Osmosis in action!

Plants drink water through a process called osmosis. Osmosis is the movement of a liquid into a living thing, creating a balance of that liquid. Our flower dyes are perfect for demonstrating in real time the process of osmosis.

The flowers take the water up to the top of the plant through capillary action. Water sticks to itself and climbs up and down the plant through tubes called the xylem and phloem. Within a few minutes the coloured dye can be clearly seen in the xylem and phloem of the flowers petals.

Advice for using flower dye in the classroom

Our flower dyes are a big favourite with teachers to demonstrate how flowers drink water and the final dyed flowers look awesome too. Here are some tips to get the best experiment results:

Choice of flowers

The best flowers to choose are white or light coloured flowers as the flower dye will contrast best and the veins will be most visible. To ensure quick dye uptake make sure your flowers are thirsty so for best results leave them out of water for a few hours before the experiment. By the way any plant can be used for this experiment so feel free to let your students try different plants and flowers.

Dye solution

The dye solution is made by mixing the powder with water. Choose a dark dye such as blue or purple to get the best effect. Depending on the age of the children it is recommended to make the dye solutions before the experiment to avoid dye powder being spilt on worktops or clothing.

Dyeing time

A thirsty, fresh flower will show signs of dye absorption within approximately 15 minutes. Full absorption can take a few hours and would be suitable for a follow-up at the next lesson.

Safe use of dyes

The dyes are made from natural ingredients and are not harmful. However sensible precautions should be adhered to whilst supervising students using flower dyes. Therefore the use of gloves and safety glasses is advised. Vases should be clearly marked as containing non drinkable flower dye. Once used the dye solution can be disposed of by pouring down the sink and rinsing the vase.