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Make different coloured petals

Related experiment: celery transpiration

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
  • 4 Jars of water

    Coloured petals by Fizzics education - materials needed



  1. Mix each jar of water with a strong solution of food dye.

    Coloured petals - pouring food colouring
  2. With an adult, cut the stems of each flower under running water.

    Coloured petals - running cut stem under water
  3. Place a cut flower stem in each of the coloured liquids

    Coloured petals - start of experiment
  4. Which colour shows through the petals the best?

    Coloured petals by Fizzics education
Be Amazing Book Front Cover; Ben Newsome, teacher & founder of Fizzics Education. Be Amazing -how to teach science the way primary kids love
Be Amazing!
How to teach science, the way primary kids love

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Why did this happen?

Plant stems have bundles of tubes inside them called 'vascular bundles'.
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, colouring the leaf tips and flower petals. This process is 'transpiration'.

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 middle and placing the 'two stems' in different coloured solutions. Can you make a flower with two colours or more?

Related experiment: celery transpiration

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