Here is a neat idea for making multi-colored roses. This would make a great science fair project to demonstrate how nutrients travel from the soil to the rest of a plant. Or would just be fun for the kids to do something different for Mom on Mother’s Day.
- 3 small drinking glasses
- Measuring cup
- Different colors of food coloring
- One or more white roses or chrysanthemums*
- Sharp scissors
* If it proves too difficult (or expensive) to use flowers, you can do a similar demonstration with stalks of celery. Celery stalks are easier to work with. Or start with celery and when you have seen that your method works, move on to flowers.
- Put 1/2 cup water in each drinking glass.
- Color the water in each glass a different color. Make the color very dark.
- Use the scissors to split the bottom of the stem of the flower lengthwise into three sections. The splits will have to be a little longer than the height of the drinking glasses.
- Put each split section of the stem into a different drinking glass.
- Wait for a day or two and see how the color changes.
Plants have primitive circulation systems. Tubes called xylem run up the outside layer of a stalk or trunk. Minerals from the soil move up these tubes to the leaves. Phloem tubes are found in the interior and send the food created by in the leaves to the rest of this plant.
In this demonstration, the tint from the food coloring also is carried along through the plant’s circulation system, leaving a visible trace of the migration through the plant.
Your flowers probably will not come out as vibrant as the ones shown below, but you should see a noticeable coloration in the flowers.