How to Change the Color of a Cut Flower


It is easy to change the color of your white cut flowers to another color, or simply accent the petals with a color. Professional florists do this all the time, though they may use the techniques of dipping the flower heads in dye or spraying the color onto the flower. You can change the color of daisies, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses, or just about any white flower by allowing the flower stem to drink up the color you want the flower head to be.

Step 1

Fill your vase with warm water. If you plan to change your cut flowers to several different colors, fill separate containers with warm water for each color you intend to use.

Step 2

Add food coloring to each separate container until you have created the desired color you want your flowers to change to. More food coloring added means stronger, deeper colors for your flowers. Instead of using food coloring, you may use basic aniline dye, which is a common dye used for woodworking and leather work. This dye is very fine and easily absorbs into the flowers.

Step 3

Use a sharp knife to cut about 1/2 inch of stem from each flower you want to change color. The cut should be at a 45-degree angle so your stems can take up as much water as possible. It also helps to make your cuts while you hold the stem under water, so that no air bubbles can develop in the cut, which will block the ability of the stem to drink the water. A sharp knife is preferable, over scissors or shears, because it will not crimp the end.

Step 4

Place the stems of the flowers you wish to change colors into the colored water. Within 12 to 24 hours you will see that your flowers have changed to the color of the water they are in. If you only wish to color the edges of the petals, begin checking your flowers every two to three hours until you see them change to the desired effect.

Step 5

Change the water in your flower vase or containers to clear water after your flowers have changed to the desired color. Continue to change the water to fresh water every two to three days to keep your flowers alive longer.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-stemmed white flowers
  • Sharp knife
  • Water
  • Vase or container
  • Food coloring or basic aniline dye
  • Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) or floral preservative (optional)


  • Coloring Flowers
  • Color Changing Carnations
  • Blue Roses
Keywords: colorizing flowers, coloring cut flowers, food coloring flowers

About this Author

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.