Why Do Flowers Change Color in Food Coloring – Experiment for Kids

You can now change the flower color at home and at any time during the year. Let us understand the science behind this experiment.

How do flowers change color in food colors?   Wondering how? Let’s try this natural science experiment with white roses. 

color changing flowers science experiment for kids

Concepts Discussed
Absorption of water in flowers / plants

Who is it for

This experiment can be done with preschoolers and they will love to make their hands colorful too.  Other kids including Kindergarteners and 7 – 9-year-old kids can do this experiment, not just for fun but to learn some science as well. They can change the variables and see the changes in the results.

I tried this with my elder and younger daughter Pritika and Tisha when they were 6 years and 4 years old respectively.

What do you need to change the color of flowers?

  • Food color – Liquid or you can mix water to make them liquid.
  • Droppers
  • Glass bottle or simply water glass
  • Water
  • White flowers (in my case – roses). 

[*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]what we need for color canging flowers experiment for kids

We tried this experiment with both white roses and daisy flowers. For some reason, the daisy flower didn’t get the optimum result (we suspect the powder form of food coloring). But I will update on this more once I find out. Check for more white flowers here.

For now, lets see what did we do to make the color change in white roses. 

Steps to follow

Step 1: Select a glass container (bottle or test tube or anything of that sort). Now just add few drops of food color of your choice. We chose Blue but that is completely up to you . 

Adding food color

Step 2: Now I asked my elder daughter to pour enough water to the water glass. This would make a glass full of water with food color. 
Adding water to food color

Step 3: This is an optional step. I cut the stem of the flower with a sharp knife. The cut needs to be in cross of the stem so that the cut part has enough exposed area to absorb water. Just make sure we have enough length to submerse it into the glass of food color. I took care of this step as I am not happy to give sharp knives to kids. If your kid is doing this step, just be attentive and watch over the kids. 

cutting stem flower color changing experiment
Step 4: Now my younger daughter Tisha stepped in to do her part in the experiment. She carefully inserted the flowers in the food color filled glass. She started complaining that the color didn’t change. I explained her that it will take time. 

flowers in food color

flowers stem submerged in food coloring - science experiment for kids
We waited for an hour and couldn’t see any change in the flowers yet. 

So we decided to sleep and came back in the morning. After 12 hours, the rose flower started showing significant amount of blue color in the petals. We also observed that the edge of the petals had more color than the inner side of it. It was so pretty that my younger one started jumping in joy. 

after 12 hours after 24 hours color changed
We let the flower sit in the food color for additional 12 hours. After 24 hours, the flower had blue all over the petals and looked even more prettier. Mission Accomplished. 

Science behind changing colors of flowers
Why do flowers change color in food coloring?

Absorption of water happens through the xylem and these are tissues present as thin tubes inside the stem. Water is carried to other parts of the plant including flowers through the Xylem. Water travels to the xylem when the molecules in the xylem and the water molecules get attracted. It also happens due to solar energy and transpiration. Transpiration is a process that happens when the sunlight evaporates the water from the stems, leaves, and flowers. The loss in water from these parts will create a vacuum in the xylem tubes top and encourages the water to be absorbed for filling the empty space. Imagine the movement of any liquid when you drink them using a straw. Learn more from here.

Learn about the botanical characteristics of flowers from this page.

flowers change color in food coloring go science girls

flowers change color in food coloring

Please try this experiment and share your comments.

 For more flower or experiments about nature check the links given below.

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