I just love this color changing flowers science experiment! It is really easy to do and the kids love watching the flowers change color. We think it is the perfect science activity for spring!
I even created printable recording sheets that kids in preschool and early elementary can use to show their observations. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to get them.
Related: Walking Water Science Experiment
Color Changing Flowers Experiment
We love a good science experiment and this one did not disappoint. It was really neat to watch the flowers change colors. If you are looking for a science activity to try this spring, you should definitely give this one a go!
- Free printable recording sheets (button to download at the bottom of this post)
- White carnations
- Liquid food coloring in a variety of colors
- To start you will want to trim down the stems of the flower so they fit your cups or glasses.
- Add water to each cup.
- Then put about 10-15 drops of food coloring in the water and stir around a bit.
- Add at least one carnation to each glass of colored water.
- Check in on the flowers every couple of hours and observe any changes.
Observing the Flowers Change Color
We did this color changing flower experiment in the early evening and we started to see changes within a couple of hours. Some of the flowers started showing faint streaks of color along their petals.
By the next morning, most of them were even more colorful. The flower in the purple water didn’t seem to be taking in much water, so I trimmed the stem a little more and it soon started showing more color in the petals.
The following day the color was even more vibrant.
We continued to watch the flowers over the next few days. They did get a bit brighter than the pics above, but never completely saturated in the color.
Next time, we plan to try even more food coloring to see if we get even more saturated colors. We also decided that we will try roses alongside carnations and see if one takes on the color better than the other.
There are lots of ways you can change-up the experiment. You can try doing several different flowers at once. Or you can try different amounts of food coloring.
How Do Plants Drink Water?
Plants drink water from the ground up through their roots. The water travels up the stem and into the petals of the flower. Although, our flowers didn’t have roots anymore they were still able to pull water up from the cup into the stem and up through the flower to the petals.
It is through capillary action that plants are able to defy gravity and pull water up and into their leaves and flowers.
To read more about capillary action, check out this awesome walking water science experiment!
We hope you’ll give this fun color changing flowers science experiment a try soon!