One Easy Way To Give Your Fresh Roses A Stunning Rainbow Makeover

As beautiful and elegant as roses' natural colors are, roses with wild tie-dye hues are a fun and eye-catching change of pace. While roses don't actually grow with technicolor rainbow petals, fresh roses can be easily dyed to take on these eccentric pigments, thanks to the magic of absorption dyeing. While professional-grade dyes are available, you can also DIY these colorful flowers using food coloring and fresh roses from your garden, grocery store, or local florist.

While you may have seen ads online promising to sell you rainbow rose seeds, that is not actually where rainbow roses come from. The images accompanying these ads are usually photoshopped, and it is unlikely that the seeds will actually germinate. Roses are rarely grown from seeds and, in most cases, are instead started from cuttings. While listings for rainbow rose seeds are unfortunately a scam, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy multicolored flowers. Here's how.

Dyeing your own rainbow roses

To make your own rainbow roses, you'll need to start with some fresh roses. White flowers work best as they allow the dye to show up the most clearly, although you could also start with a different colored rose and see how the flower's natural color blends with the dye. Let the flowers sit without water for about an hour, and then place them into a container of water mixed with food coloring. It's important that you make sure there is enough dye in the water, so don't be stingy with your use. Within 24 hours, the flowers should have taken on the color of your dye. This beautiful hack for dyeing flowers works thanks to plants' remarkable ability to pull water and nutrients up their stems and into their flowers and leaves. 

If you'd like to have more than one color dye on a flower, you can split the rose's stem starting at the bottom and going part way up, and place one side of the stem in one color of water and the other side in a different color of water. You can even slice the stem into four strips, allowing you to use even more colors. Different petals will take on different colors, giving you a beautiful rainbow-colored rose. 

Color and preservation suggestions for roses

In addition to making beautiful rainbow roses, this strategy can also ensure you always have colorful flowers for the holidays. Whether you want green roses for Saint Patrick's Day or earthy orange-colored roses for Thanksgiving, absorption dyeing can make it happen. If you start with a dark-colored rose and put it in a mix of water and red, green, and blue food coloring, you might even be able to make your own black roses for Halloween.

After all that work to make beautiful and colorful roses, it can seem like a shame that they'll still begin to wilt and fade after a week or so. Luckily, the science of absorption can also help you preserve your roses and turn them into eternity flowers. To give your roses a long life, add one part of glycerin for every two parts of water and food coloring in your rose's vase. The roses will transport the glycerin up the stems and into the petals, just as they do with water and dye. With this method, your flowers should last for at least six months.