Dyed Flowers Experiment

Bright white sprays in 4 different colours of water

The purpose of this experiment is to show how water moves through the parts of a plant. We know that water from the ground is absorbed by the roots of a plant, moving up the stem and then into the flower/petals. By colouring the water we aim to show how the water travels along a continuous column until it reaches the flowering part of the plant. Water is necessary to keep a plant rigid and alive.

What you will need for your dyed flowers experiment

You will need:

  • Fresh white flowers (preferrably carnations, chrysanthumums or sprays)
  • Food colouring
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • 4 vases or tumblers


  • Fill each glass 3/4 full of water
  • Colour the water nice and dark
  • Trim the stems at an angle and place them in the water.

Please note:

It is necessary that your flowers are freshly cut and not wilted as this will cause obstruction to the column of water that needs to rise up the stem and may interfere with the results.

If possible cut your stem under water to prevent air from entering the stem.

We used sprays in pure white that hadn’t bloomed yet.

You can expect to start noticing results within 1-2 days. For older kids it might be a good idea to keep a diary documenting any changes daily. You can also keep a control (flower placed in plain uncolored water so that you have something to compare the coloured flowers to

Some points of interest to pose:

  • Which color was visible first?
  • Did the control bloom first or at the same time as the colored flowers?
  • Do you think if you used colored vinegar or colored soft drink the results would be different? (You can even test this out is a different experiment)

    Immediately after placing our flowers in colored water their petals are bright white

    18 hours later a tinge of colour can be seen in the petals already

    3 days later our sprays are looked half full of colour

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