Colorful Bouquets

This lesson developed by Reach Out!
Recommended Age: Preschool, Early and Later Elementary


How do flowers conduct and absorb water?
Can I change the color of a white flower?

What You Need

  1. 6 or more white carnations (Queen Anne's Lace works well too!)
  2. At least 2 small clear glasses or vases
  3. Water
  4. Food coloring
  5. Sharp knife
  6. Cutting board
  7. Spoon
  8. Large paper clips

What You Do

  1. First, with the help of an adult, carefully cut the ends of your flowers.

  2. Put some food coloring into one glass or vase. Put a different color of food coloring into the second glass or vase. Mix the food coloring and water together with a spoon.

  3. Lay a carnation down on the cutting board. With the help of an adult, very carefully cut the stem in half length-wise. Go up to about two inches from the base of the flower.

  4. Put the two glasses or vases next to each other. Put one half of the stem into one glass. Put the other half of the stem in the other glass. You may need to use a paper clip to keep the stems in their own glasses.

  5. Watch what happens over a couple of hours.

What Is Happening

Stems of plants are important because they conduct water to the plant or flower. Your carnation's two stems are sucking up water from their own glass. Because the water is colored, it affects the white flower. Your are making two-colored flowers! Have fun and experiment with different color combinations. You could make a very unique bouquet!