How does a flower eat and drink?

  • 3 large jars
  • Water
  • Red, blue and yellow food colouring
  • 3 white carnations, chrysanthemums, or any other type of white flower

In the first experiment, you watched how the beans started as hard, dry objects and turned into lush, green plants. You learned seeds need water. Seeds can’t pick up a glass of ice-cold lemonade and take a sip. But they do use a straw or something kind of like a straw. In this experiment, you’ll see how plants “drink.” In the end, you’ll have colourful flowers to give to someone special!



1. Fill each jar one-third with water.


2. Add a different colour to each jar. You’ll need approximately 5 drops. Use enough so that the water looks as tinted as the photos you see here. If you want to get creative, you can blend your food colouring choices—for example, use some yellow and some blue to make green.



3. Place a white flower in each jar and set it aside. It’s best to put the flowers near a window or in a sunny spot.



4. After the first day, look closely at the flowers. You should begin to see the colour appearing on their petals.


5 After 3 to 5 days, the petals will be even more colourful. Look at the leaves. Do you see any change in colour there?




Plants have roots, stems, and leaves. They need water to stay healthy. The water travels through the plant using capillary action. The flower pulls the water up through its stem. Chances are, the first thing you noticed was that the flowers changed colour! But if you look very carefully, you will see the leaves changing colour as well.

In a way, it’s like the plant is sucking on a straw. Once the water has been pulled up through the plant, transpiration takes place. This is when the water leaves the plant and evaporates into the air. It’s one reason the rainforest is so steamy! As the water evaporates into the atmosphere, the plant pulls up more water.


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