Family Time Calendar: Get Smart - iVillage

You'll make a little St. Patrick's Day fun with our flower experiment that helps teach kids how a flower drinks water. You'll turn white flowers into shamrock green blooms in time for St. Patrick's Day on March 17.


What you'll need:
Tall glasses or vases
2-3 white flowers (we recommend carnations or roses)
Water for filling the glasses
Green food coloring

What you'll do:
Fill each glass half full with water. Add enough green food coloring to make the water a bright kelly green. Give the flowers a fresh cut at the bottom of the stem with sharp scissors or a knife. Over the next few days, watch as the flowers slowly drink up the green liquid and begin to turn green.


What's going on?
Water evaporates out of the leaves and petals of flowers. As this happens, the flowers drink up liquid through thin tubes that carry it up from the roots (or, in the case of these flowers, the cut end). The fancy name for this is transpiration. You can explain it as being almost the same as the way we drink liquids through a straw. The water goes into the leaves and petals, and since it's green, the color shows up in the thin veinlike parts of the flower. Voila! St. Patrick's Day flowers!

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