color changing flowers valentines day science experiment

This experiment will demonstrate how flowers change color when they “drink” water containing food coloring. We can use this experiment to help students understand how the Holy Spirit fills us and changes us slowly over time, if we “stay immersed” in Christ!

(Note: This is such a fun experiment, however, it comes to fruition over a couple of days! If using this with a class, fun and easy instructions are provided to do the experiment beforehand (similar to how TV cooking shows are made), where you bringing in the results for the students to view after the experiment is completed.)


• Two vases
• Water
• White carnations, enough for each child to have two, plus four for your demonstration
• Paper towels
• Food coloring (The lesson uses Red for Valentine’s Day, but you can use other colors if you prefer)

Preparation if using with a class

1. Several days before class, buy a bunch of white carnations, enough for every student to have one, plus four for your in-class demonstration.

2. Put the four you will use for your classroom demonstration in a separate vase.  You’re going to keep them white.

3. Clip the bottom of all other stems, so their heads will stick over the top of the vase. Try to cut on a diagonal rather than straight across.

4. Add water and enough red food coloring to turn water bright red.

5. By the time you need to take the vase into Sunday school, all carnations should have red running through them.

6. Pour out the water and take your vases, red carnations, white carnations, food coloring and scissors to class, so you can repeat the experiment for the children.

7. Refill the vases and put the flowers back in when you arrive.

Instructions for Demonstration of Experiment

1. Hide the red-colored carnations before the experiment starts.

2. Repeat the experiment for the students, using the four carnations which you have left white.

3. After explaining that you would have to wait a couple of days for these carnations to turn red, bring out the results you got at home.

4. Give each student a red carnation to take home, wrapping the stem in a wet paper towel to keep it moist.


Most plants “drink” water from the ground through their roots. The water travels up the stem of the plant into the leaves and flowers where it makes food. When a flower is cut, it no longer has its roots, but the stem of the flower still “drinks” up the water and provides it to the leaves and flowers. When it drinks up colored water, that color will change the color of the flower.


When we immerse ourselves in God’s love, we become more like Him. Spiritually, we begin to “look a little like Christ!” Like the flower that absorbs what it drinks, we absorb good or bad, becoming more like Christ when we absorb good. It’s like Jesus said in John 5:15: “”I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.”


You might also be interested in these other Bible science experiments & activities!

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