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::: colouring plants

It is always fascinating to see how plants draw water up from their roots right up to their leaves at the top – even the tallest trees do this! A really simple way to demonstrate to children how this works is to do the old favourite – the coloured celery!

Pop several pieces of celery into jars filled with coloured water.

After an hour remove one piece from the water and see how far up the stalk the water has gone. Remove the other pieces at various intervals over the session to see how far up the celery the water has been drawn.

White flowers such as daisies, carnations or roses can also be used to demonstrate this and the result is really beautiful. Fill a few jars with different coloured water and add a white flower to each. It is beautiful to see them slowly changing colour as the water is absorbed through their stems.

We discovered that we can create multi-coloured flowers too. Fill 2 jars with different coloured water. Carefully cut the stems of a white flower in half lengthways to about halfway up. The stem should remain whole at the top. Place half the stem of one flower in one jar and the other half in the next jar. The fl petals will become two different colours as the different colours are absorbed up the stem of the flower!

Fascinating! We feel we have discovered a florist’s secret!

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3 Responses to “colouring plants”

  1. jeanne says:

    Love this exploration and your photos! I’d like to use it with my college level student-teachers this fall in our Science course. Anything visual is such a wonderful “Aha!” and can have fantastic inquiry components prior to the actual exploration – what might happen? what might change? why/not? looking at time, looking at water level in jar, all that. Thanks for the idea!!

    ::: Thanks Jeanne … Have fun with it! :) 🙂

  2. Brenna says:

    We did this experiment with carnations around Easter time. The color took awhile to make it into the petals of the flower but it was neat when it finally did. We have done the celery experiment in years past.
    We did an acid rain experiment by using a Pothos plant that grows well in water and students can see the roots of the plant. We poured apple cider vinegar in the water where the plant was growing. After a few days the leaves and the stem started to wilt and turn black. It was a great lesson for Earth Day.

    ::: Acid rain sounds very interesting Bianca … Kinda scary but interesting! 🙂 🙂

  3. Darcey says:

    I love this idea and the way the flowers come out. I’ve linked up to your post on my weekly favorites here: http://play2grow.blogspot.com/2011/06/weekly-favorites-for-june-5-2011.html

    ::: Thanks Darcey and thanks for linking us. We’ll be sure to stop by and check out your other favoutrites for the week too! 🙂 🙂