Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Plants and Food Color
Name: Sarah
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: FL
Date: October 2007

Hi! I had a question about dyeing plants with food coloring. Why doesnt the stem itself turn the color of the food coloring? Also, why cant some plants absorb some dye's?

I don't think there is a simple answer because it depends upon what food dye you select, what plant you select, and other possible factors such as the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of the "experiment". The absorption of dyes is a complicated process. The plant itself could change the color of the dye you "think" you are putting into the plant.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the General Topics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory