containers or test tubes
  • White flowers (e.g. carnations)


  • Step 1

  • Step 3

  1. Fill the container with water and add food coloring (the more drops of food coloring the better the effect will be).
  2. Put your flower in the colored water and observe over the course of a day.
  3. Try splitting the stem of the flower in two using a sharp knife and placing one cut side into one color water, and the other into a different color. Observe what happens.


  1. Warning: Food coloring stains - be careful to cover your clothing and work surfaces.
  2. Did you know: Plants need water in order to be able to grow as the process of photosynthesis requires water, light and carbon dioxide. It is interesting to consider how the plant gets the water from its roots to its leaves and flowers if it does not have a pump (e.g. a heart) to do this. The answer is amazingly simple. Water evaporates from the flowers and leaves (transpiration) and when it does, it pulls more water up through the stem and in through the roots of the plants. This happens because of cohesion: water molecules are inherently sticky - and attract strongly to other water molecules - so as one evaporates, it pulls another up, which pulls another and so on until more water is pulled from the water - just like sucking water through a straw.
  3. Carnations, daisies and chrysanthemums work well for this project.
  4. Steve Spangler has some great suggestions on his website on how to extend this project into a full blown science experiment:


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Useful supplies

- our picks from Amazon for this project:
Food Coloring AmeriColor Student Kit, 12 .75 Ounce Bottles Soft Gel Paste Colors
Food Coloring AmeriColor Student Kit

Related Books

- our picks from Amazon for this project:
Planting a Rainbow
Planting a Rainbow
Grow Flower, Grow!
Grow Flower
How Flowers Grow (Usborne Beginners, Level 1)
How Flowers Grow

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