My Celery is Thirsty

So today I’m starting my new regular feature – Scientific Reasoning. You can read my reasoning behind starting this feature here.

Today I am going to show you a science experiment that you can try at home – with your children or on your own. It’sΒ fun, but also takes a while to run through, probably overnight, but it’s interesting, I promise! Or, you can just see the experiment through my camera – I had so much fun doing this, especially the cool second experiment at the end of this post πŸ™‚

A little bit of background –Β Like us, plants need water and nutrients to stay alive and grow. How does that water and those nutrients get into the plant? The answer is “xylem” (transports water) and “phloem” (transports nutrients made by the plant). Today, we’re dealing with xylem.

The xylem are the series of tubes and cells that make up the water transport system. Water is absorbed through the roots, but then the water has to get up to the leaves! The xylem cells are connected end-to-end so that the water can travel up the stem to the leaves. When you cut down a tree and you see the rings in the stump, you are seeing the dried up xylem tissue – one ring for each year of the tree’s life.

Today we’re going to demonstrate this so that you can see the xylem in the plant.

What willΒ you need?

Ingredients (Celery).
Ingredients (Celery).
  • glass jar or vase
  • water
  • food colouring
  • celery
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • paper towel

What will you do?

  1. Fill the glass jar or vase about 2/3 with water.
  2. Add some food colouring – blue or red is probably best, something quite different to the green of the plant.
  3. Clean your celery and cut about 3cm from the bottom using the knife and cutting board.
  4. Place the celery in the coloured water and wait!
  5. If the colouring is dark enough, you should see the colouring at the leaves.
  6. Once completed, remove the celery from the water and pat dry with paper towel.
  7. Look at the bottom of the celery – you will see tiny coloured dots which are at the bottom of the “tubes” or “xylem”.
  8. You can also cut the celery and see the blue dots higher up the stem as well.

Another experiment?

  • You can use most plants, but a very cool one to use is a carnation.
  • Everything is done the same way, but using a carnation instead of celery.
  • Over time (about 24 hours), the white petals of the carnation will change colour as the coloured water travels up the xylem to the top of the plant and into the petals.

I posted some black and white images of these coloured carnations some time ago, but here are the coloured versions. It was very hot here in Brisbane when I did this experiment, so the cut flowers did not last very long, they have started to curl up over time.

I like this one, I think I am probably biased because photographing these flowers was so much fun and I love the result. It is something that you can set up and leave and check on it each day. I know some people have their children draw the experiment and predict what will happen by colouring in the petals.

I hope you enjoy it.

x desleyjane


Safety Considerations.

  • The stems should be cut with a sharp knife to avoid damaging the xylem, so it’s a good idea if an adult does that part.
Advertisements

39 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy Sampson says:

    I have done this with carnations before. I don’t remember if it was a school thing, or if I did it on my own. It’s neat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Amy – did it take a long time for them to take up the colour?

      Like

      1. Amy Sampson says:

        It was a long time ago, but if my memory is correct, it was pretty fast. I think it was only an hour or two before it started to change. My mom was growing them, so maybe the fresh cut helped.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          Awesome, thanks. Mine took overnight…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Victo Dolore says:

    Thank you for reminding me of this! Gonna have to do it with the kiddos this weekend. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Excellent – let me know how it turns out?! Photos!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tildy1 says:

    I love science experiments! So fun! Nice close ups too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Tildy. I’m hoping people like these experiments! I’ve had lots of fun running then at home so that I can photograph them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I had done this as a kid with celery! Your post was great… Informative and interesting before and after! I’ve never done it with carnations :))
    Lovely for springtime!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Lia ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. guevaragem says:

    Very informative post! I learned something new about plants today. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to try this experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Awesome, I’m glad you liked it. Take some pics if you do it! The flowers are fun…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Im loving the idea of this series. I wonder what other flowers it works well with. Great pics too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Oh thanks Justine. It will work with any flower. If you use a coloured flower you will need very concentrated dye to get the effect. Also, some dyes travel faster than others. The orange one was much quicker than the purple. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehe a half term activity i think x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          Excellent!! Post some pics? The only thing missing for me was the kids!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. oh i will do for sure xx

            Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great idea for a feature, I look forward to seeing more. I did this once as a child with some flowers, it gives such a lovely effect, might have to try it again after reading this! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Fabulous! Please let me know how it goes if you do it again. I dried them once it was finished. Very pretty. Thank you!

      Like

      1. I will do! That’s a good idea, otherwise it seems such a shame to go to so much effort for something that won’t last very long!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          Plus it’s pretty… 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved this post. It’s so interesting and your photos are gorgeous.
    I’ve never tried this experiment before.
    Can I try with cabbage? Lol
    Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      LOL, I have a cabbage experiment coming up!! Keep an eye out πŸ˜‰
      Thank you, am glad you liked it. I was worried that people would find science a bit, shall-we-say not interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course it’s interesting! And even more so now that you are going to use cabbage. Lol
        I really loved it! Please bring more!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          Thanks luv. Interview is next week’s post. Still working on when is the best time to post….

          Like

  9. More than the experiments themselves, I was amazed at the beauty of your pictures. Wow! I’m mesmerized by those spectacular shots. Awsome job, both artistic and scientific. Thanks a bunch.

    Cheers,

    Omar.-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Oh thanks Omar, I appreciate that. I have had so much fun squirrelled away in my living room taking photos of science experiments. They make for for interesting photos. Some of the upcoming experiments are pretty cool, can’t wait to show you all πŸ˜ƒ

      Like

  10. gfchopstix says:

    Cool! I recall doing similar experiments at school….many, many years ago! hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      We didn’t do anything like this at school, at least not that I can remember. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. gfchopstix says:

        I look forward to more DesleyJane science experiments. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        1. desleyjane says:

          Excellent! Thank you…

          Liked by 1 person

  11. estelea says:

    great, on it with the kids next week, thanks πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      My pleasure. Photos please!! X

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Loretta says:

    Wow! How cool is that Desley! No kids left at home here, but this Mom would love to try it out herself :). Do you think this is how the nurseries or flower shops give these carnations or other flowers that unusual hue? I’ve often seen bright or purple carnations? Wonderful photo close-ups!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Loretta. I think that’s exactly what they do. It was awesome to see it happen, you can see the line of colour. They say tulips work well, but I don’t have the weather for tulips! Thank you…

      Like

  13. Andy Townend says:

    These photos are stunning, the colours literally explode off the page

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Omigosh, thanks Andy. I had THE BEST time doing these. Can’t wait to show you the next ones!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Andy Townend says:

        Will look forward to it!

        Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s