Thursday, February 25, 2010

Disappointing Results

Last week, we had some flowers hanging around from Valentine's Day and my preschooler was very interested in how they "drank" their water. In order to demonstrate transpiration, I placed some white flowers in glasses of colored water. Since this was a spur-of-the-moment activity, we used the only white flowers we had on hand--baby's breath. Note: if you try this at home, use something else!

We started full of ambition and excitement, adding a few drops of food coloring to several glasses. I had big plans for further investigation once we established our baselines (varying temperature, adding sugar to the water, etc).

Unfortunately, our results were far from spectacular. This was very disappointing to the curious four year old who checked on the flowers every few minutes. We did get it work a little bit with the green dye, thus demonstrating that the flowers were pulling water up through their stems and out to the petals.

Elapsed time: 48 hours

For the blue and red dye, we discovered several small bends and breaks in the stems that we hadn't noticed when we first put the baby's breath in water. We might redo the experiment with a heartier flower (white carnations) or even some veggies (celery or carrots).


Nan M Gough said...

Hi guys! It works really well with carnations and fresh celery. Sorry your results were a bit disappointing. Dark purple or red coloring works well with the celery and green, red, purple and blue all work well with the flowers!

Julie said...

Sorry for the disasppointing results. My mom was a florist for decades... and we tried this trick several times in her shop. Baby's breathe is not the way to go. Carnations work great, as do the larger mums. Tulips work too- just need the white ones. Celery is good to try too! Try some green ones for St.Patrick's Day. Good luck!