Colourful flowers experiment

Colourful flowers experiment

This colourful water experiment shows how flowers absorb water into their petals to keep them fresh. 

What you need:

  • White flowers
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Small vases

Number of players:


Cut a single flower with a fairly short stem.  A shorter stem will get you a quicker result as the colour has to travel all the way up the stem to get to the petals.  Cut the stem on an angle to give a greater survace area for the coloured water to enter by.

Now place the flower in a small, short vase or glass (a shot glass works well) and add a generous  amount of food colouring.

Keep an eye on it, in about 30 minutes some colour will start to show in the petals.  If you want to be really fancy, take a time lapse video on  your iphone (in the camera field, you'll find a 'time lapse' button) to see the changes happening quickly.

Why is it so?

Flowers suck water up through their stems to feed their petals and make them grow. This process is called, 'capillary action'. Because the water is coloured, the petals end up coloured too!

If nothing else, this experiment proves that you really need to put your cut flowers in some water! They use it!

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