Spring is here and many kids are helping their parents and teachers grow plants and flowers. One of the most important jobs in growing plants is to water them regularly. My son helps my husband water the garden. As a result, by July, we have vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans.

This Celery Experiment is great way to show kids how plants get water from their roots up to the leaves. At the end of the post, I will explain why this experiment works.

Let’s Get Started!


  • Glass Jar or Drinking Glass
  • Celery
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Knife
Materials for Celery Experiment


  • Gather the materials
  • Cut about one inch off the bottom of the celery stalk.
Here I cut about one inch off the bottom of the celery.
  • Fill the drinking glass halfway with water.
  • Put a few drops of food coloring into the drinking glass.
Putting drops of food coloring into glass

My son chose to put red and blue food coloring in the glass.
Mixing the food coloring together
  • Place the celery stalk in the colored water and let it sit over night.
We put the celery in the glass
  • Rip open the celery to see how the color travels throughout the stalk
Food coloring on the celery’s rib.
  • You should see that the food coloring has traveled to the leaves.
The food color traveled to the celery’s leaves

Why it works:

  • When you water a plant, the roots absorb the water from the soil.
  • The tiny tubes in the celery or plant stem, called xylem, draw the water up from the roots like a straw.
  • This process is called Capillary Action.
  • Capillary Action happens when water climbs up the tiny tubes.
  • The water droplets stick to the walls of the tubes and go upward.
  • The water sticks to itself and pulls more water as it climbs up.
  • Capillary Action lets water climb up to the various parts of a plant through the xylem tubes in the stem.

Have fun with this experiment!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

Happy Learning!

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21 thoughts on “Celery Experiment – How Plants Get Water

  1. I love this! I always did this activity with my first graders and they loved seeing the celery change color. I will definitely try this out with my toddler. Thanks for reminding me how fun and engaging (and easy!) this celery experiment is.

  2. This is such a great experiment for kids to learn about nature! We’re planning on starting homeschooling soon, and I’m definitely adding this to our list of learning activities to try!

    1. Oh good! I hope your kids have fun with this activity! Thank you for your comment.

  3. As a former elementary teacher, I can see how kiddos will LOVE this experiment! What a great visual to show what happens to that water.

    1. Thank you for your comment Jessica! I love that this experiment is simple and effective.

  4. This is a really awesome science experiment! Thank you for the tip

    1. Oh good! I hope your kids have fun with this. This experiment is fun and simple.

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