I Know that your cactus didn’t stop from surprising you. How it is a tough plant that needs a really low maintenance requirement. Is not that a blessing! But now you wondering “do cactus produce oxygen!”. Who doesn’t want more blesses!
In this article, we gonna walk through how cactus breathe, how much oxygen it produces, And what is unique about cactus breathing.
Returning to our main question; do cactus produce oxygen?
Yes, cactus produce oxygen (O2) as a result of the photosynthesis process. They release oxygen in order to inhale carbon dioxide (CO2) through tiny holes in their stem (Stomata). Then they use sunlight as energy to transfer the combination of carbon dioxide and water (H2O) into food.
let’s go through how it breathes and why you should care.
How do cactus breath
It is a known fact that plants breathe through their leaves from tiny holes called stomata.
But cactus technically has no leaves! I know it is weird as it sounds, but cactus stomata located in its stem.
Most plants exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen at night. But cactus and similar succulents are different.
They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during the night. They act this way as a result of their development in order to survive in their natural habitat.
Cactus are native to deserts, Where there are high temperatures and hot sun. And at the same time, there are little water resources.
Ordinary plants breathing process applies that the plant absorbs carbon dioxide through the tiny holes in its leaves while it is exposed to sunlight (during day time).
During such a process the plants lose some water through those same tiny holes. Sunlight causes evaporation.
But since cactus live in deserts where there is a serious lake of water. It can’t afford to lose water.
Therefore it evolved to shift its carbon dioxide absorption process to the night time. Where there is no heat nor sunlight.
Cactus stores the carbon dioxide to use the next day when there is sunlight to produce its food without losing water.
Thanks to the nature that made cactus act in a such way. Now we have a plant that can produce oxygen at night. And at the same time absorbs toxins from the air.
How much oxygen do cacti produce
The amount of oxygen produced by cacti or any other plants is so little compared to the one person’s need for healthy breathing.
Fairly we can say that the cacti effect on the room’s oxygen is negligible. In order for cacti to impactfully alter the oxygen level in room for one person respiration; We need about 100s cacti plants.
If you only want to bring cactus your home or house for oxygen supply, Unfortunately, it is not the ideal approach for improving your air quality.
It can help, but not substantially. And if you decided to bring 100s in one room for improving air quality don’t forget that there is a cost attached to them.
And they will need serious maintenance. Also, such a number of plants in one room will increase the humidity. Which is something not ideal for people’s comfort.
However, cactus and other plants have enormous benefits. They to some extent absorb toxins from the air, ornamental benefits, they enhance the psychological state of the owner, and much more.
The effective way of enhancing the oxygen level in your indoor place is by enhancing your ventilation system.
Just allow more air circulation in your place. More fresh air. It is so simple, yet it is very effective.
Most of the information you will find on the internet about plants increasing the oxygen level in the atmosphere is based on NASA study. But it is misquoted.
NASA used a special system for growing such plants in order to reach the plant’s number that can alter the oxygen level. And at the same time, such a system does not prompt mold growth.
They grow plants without soil. While am writing this article am assuming you are living on earth. You don’t need that. Just enhance the space ventilation.
Do cactus clean the air
The study of air purification by plants is pioneered by NASA. They look for ways to purify the air in their space stations.
They choose the common houseplants to conduct their research, like snake plant, English ivy, pothos..etc.
Cactus was not one of the chosen plants. But that’s don’t mean it does not purify the air. All plants do.
One of the benefits that you will get from your cactus is it will absorb airborne pollutants. Those pollutants are results of the materials used to construct modern buildings.
Many buildings materials emit gases that are to some extent toxic. We also as humans produce toxic gases.
And the more crowded the indoor space the more toxins. Detergents and cleaning materials also emit toxic gases.
But simply having a cactus plant indoor with good ventilation will put you in a healthier environment.
Actual if you think about it! it makes the most sense. Throughout history, we lived with plants. They are a vital part of the ecosystem that supports our survival.
But when we started to isolate ourselves in our modern homes we lost benefits that we took for granted.
Thanks to caucus and other houseplants. They still want to be good guests in our homes.
Which plants give off the most oxygen
It is not that there is a special plant that produces the most oxygen. Am sorry if I disappointed you!
Regardless of the plant species; oxygen production depends on the following factors:
- Plan’s total surface area ( The larger the foliage surface and denser is more oxygen production capacity).
- Plants that able to take the most water ( the more your indoor plant is able to absorb water the more it is able to produce oxygen).
- Plants that tolerate the maximum exposure to sunlight ( The more your indoor plant is able to get sunlight the more its ability to produce oxygen.
As you may start to notice! The above list is what contributes to the plant’s successful photosynthesis process. And plant’s oxygen production is a byproduct of your plant performing photosynthesis. Finally, for detailed information and a holistic perspective on caring for potted plants and mastering Container Gardening, Get my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide.