How to Dye Roses

By Elizabeth Hannigan , last updated January 18, 2012

Roses grow naturally in hundreds of colors but none of them appeal to you, so you are interested in learning how to dye roses. You do not have to throw those boring white roses in the trash just yet though, since you can attempt to color your roses. If you just need a few colored roses for a special occasion, you can dye cut roses in colors that do not occur in nature, like electric blue or emerald green. If you are patient and very creative, you may even be able to tie dye your rose.

Dye Your Rose a Single Color

If you need a blue, purple or green rose for some special occasion, then you need to plan in advance. Merely soaking the petals of your rose will turn them brown and wilted and you can't simply apply dye directly to the petals either. The secret to dying a fresh cut rose a fantastic color is to get the flower to drink the dye up! This trick works best with white roses. Start by purchasing a special floral dye or some food coloring. Fill up a glass with about a cup of water. Next, add the food coloring of your choice to the water. Note that the more food coloring you add, the darker and more colorful the rose will get. Do not worry about the food coloring damaging the flower because it is perfectly safe. Once you have your mix ready, cut the very end of your rose at an angle. This will encourage the rose to drink more of the dye. Place the trimmed end of the stem in the food coloring and water and allow the rose to sit in the water for 24 to 72 hours. The longer you leave it, the darker it will get. Once you are satisfied with the color of your rose, remove it from the dyed water. Cut off the end of the stem, which will also be dyed now (cutting the stem will keep anyone from figuring out how you turned the rose blue). Now the rose is ready for your special event!

Tie Dye Your Rose

Once you master dying a fresh cut rose one color, you can try your hand at dying a rose several colors. This process was invented by the Dutch, who sell very expensive tie dyed roses. To tie dye a rose, you will need to start with a white flower. Get four glasses or cups and fill each with a little bit of water and a lot of food coloring. Use a different color in each cup. Now, with a very sharp knife, split the end of your rose's stem into four parts. Gently spread the stem apart with your fingers and place one end in each of the four cups. Allow the rose to absorb the colors for 24 hours before taking it out and snipping the split ends off. You should now have a tie dyed rose.

Dye a Dried Rose

Of course, you may also just be trying to restore a natural color to a rose that you attempted to dry. Ideally, when you dry your roses, they retain enough of their original color to still look nice. Sometimes, though, things go awry and your dried pink or yellow roses might just turn brown. Dried roses that you displayed near a direct light source may have faded. This is particularly annoying if the roses you dried were given to you to commemorate some special occasion and you were hoping to hold on to them for years. You are not the first rose enthusiast to encounter this problem. In fact, there are several companies that manufacture floral dyes to help out in this specific situation. To restore the color to a faded or discolored rose, you need to purchase a dip type dye. These are dyes that you mix with water, then dip the heads of your roses in. Dip your roses, hang them upside down, and let them dry and they should look good as new. You may be interested to know that these dyes also work on fresh flowers, so if you just wanted to dye the lip of a rose this could be your solution.

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