Hey! Welcome to the Blog at Main Floral! It’s cloudy, cool, and a bit dreary here, in Anoka, today. Instead of feeling down about it, we’re choosing to focus on some inside projects that need to get done–and, color; we’re also focusing on bright, happy, colors. 🙂 It totally helps that we have a wedding coming up, and the bride asked us to order her dozens, and dozens, of beautifully colored daisies–they really perk the place up! As we were doing so however, it made us remember science experiments with celery, which THEN made us curious just how difficult it would be to dye flowers at home. (Turns out, after some research, it’s pretty easy. Just like dyeing celery. 😉 ) SO, if you’re looking for a fun, simple, and/or, science related project to share with the kids, something to do with some of the white flowers growing around your yard, or just something to watch on this dreary weekend–that doesn’t include a screen, maybe try to dye some flowers…
You will need:
Fresh, light (preferably white), flowers. (Don’t use wilted. They don’t drink enough water to make this work well. Daisies and Carnations tend to work really good with this project.)
What to do:
Get your jars ready with your warm water. You don’t need much. (Remember, the less water to food coloring ratio means a deeper color. If you’re using a Mason Jar, for example, fill it about 1/4 of the way full.)
Trim the flower stems so they aren’t super long. (Experiment with different types! Daisies, Hydrangeas, Baby’s Breath, Roses, Carnations, etc. We always have some form of white flower in–so, swing by if you’d like to browse our coolers. Plus, if you bring the kids, the candy shop next door is a really fun place to swing by, too. 🙂 )
Hold the stems under the water and cut them at an angle. (The angle is simply so it doesn’t site flat on the jar bottom, and is able to suck up water. Holding them in the water while you cut them will prevent air bubbles from forming on the stems.)
Add the food coloring, 15-30 drops, depending on the amount of water you’ve used.
After a few hours, you should see some color in the petals. Don’t worry if it takes a bit longer though. However, if it takes more than 24 hours, it probably won’t work because your flower isn’t drinking any water.
If you’re feeling extra experimental:
You can cut the stem of the flower up the middle and put each side in a different jar of colored water. (The thicker the stems–the more cuts you can make!)
If you’re feeling super science-y with the kids:
Create a ‘control group’, by placing one flower in plain water. Place this one next to the flowers in the colored water.
Have the kids come up with a hypothesis before starting.
You can ask questions like:
What do you think will happen to the flowers?
How long do you think it will take?
What do you think will happen if we cut the stem into two, or more, parts?
How can we KNOW what’s happening?
We found this great explanation of what actually happens over on ThoughtCo.com:
“A few different processes are involved in plant ‘drinking’ or transpiration. As water evaporates from flowers and leaves, the attractive force between water molecules called cohesion pulls more water along. Water is pulled up through tiny tubes (xylem) that run up a plant’s stem. Although gravity might want to pull the water back down toward the ground, water sticks to itself and these tubes. This capillary action keeps water in the xylem in much the same way as water stays in a straw when you suck water through it, except evaporation and biochemical reactions provide the initial upward pull.”
You can always do more research if you’d like to expand on this springy, science project–we just covered the basics for ya!