Experiment: Leaf Patches

Experiment: Leaf Patches - Body

When we look at leaves, we see that they are (usually) green! We know that leaves need sunlight to get that green color. What happens when leaves don’t have access to sunlight? Let’s do an experiment to find out!


  1. A living shrub, tree, or houseplant that gets plenty of sunlight.
  2. Cardboard or aluminum foil
  3. Scissors
  4. Paper clips
  5. Experiment log (provided)


  1. Write your hypothesis on your experiment log.
  2. Cut six shapes out of the cardboard or aluminum foil. The shapes should be about half the size of the leaf. Get creative with the shapes you cut!
  3. Paperclip each shape to a different leaf.
  4. Care for your plant like normal and make sure the plant gets its usual amount of water. This helps control the variables.
  5. After three days, remove one of the patches and record your data in your experiment log, using the leaf colors sheet. [leaf colors sheet]
  6. Each day, remove a new patch and record your data in the experiment log.
  7. Once you have removed all the patches, analyze your results and write your conclusion on your experiment log.

Experiment inspired by the leaf patches activity from The Huntington's Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science.