Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Rainbow Colored flowers: St. Patricks Day Magic

Although it is still pretty cold and snowy outside we are starting to think about spring and what we want to plant in our garden and the different colored flowers.  We thought it would be fun to do a little leprechaun magic and color white flowers.  It was a great opportunity to see plants absorb water that is so important to keep them growing and made for a fun St. Patricks Day science experiment with a bit of leprechaun rainbow magic.

To start we put a little watercolor paint in 5 plastic cups.

We then put a white daisy in each cup.

It looked quite pretty with all the flowers together.  Then we waited.  In about half an hour, we saw that the flower in blue paint started to change color first.  After a few hours it was quite an intense blue and the green was well on its way to change too.  The orange was really pretty as it was yellow in the middle and pink on the edges.  The flowers in the pink and purple paint were changing very slowly.

But if you flipped the one in purple over you could see the beginning of streaks on the bottom of the bottom petals.

There was definitely some leprechaun magic happening - turning our white flowers into a rainbow of flowers.  Of course the real science involves transpiration - the process of the flowers bringing the water up to the petals kind of like drinking through a straw.  The extra water goes out of the plant through teeny tiny holes which leaves space for more water to come with more color.

Note:  We had originally tested this out by putting the flowers in water that had been colored by gel food coloring.   But after a few days none of the flowers had changed color.  The water color paints worked quickly and were very effective (see the food coloring flowers below - pictured after a few days).


  • water color paints
  • white flowers (we used daisies)
  • plastic cups


  1. Cut some flowers so that the stem is a few inches long.
  2. Put a bit of water color paint in each of the cups.
  3. Put the flower in the cups.
  4. Wait about 20 minutes and check to see if the flowers had changed.  Check periodically over the next 48 hours to see how they are changing.


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