How to Dye Chrysanthemums
If you can't find chrysanthemums, otherwise known as mums, in a color to match your special event theme, don't worry. It's simple to dye a white mum using food coloring to complement any need. You can use dyed mums to create a table centerpiece that coordinates with the rest of the event space, to make bouquets or to create ladies' corsages or men's boutonnieres. Save money by custom-dying the flowers yourself, rather than buying them from a costly florist shop.
Fill a tall cup or vase with cool water. Add drops of any color food coloring, such as blue, red or green, to the water until you reach your desired shade. Use approximately 25 drops of food coloring per 1/2 cup of water to get a rich, vibrant shade. Add less food coloring drops for a more muted shade or more coloring for a deeper hue. Swirl the cup or vase gently to incorporate the dye into the water.
Cut fresh, white mum stems at 45-degree angles, 1 to 2 inches up from the bottoms, to encourage maximum water absorption. Use a sharp knife, shears or floral clippers to make clean cuts.
Place the flower stems into the vase. Allow the blooms to stand in the dyed water overnight or until their petals are filled with color; the dye will reach the flower's petals as the water is absorbed through the stems. Keep the stems in the colored water for up to 24 hours to achieve varying degrees of color intensity.
Make a two-toned mum by splitting the end of the stem down the middle -- while keeping it connected at the top -- and placing each side in a different container of colored water. Create red and green mums for Christmas or purple and orange flowers for Halloween, for example.
Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.