Rainbow Celery

Ever wonder how plants “drink” water if they have no mouth?  This simple colorful experiment demonstrates how celery “drink” water and explores the concept of “capillary motion” (without the long scientific term of course)

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • 6 Celery stalks with the leaves
  • 6 clear jars or cups
  • Water
  • Some food coloring (we used red, yellow and blue to create 6 rainbow colors)IMG_1416

Fill all of the glasses halfway with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each to get the following 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Add one celery to each different glass.

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At this point, I ask my superheroes to guess what they think will happen over time.  This is a good time for them to draw/color in their observations.

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We checked on the jars 2 days later and this is what we saw:

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The darker colored water showed the most dramatic changes in the color of the leaves.  The superheroes thought the colors of the celery leaves were very cool.  They also noticed that the yellow appeared to have no changes in leaf color.  We talked about why this might be the case.

The Science behind the Activity:

This is an example of ‘capillary motion’, the process by which plants pull water from their roots and bring it up against the force of gravity.    I have also seen this done with white carnations and daisies where the flower petals turn different colors.  Pretty neat, huh?

Follow this link to see where I got the idea from and more details about the experiment: http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/celery-science-experiment-kids/

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