Friday, March 11, 2011

Carnation Experiment

This experiment will show how water travels up in a plant through the roots and stem to the leaves and flowers.

  • long stem white carnation(s)
  • container
  • water
  • food coloring

Carnations after being in water with red food coloring for 10 hours

  • Place fresh carnations in a container of water.
  • Have students observe the carnations and sketch a picture.
  • Add approximately 10 drops of food coloring.
  • Have students observe the change in color of the water.
  • Have the students make a prediction of how the red food coloring might effect the flowers.
  • Have the students observe the flowers and sketch a picture again in 24 hours and 48 hours.
  • Have students compare and contrast their sketches.
  • What happened to the flowers? Why?

Carnations after being in red food coloring and water for 10 hours

24 hours

24 hours

48 hours

The stem of a flower is a carrier of water and nutrients from the ground to other parts of the plant.


  1. This is a great classic experiment. Makes pretty flowers, too. :)

  2. Hi Phyllis, Thanks for visiting. The little kids still get excited with these old classic experiments even if we teachers and parents have done them hundreds of times! I will visit you soon. Marcia

  3. I always love the carnation experiment. I know it's done all the time, but the flowers always turn out so pretty.



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