Are you ready to add a burst of color to your flowers? With a simple color changing flower experiment, you can witness the magic of petals transforming before your very eyes.
So if you’re thinking of performing a children’s STEM activity at home, this color changing flowers science project is the perfect thing to do!
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Colour Changing Flowers Science Experiment
Turn your garden full of white flowers into a rainbow wonderland with this color changing flower activity. It is a hands-on experiment for kids, exploring parts of plants and their functions.
We conducted a simple, yet mind-blowing fun science experiment where we placed cut flowers in dyed water with different colours and observed the stunning effect it had on the color of the flowers.
What You Will Need For Colour Changing Flowers Experiment?
You only need a few items to get started, which is why this easy science experiment is a great way to spend time with your children!
- White flowers
Choose from rose, carnation, daisy, etc. These are some flowers that change color with soil pH. Keep in mind that each flower has a different time span for color changing. Use carnations for quick results.
- Liquid food coloring in different hues
- Transparent glasses
- Garden scissors
How To Make Colour Changing Flowers:
Time needed: 8 hours
- Set up the glasses
Take three glasses and fill each glass with fresh tap water. Place them on a flat surface.
- Make colored water
Add 3 to 5 drops of food coloring, different colors in each glass, and stir to make colored water.
- Prepare the flowers
Cut off half an inch of each flower stem diagonally and place them in the coloured water.
- Add flower food
Add flower/plant food if you have it available for faster results.
Keep the glasses in a cool place and observe the flowers every 90 minutes as the petals change their colour.
This colour changing flowers experiment won’t happen right away and it can take a few hours for noticeable change. So make sure you check out the water at regular intervals and keep an eye open for regular observation.
Related: Also try Making Flavoured Salad Leaves at home using cool science.
Bonus step: If you wish to dye your flowers in multi-color, use this step. Cut the stem in two halves, starting from the bottom and stopping before reaching the flower.
Now place both halves in different colored glasses, and observe how the petals will transform into multicolored beauties!
Quick Tip: While the flowers will take their sweet time, try this Colour Changing Oobleck that is quick to make and changes colour instantly!
After around 5 to 8 hours, the white flowers would have transformed into colored flowers corresponding to the dyed water they were placed in.
This flower color changing experiment is nothing short of a magical show, though certainly a more time consuming one!
Quick Tip: Looking for quick magical experiments? Check out Harry Potter Inspired Science Experiments!
Color Changing Flowers Experiment Observations
We could observe the dyes prominently in flower petals in about 5 hours. However, traces of colours started appearing in the petals much earlier.
Another interesting observation we made was that the red dye we used did not really change the flower colour.
Though we could see traces of the color in the petals, the flower remained pretty much the same even after 8 hours while the other two carnations had changed their hue to yellow and green.
In our case, yellow and green dyes definitely worked better than red. Try out different food dyes to see which ones work the best.
This easy science activity is a great addition to plants units study and just perfect for the classroom as well as home. But before you start this colour changing flowers experiment, ask what children think would happen if they changed the colour of water plants drank.
Quizzing kids and helping them ponder on the possible outcomes is a simple and a very effective way to build kids’ critical reasoning skills.
We strongly recommend formulating the color changing flowers science experiment hypothesis before the experiment and then comparing it with the result to boost STEM skills.
Quick Tip: Club this activity with Pipe cleaner flowers craft for a fun STEAM session.
Science Behind Color Changing Flowers!
Are you wondering how these stunning blooms transform from one color to another? Well, it turns out that it’s not magic at work, but rather some serious science that can color a flower.
It turns out that plants drink water through their roots, but in cut flowers stems absorb the water that travels to the petals and other parts of the plant through capillary action. That’s one part of the puzzle.
The second part of the puzzle is to find out how flowers get their color from its original color to a vibrant yellow or a dreamy green just by sipping on a colorful cocktail of water!
Turns out plants and flowers contain pigments that give them their color, much like chlorophyll that makes leaves green.
But when it comes to flowers, their pigments are a bit more complex. They contain compounds called anthocyanins, which can change color depending on the pH of the surrounding environment.
And that’s where our color changing experiment comes in! By dying the water, with food colouring that the flowers absorb, we’re changing the pH of the environment they are in, and as a result, their pigments react and shift color. It’s like a chemistry experiment, but with flowers!
But it’s not just the dye that affects the flowers’ color. Factors like temperature, light, and even the type of water can also play a role. So, it’s important to control as many variables as possible to get accurate results.
To Sum It Up…
Mainly, the magic of capillary action and pH is at work in this color changing flowers experiment!
By placing cut flowers in colored water, we’re tapping into the incredible power of this natural phenomenon. Through the narrow spaces in the flower’s stem, water is able to flow upwards, against gravity.
This is how the flowers drink up the colored water and showcase their stunning new hues. So, next time you see a lovely flower, remember the great role that capillary action and pH plays in keeping it hydrated and beautiful!
In case you are doing colour changing flowers science activity for preschool and kindergarten, you can skip the pH part and limit it to capillary action to make it easy and understandable.
Time To Think: Can you guess why Flamingos are pink? (Scroll to the end of the page for the answer)
Why Do Flowers Change Color?
Now, you might be wondering why flowers even bother changing color. Well, it’s not just for our visual pleasure! Flowers use their color as a form of communication with their pollinators.
By changing their hue, they can attract different types of pollinators, like bees or birds, to help with pollination and reproduction.
So, not only is this experiment a fun and visually lovely way to explore the science of pigments and pH, but it also gives us a glimpse into the fascinating world of plant communication.
What is Capillary Action?
Even after what we have learned, one question may still bug you: How can the flowers pull in water from soil against gravity? That’s because of Capillary action – the ability of a liquid to flow through narrow spaces or tubes, even against gravity.
To explain capillary action to preschoolers, we like to use the analogy of how you can sip drinks through straw. Just like you suck air to pull the liquid up the straw, plants pull up water through their stems and roots.
What Makes Capillary Action possible?
This occurs due to the intermolecular forces between the liquid and the contact surface, known as adhesion, as well as the cohesive forces between the liquid molecules.
As a result of these forces, the liquid can rise through small spaces, such as the tiny openings in soil or the narrow tubes in a plant’s xylem, against the pull of gravity. This is how water and nutrients are transported through a plant’s roots, stem, and leaves.
Moreover, capillary action is also responsible for phenomena like the rise of ink in a fountain pen or the ability of a paper towel to absorb water.
It plays an essential role in many natural processes and engineering applications, making it a fascinating topic to explore in the field of science!
Lastly, Why are Flamingos Pink?
In case you haven’t guessed it or are looking for a detailed answer as to why these filter feeders are pink – it is because of their diet that consists of brine shrimp and algae. Brine shrimp and algae are rich in carotenoids – an orange pigment. This pigment, when digested by flamingoes, gives them their characteristic color!
You can speed up the experiment by using fresh flowers and by adding plant food to the coloured water.
Capillary action and change in pH of flowers.
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