Color Changing Celery Experiment

Science rocks and most children are naturally drawn to experimenting, building, and inquiring.

There’s just something wondrous about learning why things happen and understanding why they don’t. One of our favorite experiments, no matter how many times we do it, is the Color Changing Celery Experiment.

We first did this experiment as part of the Science Sleuths: Exploring the Garden class and it’s been a hit ever since. The best part? It’s super easy to do! Let’s get started!

Color Changing Celery Experiment


  • 3 stalks of celery – preferably with leafy ends
  • 3 sturdy cups
  • water
  • food coloring
  • paper towels
  • safety goggles


  1. Place each cup on a separate paper towel and label the paper towels “A”, “B”, and “C”.
  2. Fill the cups about 1/4 way with water.
  3. Place four drops of food coloring in cup A.
  4. Place eight drops of food coloring in cup B.
  5. Place 12 drops of food coloring in cup C.
  6. Place one stalk of celery in each cup and let them sit for a few hours.


After letting the celery sit, hypothesize what will happen.

  • Will the food coloring travel up the celery?
  • Will it travel equally in all three stalks?
  • Will the stalk in the cup with the most food coloring be darker or will it not make a difference?
  • How would the food coloring travel up the stalk?

After letting the celery sit for a few hours, go back and record your observations. Sketch the stalks of celery and write down your conclusion.


You might also want to try the experiment again using different variables: more water, less water, shorter celery stalks, longer celery stalks, more food coloring, a different color of food coloring, letting it sit longer, etc.

Have fun, Science Sleuths!