How Do Florists Dye Carnations?

History of Dying Carnations

Modern florists do not color carnations with dye. At one time, flowers were held in water that contained food coloring until they pulled the dye up the stems into the flower through natural transpiration or were simply dipped in colored water. Now, modern florists paint flowers with a product called floral paint. Floral paint allows the flower to be colored in more shades and even multiple shades. Also, dying flowers can take several days which shortens the overall life of the cut flower once it is arranged and sold.

Choosing the Best Flower

White carnations that are fully open and as fresh as possible are the best candidates for coloring. An open flower allows the spray to reach between the flower petals and the inside of the flower.

How Spray Is Applied

The carnation is held by the stem and the spray can is held far enough away from the flower so that a fine spray is applied. Several coats of fine spray work better than one heavy coat which can leave unsightly drip marks. To color just the flower edges, the paint is sprayed in a shallow dish and the flower edges are dipped in the paint.

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About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.