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Science Experiment

Preservation of Cut Flowers
by

Jason Chandra

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Science Experiment

Science Experiment
Cut Flower Preservatives
Background Research
Once flowers are purchased or cut they will often wilt and turn brown, to resolve this problem a commercial cut flower preservative can be used. Yet there are other alternatives to preserve cut flowers.

When flowers are cut from their roots, they are unable to produce their own food; by adding acidic solutions such as sodas or lemon juice. Adding acidic solutions to water will allow water to travel up the stem of the flower quickly, and the addition of sugar will help to feed the plants.

Aspirin is also a chemical acidic substance which derives from willow barks. This chemical happens to be a plant hormone, and it us used to warn the plan for stress, such as drought and damage from pests. Once mixed with a solvent e.g.: Water, it will encourage it to use less water and to conserve its resources. The natural acidity of the aspirin reduces the amount of bacteria growth within the container, which will keep the stems clear and healthy.

To protect and preserve the flowers, adding bleach will kill and remove harmful bacteria which may linger within the water. Though too much bleach can be counterproductive and harmful to the flowers.
Variables
Independent Variable: The type of preservative or solution used.

Dependent Variable: Amount of petals dropped over a period of four days.

Controlled Variable:
Length of Flower Stems
Amount of preservatives/solution used
Size of Container/Glass
Starting condition of flowers
Type of flower
Amount of Sunlight
Protection from insects or pests which may impact the health and condition of the flowers.
Aim
To observe which type of preservatives used will allow cut flowers to last the longest, in terms of its freshness and amount of petals retained.
Log of Planning Process
Hypothesis
Method
Results Test #1
Observations Test #1
14/08/13: Started researching on different methods of preserving flowers.
14/08/13: Gaining knowledge of how different type of substances eg: Aspirin, Sugar will assist in the preservation of cut flowers.
14/08/13: Found different types of solutions which can assist in the preservation of cut flowers.
15/08/13: Found the solutions that will be used for the experiment:
•Filtered Water (tap water)
•Water with lemon juice, sugar, chlorine bleach, and water.
•Water with aspirin.
•White vinegar, sugar, bleach, and water.
16/08/13: Cuts flowers from backyard, all the same size with the same amount of petals.
16/08/13: Prepared the solution.
16/08/13: placed the flowers into each container and leaving it in a controlled environment e.g.: Constant Temperature, Sunlight, Humidity etc.
16/08/13: Recorded results of the amount of petals lost and the condition of flowers.
17/08/13: Analysed and observed the condition of the flowers and seeing if any petals are lost, results are then recorded.
18/08/13: Three days finished, final results are obtained, graphed, tabulated and averaged.
19/08/13: Second Trial Started, flowers placed into containers and left. All in fresh and healthy condition.
20/08/13: Results recorded and observed flowers.
21/08/13: Flowers analysed and observed.
22/08/13: Final Trial finished, all data obtained, tabulated, graphed and averaged. Finalisation and review of assignment commenced.

I believe the combination of bleach and sugar will help the flowers preserve the longest, through its bacteria removal ability and its nourishing capabilities provided to the flowers.
Equipment
4 sterilised cups/vases
800ml of Filtered Water
labels
Pen
Spoons
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon of Bleach
2 Tablespoon of Sugar
Flowers (Daisies will be used in this experiment)
Measuring Cup
Results Test #2
Observations Test#2
Collect all apparatus
Sterilize all jars/cups/vases
Fill all 4 containers with water
Crush one tablet of aspirin and place that within one cup, stir and label
Pour one tablespoon of lemon juice and sugar into one cup, stir and label
Pour 1/2 a teaspoon of bleach and 1 tablespoon of sugar into one cup, stir and label
Cut flower stem to 15 cm at a diagonal and remove all foliage
Photograph flowers
Record all observations of the condition and petals lost
Repeat experiment to a desired amount.
Day 1
Water: 0
Aspirin: 0
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Day 2
Water: 1
Aspirin: 1
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Day 3
Water: 1
Aspirin: 2
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Day 4
Water: 1
Aspirin: 2
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Amount of Petals Lost
Total
Water: 3
Aspirin: 5
Lemon+Sugar: 2
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Day 1
Water: 0
Aspirin: 0
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Day 2
Water: 1
Aspirin: 2
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Day 3
Water: 2
Aspirin: 2
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Day 4
Water: 1
Aspirin: 3
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Total
Water: 4
Aspirin: 7
Lemon+Sugar: 2
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Total Petals Lost
Day 1
Water: Fine and Healthy
Aspirin: Fine and Healthy
Lemon+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Bleach+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Observation Test #1
Observation Test #1
Observation Test #1
Day 2
Water: Looks slightly weaker, losing one petal yet stems are still seemingly strong.
Aspirin: Slightly de-coloured, stems are weak causing it to slump over.
Lemon+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Bleach+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Day 3
Water: Slightly slumped over, losing another petal, other petals are shriveled slightly.
Aspirin: Petals have shrunken, and stem heavily weakened, colour has darkened.
Lemon+Sugar: Fine, losing its first petal, yet the stems and other petals are seemingly fine.
Bleach+Sugar: Fine, losing its first petal, stem is still strong and petals seemingly fresh.
Day 4
Water: Reduced amount of colour making it slightly drier and darker, lost one more petal.
Aspirin: Steam near the tophas caved inwards stem is completely bent.
Lemon+Sugar: Lost some strength of its petals and stems has slightly weakened.
Bleach+Sugar: Still strong, petals and stems still looks healthy.
EXPERIMENT TRIAL #1
EXPERIMENT TRIAL #2
By: Jason Chandra. Science 10 Green
Day 1
Water: Fine and Healthy
Aspirin: Fine and Healthy
Lemon+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Bleach+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Day 2
Water: Fine, petals slightly weak, and de-coloured. Lost one petal.
Aspirin: Slightly de-coloured, stems are slumped over. Lost two petals.
Lemon+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Bleach+Sugar: Fine and Healthy
Day 3
Water: Slightly slumped over, other petals have slightly shriveled. Lost two petals.
Aspirin: Petals have shrunken, and stem weaken slightly, and colour have become darker. Lost two Petals.
Lemon+Sugar: Fine, petals are wide open and fresh, stem is still strong. Lost one petal
Bleach+Sugar: Fine, petals are open and fresh, stem is strong. lost one petal.
Day 4
Water: Reduced amount of colour, petals shriveled further and has darkened. Lost one petal
Aspirin: Stem has weaken considerably, petals have shruken heavily and have darkened significantly. Lost three petals.
Lemon+Sugar: Lost some blossom to its petals and stem slightly bent over. Lost one petal.
Bleach+Sugar: Still strong, petals and stems still looks healthy.
EVALUATION
Average amount of petals dropped
Day 1
Water: 0
Aspirin: 0
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Water: 0.5
Aspirin: 1.5
Lemon+Sugar: 0
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Day 3
Water: 1.5
Aspirin: 2
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Day 4
Water: 1
Aspirin: 2.5
Lemon+Sugar: 1
Bleach+Sugar: 0
Total
Water: 3.5
Aspirin: 6
Lemon+Sugar: 2
Bleach+Sugar: 1
Experiment Conducted
Conclusion
In summary, my hypothesis was correct. The combination of bleach and sugar allowed cut flowers to be preserved for longer, and to be as fresh and healthy for a prolonged period of time; removing bacteria and providing nutrition to the flowers were essential aspects.
Reflection
During the course of the experiment, not all procedures went as planned yet they must be tackled in order to keep the project moving. Problems such as positioning the flowers correctly, so that they can stay in the position without the stems or any vital parts of the flower damaged through the poor placement of the flower.

Another problem was to observe the flowers closely for any changes, as some may differ from each other in terms of health, and finally the placement of different soluble materials within each solution, making sure it is the exact amount.

These were countered through cautious movements and utter concentration. Care must be the utmost importance whilst handling the flowers, during the placing process. Measuring of soluble materials must require steady and accurate readings of the amount which has been poured. Observations were made easier through comparing each flowers and seeing how each of them react to different solutions and the consequences occurring with each, which is then able to the recorded.

If this experiment was to be conducted again, different flowers can be used to see the different reactions and to learn the nature of each flower once it has been cut, and the different methods of preserving it the longest. More combinations of different solutions can be used to create an in-depth and accurate analysis on the most effective method of preserving cut flowers the longest and freshest.
Discussion
With this experiment and its findings knowledge can be implemented to the caring of cut flowers and how to preserve it.

The knowledge of the different effects and effectiveness of each substance can be used to create further enhanced and better solutions able to confront the many problems and aspects of the preservation of cut flowers, to provide a fresh and healthy flower for longer.

This can be used repeatedly in an attempt to find the most effective solution able to preserve a variety of different flowers.
Risk Assessment
The experiment is generally safe in nature without the presence of many life threatening risks. Although there are still risks which can inflict harm:
splashing of lemon juice into the eyes
swallowing of bleach or aspirin
Although the chances of these events occurring extremely rare, one must not simply neglect these issues.
Data Validity and Reliability
To ensure the accuracy and dependability of data gained, the experiment was repeated to ensure the first experiment had no bias or major disadvantages compared to the second test.

The dependability and reliability of data is gained through the amount of petals, lost through merely counting the petals dropped. These two in conjunction provides an effective method of providing accurate and reliable data, meeting to its standards.
Bibliography

Anne marie helmenstine Ph.D, Cut Flower Preservatives "make it yourself", About, 14/08/13,<http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryhowtoguide/a/cutflowers.htm>

Sandra Johnson, Preserve Flowers: How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer, September 19 2011, Yahoo Voices, 14/08/13,<http://voices.yahoo.com/preserve-flowers-fresh-flowers-last-longer-9151127.html?cat=32>

Resolved Question "does panadol prolong the life of a flower?", 2005, Yahoo Answers, 14/08/13, <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070801211857AAGbsXU>

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