Colorful Flowers

Hi scientists! My little scientist and I have been working on Colorful Flowers for the past few days. It is exciting to see the carnations changing color over time! 🙂 Try it out with your little scientist too.

Colorful Flowers (12)


Food Dye (Gloves if worried about staining)

Glasses or Vases (At least three, we did the colors of the rainbow)

White Carnations (Same number of bunches or stems as glasses)


Optional: Gloves for adding food dye to glasses


  1. Fill each of your glasses 3/4 of the way up.
  2. Add food coloring to each glass (6 drops minimum) for your desired colors.
  3. Give the carnations a trim so they will fit in the containers/just freshen the cut if already the right height.
  4. Place one white carnation (Or bunch) in each of the cups.
  5. Place in a sunny, safe spot away from your little scientist and pets.
  6. Help your little scientist check on your flowers as often as you like, but it will take a bit of time to start to show the colors on the petals (Ours took a little over 12 hours).
  7. Enjoy your Colorful flowers with your little scientist, keep the flowers in the different colored water until wilted to keep them colorful.


Talking Points

Plants make food by a process known as photosynthesis. Plants require sunlight, nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and water in order to make food in photosynthesis. Even cut flowers will still need to take in water through the stems. Inside a flower stem is a bundle of tubes that works like a straw taking water from the glass and bringing it up to the carnation above. As the flower continues to “drink” the colored water the petals, buds, and even leaves will begin to take on the color of the colored water that it is in. My little scientist and I used bunches of carnations and we could see that different flowers and parts of the flowers changed colors at different speeds, some did not change much or at all. This has to due with how plants divide resources.



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