How Plants Drink

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How plants drink: an experiment for children of all ages. This fun (and easy) experiment will teach children how plants absorb water through a process called osmosis.

  • Supplies:
    • 3-4 clear containers (plastic cups, glasses, vases, or jars)
    • fresh celery stalks with leaves, divided into groups of 3-4
    • water
    • scissors
    • food coloring (3-4 colors)
    • gardening notebook
    • pencil
  • Separate the celery stalks in 3-4 groups and cut about 1/2 inch off the bottoms.
  • Fill the containers with about 8 ounces of water each.
  • Place 4-6 drops of food coloring into each container, one color per container.
  • Stand one stalk of celery in each container.
  • For older children, have them predict what will happen to the celery. Ask them how plants get water? Will one color have more of an impact than another?
  • You should see some results within three hours, but significant results overnight and over a few days. Compare with an unused piece of celery to see the difference.
  • Cut the bottom of the celery to see where the water was transported into the stem. Pull back the fibers of the celery to see what the celery looks like on the inside. Document observations.