Making a flower

How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations)

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: March 28, 2017
How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations)

Giving red flowers is a classic romantic gesture; but what happens when we want to give a dyed flower, for instance a dyed blue carnation... Dyeing roses and carnations is not at all difficult, but you must pay attention to the step by step guide and practice several times. Then if you want, you can also find the meaning of flowers according to color.

Many people have perhaps done this as a school experiment. Dyeing a flower is often used as a school experiment to show how the plant absorbs water and then the stem is cut to see the process.

But if you want a more aesthetically decorative and fun flower; you can use this 'do it yourself' method and learn how to dye fresh flowers.

You may also be interested in: How to Press Flowers at Home - 4 Easy Methods

Steps to follow:


There are two techniques to dye fresh flowers: one is by water absorption, another is by direct dyeing. Now we explain how to dye them. It is always advisable to use white flowers, so the color will come through well.

How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations) - Step 1

Water absorption (capillarity):

We need to prepare a solution of plant aniline (aniline powder, natural-plant; just like the one used when dying fabrics) and water (preferably chlorine or mineral water) in a clean and dry glass.

It is important to use plant aniline or Chinese dye; otherwise the flower will not survive. The water should have very little chlorine, so if you have a kitchen filter you can use that (or mineral water). Many use water at room temperature, never cold, others make it slightly warm; it will be a matter for you to try.

Blend the two components well. You should read the label or where the dye comes from. Generally use a little more than recommended. It also depends on the quality of the dye. I usually put one heaped tablespoon per liter of water.

Let's move on to the plant with the glass. With a Gillette blade (razor blade or utility knife) make a quick cut diagonally on the stem. While should make a long cut lower down. As soon as it's cut, put it in the water we prepared.

DO NOT remove the leaves, and it is important to put it somewhere where it can get some natural light. That will allow the plant (or dyed flowers) to continue to photosynthesize and absorb the dyed water.

After about 2 or 3 days, you will see results. The dyed carnation absorbs the color better but the roses have produced some acceptable results. If you want to dye flowers in a single color (e.g. blue, you should use a white flower); carnations can be dyed two colors using a similar process (resorption or stem division), but it is too advanced to explain here.

How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations) - Step 2

Direct absorption:

I have tried this a few times, but the truth is that it doesn't work very well (it's good when you are in a rush and want to dye a rose), but it is not as good quality; it takes a bit more work to get a good color.

Prepare a glass of water (or soda can without lid), with two or three tablespoons of ink. It must be mixed well for about 5 minutes. Warm the water to slightly above room temperature: put the glass in the sun for a while or near the kitchen (but watch that it doesn't get too hot!).

Dip the flower in upside down; make sure that there is enough water in the stem (you can tie a sponge dipped in water or some wet toilet paper around the stem). Leave it there for a whole day (24 hours), and it will come out dyed.

Remove it carefully and leave to dry upside down. Shake very gently, then display. It is important to clarify that natural flowers are much more beautiful, a dyed flower is incomparable with one which God has created; but sometimes fantasy and the need to imitate nature leads us to do just that: produce imitations. SOURCE: I learned from a florist friend, and lots and lots of practice.

Soon we will also explain, how to dye petals and dried flowers.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations), we recommend you visit our Crafts & leisure category.

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How To Dye Fresh Flowers (roses and carnations)