Have you ever gone out and picked a white flower so that you could put it in colored water to dye the petals? Carnations are a particularly great flower to use with dye experiments. In this experiment, you’re going to be getting a little more creative. You’re going to be conducting an experiment that focuses on the inner workings of the flowers stem.

This experiment will take 10 minutes to prep and the observation time will be between 5 to 10 hours.

What you will need:

At least one white carnation

2 pint or quart jars

Food coloring (Red – water soluble – dye)

Scissors or a blade (to split the flower stem down the middle)

Water

Directions:

Step 1: Fill both jars with water. Add the red dye to only one of the jars of water.

Step 2: Split the stem of the white flower down the middle.

Step 3: Place 1/2 of the stem in the clear water and the other half into the red dye.

In Summary:

Keep an eye on what happens to the flower petals and document or discuss what happens to them over the next 5 to 10 hours.

The water is pulled up through the capillaries in the stem and up into the petals of the flower. Will the entire flower change color or will only half of the flower change color? If your flower has leaves on the stem, pay attention to those too. Not just the petals will change color. You can use this experiment to explain the inner workings of plant structure in a science fair experiment.