Real Science and Other Adventures

What colour do you like your celery? A classic experiment for kids


This is a bunch of celery – or you might call it a head of celery.

Before we do things with silverbeet leaves (see my last post) I want to do a popular experiment to learn about how water moves through plants.

Have you ever had a vase of flowers? What happens if the flowers aren’t in water? They droop and wither pretty quickly.

Why is that?

Plants need water to live, in fact they are mostly made of water. Plants are always losing some of that water into the air.  They need to suck up more water through the stem to replace the water they’ve lost, or they droop and eventually die.



  • Celery with leaves
  • Sharp knife or scissors
    • a grown-up to help if you’re not allowed to use the knife on your own
  • Glass or jar of water
  • Food colouring



  • Food colouring can stain things so make sure you protect yourself and your stuff from spills and splashes. You could put newspaper on the table. You could wear a raincoat, art smock or old clothes.
  • Be careful with that knife! A grown-up must cut the stalk for you if you’re not old enough to use it yourself.



First read through these instructions and try to guess what will happen.

  • Add a few drops of food colouring to the water and mix them together
  • Get a grown-up to help if you’re not allowed to use a sharp knife on your own – yes now
  • Cut the celery stalk straight off the bunch if it’s still on the bunch, otherwise cut the end off the stalk
  • Put the cut end of the celery in the coloured water
  • Wait and watch
  • When you’ve finished, cut the stem and see what the end looks like. Cut some slices. Break the celery stick and have a look at the inside.
0 min blue celery zero min 10-jan-15

This is my stick of celery just after I put it in blue water.


And more importantly – I want you to think about why that happens.

You could use the websites below to find out what happened when other people did it, but I guarantee you’ll have more fun if you do it yourself.

I’m going to give you a chance to do that before I talk about what happened to mine!





“Céleri”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –


This is cross-posted to Bedtime Science at SciFund Challenge






One comment on “What colour do you like your celery? A classic experiment for kids

  1. Pingback: What colour would you like your celery? Part 2 – what did you found out? | Real Science and Other Adventures

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on January 17, 2016 by in Plants, science for kids and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: