Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Have The Scientific Abilities Of An Elementary Student: Multi-Colored Carnations

Did you know if you cut the stems of white carnations and place them in colored water the carnations will change to the color of the water?!?! 

The first time I heard of this was a couple of years ago when one of my coworkers, R, helped her daughter do this for a school science project.  I decided this would be a neat way to custom make the flowers to match the color scheme of J's baby shower. 

Then I had an epiphany!  Since NG is required to do a science project this semester we could do this for the baby shower, record the information and take pictures while we're doing it, and complete two projects at once.  Multi-tasking at it's finest, what could be better?!?! 

When NG asked her science teacher to approve the project she was told this project is elementary level and suggested she do an experiment on the effects of water temperature and water uptake in celery plants.  Well there went my plan to multi-task!  So it looks like NG's going to be giving celery a tall drink of water, and I'm electing L to help her with that since I've got more carnations to color.

Here are some pictures of my first attempt.  I only left these in the water 4 1/2 hours.

I didn't have the heart to tell the guy at the flower shop I was just going to disassemble all his hard work as soon as I got them home.

The colors I used were purple, blue, green, and pink from McCormick NEON! Food Dye.

I used scissors to cut the stems, but I think next time I'll use a knife.  I think that might provide a cleaner cut of the stem.

See how the second carnation from the right has a little bit of a bent stem?

That seemed to have some effect on it's ability to absorb the color.  I put it in the purple water (and that was the color I expected to be the darkest) but it barely colored the edges.

The blue turned out well.

The green turned out yellow, but it was still pretty.

The pink took color well, but I'll probably darken the water more next time.

Over all I liked the results, I'll definitely be doing this for J's baby shower.


  1. awesome! Our baby shower theme is rubber duckies...Do you mind dyeing me some ducks while your at it?

    1. Bring em' over! I doubt the food coloring will work, but I've still got spray paint and I'm NOT afraid to use it!! Lol!