Capillary action flowers with AmazeLab

by Fellowship Agency August 6, 2021

Gratnells has partnered with AmazeLab to create an exclusive collection of #WhatsInMyTray activities.

Create your own flowers to show how water travels up a flower’s stem via capillary action.


  • Gratnells tray
  • Water
  • Container
  • Food colouring
  • Kitchen roll
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
  • Jug

What to do:

  • Carefully using scissors, cut a square of kitchen roll in half (you are able to make and create as many flowers as you like.
  • Twist the bottom of the kitchen roll to create the ‘stem’ of the flower.
  • Create the petals of the flower at the other end of the kitchen, be creative by making any flower shape of your choosing!
  • Pour the water from the jug into your container, it only needs to be around a quarter full.
  • Add 3 drops of food colouring into your water using your spoon to make sure the food colouring is mixed into the water.
  • Place your ‘flower’ into the coloured water watching as the water travels up the stem creating your colourful flower, you will need to be patient to witness the full effect!
  • Leave your flower to dry.

The Science:

Water is able to move in many ways. Using the wick of the stem, the water travels up the stem via capillary action. This is how you notice the colour change on your flower. In this activity, the water moves via the tiny gaps in the kitchen roll fibres. This is the same process plants use.

Big questions:

  • How could you make a multi-coloured flower?
  • Do different shaped flowers take longer for the capillary action to reach the end of the flower?
  • How could you speed up or slow down the process?

Curriculum Area: Science
Topic: Plants
Age- group: KS2 -Living things (working scientifically)