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The Effects of Different Solutions on the Lifespan of Cut Flowers

The Effects of Different Solutions on the Lifespan of Cut Flowers

In this experiment kids will investigate the impact of various solutions on the lifespan of cut flowers. You can extend it explore other factors like temperature, light exposure, or pH levels in the solutions. Just remember to only test one thing at a time. It is important that there is only one independent variable determining the dependent variable. For example, in this experiment you will investigate the effects different solutions have on the lifespan of cut flowers. The solutions are the independent variable. The lifespan of the cut flowers is the dependent variable. It is important you set this up so that all flowers are at the same temperature and get the same amount of sunlight. Both are independent variables, and if they are not kept constant the results for different solutions are in question.

This would be a great experiment for a science fair. However, to enhance the scientific rigor of your experiment, it is essential to replicate the experiment multiple times and ensure the conditions remain consistent throughout the trials.

From: 9 Fun Science Activities. Click here to find links to the other 8 activities!

Materials for The Effects of Different Solutions on the Lifespan of Cut Flowers

  • One type of cut flowers (e.g., roses, carnations, lilies, etc.)
  • Several vases or containers
  • Distilled water
  • Different solutions (e.g., flower food packets, homemade solutions, commercially available preservatives, etc.)
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Labels
  • Notebook and pen for recording observations

Procedure for The Effects of Different Solutions on the Lifespan of Cut Flowers

  1. After reading the lead-in, ask kids why it is important to use only one type of flower. (Using different flowers introduced a second independent variable.)
  2. Choose flowers of the same type with similar lengths and conditions to ensure consistency.
  3. Prepare several vases or containers and fill them with the different solutions you want to test. Label each container with the type of solution used.
  4. Fill a few additional containers with distilled water, which will serve as a control group.
  5. Trim the stems of the flowers at a 45-degree angle under water to ensure a fresh cut, and immediately place each flower into a designated container.
  6. Place all the containers in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or drafts.
  7. Observe and record the following data daily:
    • Flower appearance (color, petal texture, etc.)
    • Stem length
    • Number of open/closed buds
    • Overall freshness
  8. Repeat the observations for at least 7-10 days or until significant differences become evident.
  9. Analyze and interpret your results based on the recorded data. Look for patterns and note which solutions resulted in longer-lasting flowers.
  10. Draw conclusions and consider possible reasons for the differences observed. Was there a particular solution that helped preserve the flowers better?
  11. If present your findings, include graphs, charts, and photographs.

Check out more articles through the Ask Blair Page on this website. This article was submitted in April 2023 and was not published in the July issue of the SEA Homeschoolers Magazine.

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