Colorful Bouquet

  • Time Length
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    < 1 hour

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
    Shape Created with Sketch.


Question and Wonder:

  • What do you think will happen when you place white carnations in colored water?
  • Will they change color? Why?
  • Will they change to the color of the water or some other color? Why do you think that.
  • How long do you think you will have to wait before something happens?

Place a couple drops of food coloring in 4 cups or glasses of water. Smell the flowers. Examine the petals. Put one white carnation in each cup.  Observe.

Imagine and Design:

  • What do you notice happening?
  • Is it taking longer than you thought? Why ?
  • Why is the flower changing color? How is the color getting into the flower?
  • Do you think if you use different flowers, they would change color too?
  • What if you left the flowers in the cups for 1 hour, 1 day, or 1 week — what do you think will happen?
  • What other changes will you see?

Make note of all the changes you are seeing.

Test and Discuss:

  • How accurate were your predictions?
  • What does this tell you about flowers and water?
  • Did the smell of the flower change when the color changed? Why?
  • Did the petals change shape? texture? Why do you think that?
  • Try the same experiment with other flowers or plants. What do you think will happen?

Did you Know?

Cut flowers absorb water through their stems. If there is food coloring in the water, as the flower absorbs the water the bloom will change color, too.  This will also work on vegetables like celery and lettuce.

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