Colour changing flower experiment

As a part of our flower project in spring we also dealt with a little science. More precisely, how flowers absorb water through their stems reaching the petals. This colour changing carnation experiment gave me the idea, but there were some glitch in the matrix and we needed to do it twice. Let’s see how.

The flower experiment idea is great, however, we did something wrong or were just unlucky this time.

First of all, what you need to the project:

  • 4-5 white flowers of any kind (chrysanthemum didn’t work very well, carnations were better)
  • food colouring (4-5 colours, or you can mix them)
  • transparent glasses or viols
  • water
  • measuring cup
  • spoon
  • towel for spills
  • scissors
How to do it:
  • prepare everything on a tray for you child and she/he can do all the activities
  • add water to the glasses/viols
  • add the food colouring and mix them with a spoon
  • cut the stem of the flowers (10-15 cms long)
  • make the flowers stand in the glasses/vases

  • wait… minimum 1 or 2 days
In case of the carnations the colouring of the petals could have be seen the next day,
but in the first trial the chrysanthemum took 3 and a half days to show any signs of pigmentation.

While E was preparing (pouring water, cutting stems, mixing colours) the experiment I asked her what she thinks will happen. She didn’t have a clue.

– I don’t know Mommy, You say.

Then I explained what the coloured water will do:
– The stem will suck up the water, like you suck it up through a straw. (Then she imitated sucking 🙂 )
– The coloured water will be absorbed. (she was digesting the new word)
– The water will reach the petals and they will turn red (I pointed at the flower standing in red water), green (I pointed at the flower standing in green water), blue (I pointed at the flower standing in blue water) and yellow (I pointed at the flower standing in yellow water).

In the first round after a week the chrysanthemums started to wilt so we could not observe any more colours on the petals.

In the second round of the experiment, while I was cleaning, I put the carnations on the floor light-mindedly. Then E. accidentally kicked them over. So after 5 days our second flower experiment was over.  Anyways, we could see the pigmentation of the petals somehow.

She enjoyed preparing the experiment more than the result. Who could blame her after all…?

Let me know if you try this experiment and have better results, let’s say, after 10-12 days.

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