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Make coloured petals! science experiment : Fizzics Education

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Make coloured petals!

Make coloured petals!

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • Different coloured food dyes e.g. red, yellow, green and blue
  • Flowering plants with white petals e.g. Carnations
  • Scissors
  • Running water
  • Four cups of water.  (you may want to use a glass jar as it will be heavier and less likely to tip over).

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Make coloured petals science experiment - materials needed
1 Make coloured petals science experiment - pouring food colouring into a cup

Mix each cup of water with a strong solution of food dye.

2 Make coloured petals science experiment - running a cut plant stem under water

With an adult, cut the stems of each flower under running water.

3 Make coloured petals science experiment - flowers at the start of the experiment

Place a cut flower stem in each of the coloured liquids

4 Make coloured petals science experiment - finished result

Which colour shows through the petals the best?

5 5 student worksheets on flower dissections
6 A student watching a purple liquid fizz
7 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

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– Help students learn how science really works

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Why Does This Happen

When leaves and petals lose water to the air, the water must be replaced. Eventually, the coloured liquid must be pulled through the stems to replace the lost water being lost, colouring the leaf tips and flower petals. This process is ‘transpiration’.

To transport liquid through the place, plant stems have bundles of tubes inside them called ‘vascular bundles’. Vascular bundles that carry water from the roots to the leaves are called xylem. It was those vascular bundles that were transporting the coloured water up the flower stem. Try splitting the stem in the middle and placing the ‘two stems’ in different coloured solutions.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Vary the temperature of the dyes
  • Compare different flowers in the same dye
  • Try this on hot vs cold days
  • Can you make a flower with two colours or more?

Classroom activity sheets for this experiment

Create, reflect & extend!

5 student worksheets on flower dissections

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