Color-Changing Carnations

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Learners place cut flowers in colored water and observe how the flowers change. The flowers absorb the water through the stem and leaves. By watching the journey of harmless food coloring, learners can see all the places water goes in a plant.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • White carnations (daisies and other white flowers may work too)
  • Clear, plastic cups or vases
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Scissors
  • Knife (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access