Capillary Action in Celery

BY: Katelyn , Riley,and Sahra DATE:12/7/15


All plants need water to survive. Plants use water to stay healthy and to prevent them from drying out and wilting. Capillary action is the tendency of a liquid to rise in narrow tubes or to be drawn into small openings. Plants use capillary action to bring water up the roots and stems to the rest of the plant. In this experiment celery was put in water and food color was added to show the effects of Capillary Action. If different food dyes are used to demonstrate Capillary Action then blue/darker colors will be easier to see.

materials and methods


- Water (120 ml),

- Measuring beaker

- glass cup or vase

- variety of food colors /blue/red/ yellow/ green/ purple/ (5 ml)

- 5 Celery sticks,

- piece of paper.( to record our observations)


  1. Measure out 120 mL of water.
  2. Pour the water into a glass cup or vase.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of food dye to the water in the glass. Stir with the teaspoon until the dye has fully dissolved in the water.
  4. With the help of an adult, use a knife to cut the stems of several (at least three) Celery sticks at a 45° angle. Be sure not to use scissors, as they will crush the stems, reducing their ability to absorb the water.
  5. Place the Celery Sticks in the colored water
  1. Observe your project 0, 2, 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after you put the Celery Sticks in the colored water.

Do not forget to record what the Celery Sticks look like at the beginning of the project!

    1. Look at the Stem of the celery and the celery leaves.
      1. On the stems, especially look at the bumps where the leaves branch from the stems and the stems are lighter green (it may be easier to see the dye here).