How to Change Flower Colors With Food Coloring

Use food coloring to tint white flowers.
Use food coloring to tint white flowers. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Carnations, roses, daisies and other long-stemmed flowers, when displayed in vases, make cheerful centerpieces for cafes and restaurants but unfortunately they come in a limited range of colors. If you’d like to include green, blue or other unusually colored flowers in a holiday display, you can dye white flowers with food coloring. When you place plant stems in a dyed solution, capillary action pulls the colored water up, which in turn tints the flower petals. Non-toxic food dye is completely safe for plants.

Things You'll Need

  • White daisy, rose or carnation
  • Floral shears
  • Vase or floral tube
  • Food coloring

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Cut the flower stem at a 45-degree angle with floral shears or sharp scissors.

Pour 1 cup of warm water in a vase or floral tube. Add 20 to 30 drops of food coloring to the water.

Insert the flower stem into the water as you would normally. Within a day, the flower will change to the color of the dye.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can place more than one flower in a vase of colored water, but only use one dye per vase.
  • Transfer the dyed flower to a vase of clear water for a cleaner display.
  • The dyed flowers will be a bit lighter than the dye solution. Add more dye for a darker shade.


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