How to Create Your Own Fluorescent Flowers


If you have a highlighter and some pliers lying in a desk drawer somewhere, you’ve got all you need to imbue a bouquet of flowers with a breathtaking otherworldly glow. In a recent video, YouTube channel Reactions teamed up with the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology to explain how to turn a normal bouquet of white flowers fluorescent.

In “How to Grow Fluorescent Flowers,” Reactions explains that flowers aren’t picky about what kind of water they consume: If you put them in a glass of pure water, they’ll soak that up. But if you drop them in a vase full of water and colored dye, they’ll slurp up the dyed water just as enthusiastically. In fact, professional florists often place freshly cut flowers in vases of water and food coloring to imbue them with hues not found in nature.

Reactions explains that you can employ the same strategy to turn white flowers fluorescent by switching out food coloring for highlighter ink. Simply soak a bunch of flowers in a vase of water mixed with Pyranine (the fluorescent compound found in highlighters), and watch as they glow under a black light. It’s a fun little chemistry experiment and an easy way to create a truly unique bouquet. Check out the video above for specific instructions and some fascinating chemistry facts.

[h/t Popular Science]

Banner Image Credit: Reactions, YouTube