How to Dye Flowers a Different Colour in Just 6 Steps

June 11, 2014

1. Choose your flowers. The process of dying fresh flowers involves adding colour to water, and putting the flowers in there to absorb it. The dye will be absorbed by whichever flowers you put in the coloured water, however, it will only show up on flowers that have naturally light-coloured petals. Therefore, choose a bunch of flowers that are white or a very pale hue – any sort will work. Popular choices include white roses, daisies, and carnations, but feel free to get creative!


2. Choose your colours. You can use whatever colours you would like as long as they are available as liquid food colour. Countdown sells liquid food colour in yellow, red, green, blue, pink and even black, but you can mix them up to create other colours to your liking. Try mixing these variations:

  • Blue + red = purple

  • Red/Pink + yellow = orange

  • Yellow + green = lime green

  • Blue + green = teal

  • Red + black = burgundy


3. Prepare your coloured water. Fill a vase with cold water, enough so that the flower stems will be fully immersed. Add your dye to the water. There is no exact science to adding the dye; the more dye you add, the more vibrant the colour of the flowers will be, the less dye, the more pale the colour will be. Use a spoon to mix the colour into the water to fully disperse.

4. Prepare your flowers. Before you put your flowers in the dyed water, you’ll need to cut the stems. Use a pair of gardening shears or sharp scissors to cut the stem 2-5 cm from the current base, at a 45-degree angle. This will allow for optimal water absorption, expediting the overall time it takes your flowers to change colour.

  • If you leave your flowers for 2-3 hours after cutting the tips, they will absorb the colour even faster when placed in the water. This stresses them, and causes them to speed their water absorption.

5. Place your flowers in the water and wait. Grab your bouquet of flowers, and put them in the vase with the coloured water. The colour won’t show up in the flower petals until they’ve been soaking in the dye for at least 2-3 hours. The longer you leave the flowers, the brighter the colour will be. As a general timeline:

  • 2-3 hours = very pale colour

  • 10-12 hours = medium brightness

  • 18-20 hours = very bright/neon


6. Place your flowers in fresh water. When you’ve decided your flowers are as bright as you want them to be, you should remove them from the dye and replace the water in the vase. To keep the flowers looking fresh, you should put new water in the vase every other day, but this shouldn’t be an issue as it’s best to have flowers as fresh as possible for your wedding day!