Monday, January 9, 2012

How Plants absorb Water: Celery Science Experiment

How Plants absorb Water: Celery Science Experiment

Finally we are back on schedule after all the holiday excitement! I'm so excited to start the year with a Celery science experiment. It clearly demonstrates how water moves through in plants. I got the idea from the book Thanksgiving Fun Activity Book. The Book explains the origin of Thanksgiving festival and suggests various activities for the holiday.

CJ wanted to do the celery experiment as soon as she saw the experiment on the book and after a month time we did the experiment last week. We talked about how the roots absorb water from the soil and the water travels up the tubes/capillaries in the stems to all parts of the plants

Materials Used:

Stalks of Celery with leaves
Clear plastic bottles/vases
Food coloring
Measuring cup
Knife(to be used by the Adult)
Paper towels

* Please ignore the Orange extract in the picture above, I mistook it from the fridge for food coloring. Forgot to put it back while taking the picture

Steps Overview:

Fill a cup of water in the bottle and add food color. Adults can carefully cut the stalks of celery. Handover the stalks to kids and let them place the stalks of celery in the colored water.

All set! Now start noting the changes! We checked at intervals of two hours!

After 8 hrs

A closer view of the color change

After 24 hrs

Closer view

Blue colored leaves and we also noted that the drooped down leaves got restored

Pink colored leaves

We cut the stalks to check how the water traveled. I showed the little colored pores to CJ, explained how each one acted as a straw to absorb water from the roots

By chance I got to absorb these colored string structures in the celery

I carefully peeled the upper layer of the celery so that I can show the capillary tubes inside the celery to CJ

Cut the top layer of celery to observe the Capillary tubes

CJ got so excited that she broke the celery and started analyzing on her own:-)


  1. wow Esther.. interesting.. I will definitely try this with Adi.. thanks for sharing this experiment details..

  2. oooh, I love this! We have done something very similar with flowers!

  3. @ Ani: do try it! I think Adi will love it!

    @ Emma: Thank you! Oh how did I miss the flower spark! I love your site and all the science sparks you create for the kids!

  4. Very nice idea, Esther. I will definitely try this with my boys. To see things practically takes kids' understanding to a whole new level.

  5. This is very good one. we did it with flowers but you are not able to see the interior!

  6. I forgot about this 5 year old would love it!


  7. Thats truly interesting.. and inspiring..

    Esther.. Wishing you and all at home.. a happy new year!!

  8. Great experiment!

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  9. So funny- we just did this one last week.
    Maybe we are sharing brainwaves. I love your photos and description. Beautiful.

  10. What fun! We need to do this experiment in our house!

    Thanks for sharing at Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  11. great idea. thanks for the info. have pinned and will be trying it out with my lads. xx

  12. I've been meaning to do this experiment for months. I love how you cut the celery up after it was done soaking up the dye. Great idea!

    Have a great weekend!


  13. Great pictures! It's neat to see what it looks like on the inside as well... I'm going to have to try this with my kids.

  14. My twin nephews would love this - time to be a cool aunt again!

  15. awesome - we did with carnations but love the celery a great way to show how it works the same with other things.

    Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase - hope to see you this week.


  16. Great idea!
    Esther, is there any way to contact you by e-mail

  17. Awesome! We did this with a white carnation and watched the flower change color entirely, but to see the "innards" like you can with celery.. now the kids would love that! Thanks :)

  18. I teach 3rd grade and our next science unit is about plants and plant growth. This will be a great experiment to introduce the kids to how roots and stems work!

  19. Thanks. I am A student doing some very important experiments for class and this website has helped me a lot.

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