Spring and Flowers

Try This At Home

Coloured Flowers

You Will Need

  • White flowers (e.g. carnations or lilies)—works best with fresh flowers
  • Food colouring (blue or red work well)
  • Clear vase or glass

What to Do

  1. Fill the vase with water and add food colouring.
  2. Trim the flower stem and place the flower in the vase. The shorter the stem the less time it will take for the water to reach the flower.
  3. Check the flower ever y couple of hours.
  4. Wait 6 to 12 hours while the flower stems draw up the coloured water. Leave overnight and look again in the morning.
  5. The petals should now have turned the colour of the food dye.

What’s Happening?

Flowers drink water just like we do. They suck up water through their stem. Scientists call this capillary action.

Discover More

  • What do you think would happen if you split the stem in two and put one half of the stem in red water and the other half in blue water? What colour will the flower become? Red, blue or a mixture of both?
  • Try using different coloured flowers.  
  • Try the experiment using a stick of celery in the water.

Did You Know

Flowers have tiny grains inside called pollen. Pollen is used to make seeds and grow new plants. Some animals, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, are known as pollinators. They help the flowering plants by spreading pollen to other flowers.