Color Changing Flowers Science Experiment For Kids

This easy science experiment is a great way to welcome summer and use some of the flowers in your garden. With 3 simple materials (water, food coloring and white flowers) you can create your own color changing flowers science experiment with your kids!

colorful flowers sitting out on wood deck outside

My kids have been loving science experiments lately. We have been learning all about capillary action with the walking water rainbow experiment and our climbing rainbow activity. It was so fun to bring those experiments full circle with this flower experiment, seeing capillary action take place with a living plant! 

This activity is so easy and your kids will love feeling like a real scientist. My kids loved this experiment and were able to complete it all on their own (with a little guidance from mom in the background ;)). It is so easy to set up and a perfect science activity for both home and the classroom.

materials for color changing flowers science experiment on table


  • White flowers (white carnations, white roses and white daisies are great choices)
  • Cups
  • Food dye
  • Water

How To Make Your Color Changing Flowers Science Experiment

Gather your white flowers (it is fun to cut flowers from your garden, or you can get some at your local grocery store)

Add water to your cup (see my notes on this below)

Add at least 10 drops of food coloring into your cup of water

child putting food coloring in cup of water


Cut your flower’s stem to fit the cup and put in the colored water

Wait and watch as your flowers change color! (This can take up to 24 hours)

flowers in colored water

Tips And Tricks On How To Make This Experiment Successful

We ended up doing this simple science experiment a few different times before we were truly successful. Here are some tips and tricks we learned along the way:

  • The type of flowers truly do matter. We found most success with carnations and white daisies. I have heard white roses are a good option as well and we will likely try this next time.
  • Less is more when it comes to the amount of water. When we added too much water we found the flowers didn’t absorb as much color.
  • Cutting the plant’s stem to keep it fresh is really helpful to allow the water to travel to the flower petals
  • It can take some time before you see the flowers change colors, we did this in the evening, after a few hours I started seeing some faint colors showing on the flower petals and by the next morning the flowers were starting to show their new colors
flowers in colored water for color changing flowers experiment

Fun Teaching Variations To This Fun Science Experiment

You can teach your child about color mixing with the dyed water, my boys wanted purple water so we talked about how we could create that with the colors we had

Bring in discussion about the scientific method and have your child make their own hypothesis on what they think may happen

This would be a fun activity to add to your lesson plans around a holiday- for St. Patrick’s Day you could make green flowers, the 4th of July you could make red and blue flowers and for Valentine’s Day you could color the flowers pink and red

We made tie dye flowers which was so fun- you just need to move the flowers between the colors to produce a multi-colored flower

tie dye flowers outside

What Is Capillary Action?

Capillary action is when a liquid moves up through a material despite an opposing force (usually this is gravity). This is how plants get their nourishment. Water molecules travels up through their roots, through the flower stem and to the petals of the flower. This science activity is a perfect visualization of how this works for plants and trees around us every day! 

vase of flowers that have changed colors

Other Fun Science Activities For Kids

Fun Bouncing Bubbles

Walking Water Science Experiment

Leak Proof Bag Science Experiment

I hope your kids love this flower science experiment. We would love to hear from you if you try this with your students or children!

pinterest pin for color changing flowers science experiment for kids

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