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How To Dye Flowers Rainbow – Create Multicolored Roses

Originally posted on 21/07/2014

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Have you ever seen the vivid hues of a rainbow dyed rose? These striking flowers can easily be created at home with some simple resources.

Dying flowers is also an awesome rainbow-colored science experiment to do with your kids. You can teach them a little biology while creating something beautiful at the same time. Keep reading to find out how to dye flowers rainbow colors.

Materials You’ll Need For Rainbow Dyed Flowers

  • White flowers (roses work the best)
  • Food coloring (for a brighter hue) or gel colors (for a pastel color, which is what we did)
  • Plastic cups or containers to hold the flowers
  • Scissors
  • Sharp knife (to split the stems for a “tie-dye” effect)
  • A cutting board

How to Make Rainbow Roses – Instructions:

Now it’s time to get to the fun part of making your multicolored roses. This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through this seamless process.

Step 1: Prep Your Rainbow Roses

Start off with your white roses – it’s best to choose ones where the buds have just started unfurling their petals. If the bud is tightly closed, it may not end up opening. Or, if the petals have already unfurled, the rose may wilt before the dye has reached the petals.

Once you have your rose, strip all the thorns and leaves off. Cut each stem in a slant to make it easy for the colored water to travel up. Leave the roses for about three hours so that they take up the dyed water more readily.

Step 2: Create The Flower Dye Mixes

Place your food coloring or gel paste in each container and fill with water. We used enough to get vibrant hues for each container and followed the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo).

Step 3: How To Dye The flowers

If you want to try the tie-dye effect, make vertical cuts of about 3 inches into the stem of the flower. You could even split the stems into thirds or fourths, but we stuck with two. Have a close-up look at how our split stems looked (placed in orange and indigo) in the picture above.

Do not make more than four vertical cuts; otherwise, the stem will become too fragile. If you do not want a tie-dye effect, leave the vertical cuts.

Step 4: Watch Your Dyed Flowers Come To Life

Place the stems of the roses into the color containers. For the cut flower stems, place each split into a different color container.

Now, all that’s left to do is wait patiently. Over the next two to three days, you’ll observe the flowers color and bloom.

Watching The Flower Dye Experiment Take Place

While a step-by-step guide tells you exactly what to do, you sometimes need a visual aid. Below you’ll see the entire process of the rainbow roses gaining their color.

Day One: Colors Start To Appear

You can clearly see that the roses started gaining their rainbow colors at the tips of their petals.

In the split stem roses, you can see that the two tones are appearing on each side of the rose.

Day Two: Rainbow Roses Coloring Becomes More Vivid

By the second day, the coloring of the rainbow roses had become more intense, especially at the tips of the petals.

On day two, we took the tie-dye roses out since the split stems started to break off a bit. Although we didn’t get the bright multi-colors we thought we would; I love the soft and almost watercolor-like effects.

Day 3: Your Rainbow-colored Roses Are Complete

By day three, the roses were in full bloom. The colors are definitely brighter all around, especially compared to day one.

What We Learnt Making Rainbow Flowers

This fun science experiment resulted in gorgeous pastel flowers that almost remind me of pretty tissue paper flowers. My kids (ages 5 and 3) had so much fun partaking and observing the changes along the way. Below are some of the learnings we applied.

  • Mixing & Preparing Colors – the kids helped mix the containers of color with water. They learned how to mix colors (like orange) from the primary colors.

  • Hypothesize, observe and conclude – the kids were asked what they thought would happen to the flowers placed in the colored water. They learned how water travels through the stem as “food” for the flower and how this would work in the roses with split stems. Then they observed the difference in color and bloom from day one to three.

Loved This Rainbow Rose Experiment?

This easy experiment is a great way to teach your kids some biology in a fun way. The process is super simple, and the outcome is gorgeous. These rainbow-colored roses even lasted (in a vase) for a few days past the experiment.

Now that you know how to make a rainbow flower, get your hands on a bunch of roses and make your own gorgeous rainbow roses.

Also see:
10 Ways to Make a Pretty Floral Crown
12 Dazzling Flower Crafts
8 Easy Preschooler Science Experiments


Agnes Hsu is a mom of three and has been inspiring parents and kids to get creative with easy activities and family friendly recipes for over 10 years. She shares her love for creative play and kids food to her 2MM+ followers online. Agnes' commitment to playful learning and kindness has not only raised funds for charity but also earned features in prestigious nationwide publications.