How to Tint Flowers

So... you've seen a blue and pink striped daisy... and you're certain that it did not grow that way. How did they DO that? It's simple and fun!

Steps

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    Obtain flowers. Some species work better than others, but a general rule of thumb is to choose white (or very light) colored flowers with very porous stems. Daisies, Allium (onion family) and Carnations work best, but you can get some decent results from chrysanthemums as well. Flowers on woody stems "can" work, but they take much longer for the coloring to percolate up the stem and into the flower.
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    Color some water with liquid food coloring. Avoid the creamy/thick coloring used for cake icing. You want the drops that will diffuse quickly in water.
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    Trim the stems of your flowers with a sharp knife. Avoid "bruising" or "crushing" the stem as you cut. Shorter stems will allow for quicker coloring.
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    Place the stems into the food coloring/water mixture and let them stand overnight. You should see some color changes by morning.
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    Experiment with concentrations of food coloring, flower species, and stem lengths to get your desired shade.
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    Try splitting a stem lengthwise from the base. (4-5 inches) and placing half of the stem in a glass of one color and the remaining half in a glass filled with another color for some interesting and fun effects.
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    Try Placing the stem in one color for a day and then in another color later on... to get tips of petals in one color and bases of those petals in another color. (harder to do, but fun to experiment with)
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    Notice that the stems and leaves will also turn colors over time, but that the flowers are usually the first to show the streaks, as they are in the fastest growing area.

Tips

  • Flower metabolisms are dependent on ambient temperatures to a certain extent. Keep the flowers at room temperature while they are being colored.
  • Begin with fresh cut, freshly opened flowers for best results and longevity of your color creations.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers
  • Food coloring
  • Glass cups or vases
  • Water, the purer the better.

Article Info

Categories: Flower Arranging and Floral Art