Plants and Trees That Release Oxygen During the Night + 15 Plants

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trees that release oxygen during the night
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Are you looking for a few plants that release Oxygen during the Night? Check the list of plants and trees that release Oxygen during the Night. These are the useful house plants that release oxygen at night.


No matter how big or small, greenery is important in all aspects. Interestingly, research has shown that the type of plant grown has a significant impact on our environment. If we continue to plant those that release oxygen during the day but not at night, our ecosystem will not be balanced the way it should be.

Furthermore, if more plants are grown outdoors instead of indoors, improved air quality would not be consistent in our homes.

As many are aware of the trees that provide oxygen under the sun, we have listed several other plants and trees that release oxygen during the night. From urban trees to houseplants, read on to find some that can holistically benefit the environment we live in:

The Number of Trees It Takes to Produce Oxygen for One Person

Trees use the sun’s energy to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. To release energy and split glucose for their metabolism, they also use oxygen for the process. In over 24 hours, trees produce more oxygen than they consume, and this is how they grow.

In the process of photosynthesis, six molecules of Carbon Dioxide produce one molecule of glucose, and six molecules of oxygen are released as a result. An adult sycamore tree would be around 12m tall and two tons in weight.

If it grows by five percent annually, this will result in the production of 100kg wood, out of which 38kg will be carbon. Equating this to the molecular weights mentioned above, this would add up to 100kg of oxygen produced per tree per year.

An average human breathes 9.5 tons of air in one year, but oxygen levels are only 23 percent of that number. Hence, we breathe about 740 kg of oxygen per year, and this roughly boils down to seven of eight trees in total.

Houseplants and Oxygen Levels

A famous NASA study published in 1989 revealed that indoor plants are highly beneficial to fight cancer-causing compounds in one’s home or workplace. Recent research has shown that the same indoor plants have microorganisms in their soil that contribute to purified indoor air.

Some scientists have backed this research by stating that the bigger and leafier the plant, the better. Bill Wolverton, one of the scientists who conducted the NASA 1989 study, states, “The amount of leaf surface area influences the rate of air purification.”

He further states that while determining how many plants help to clean a room’s air is difficult, two “good-sized” plants per 100 square feet are recommended. Some examples of effective plants are the Boston Fern and Golden Pothos.

Interestingly, other scientists debate an indoor plant’s ability to clean contaminated air. They state that there is no definitive evidence and no right way to prove that indoor plants improve health. While they do not deny a plants’ ability to remove chemical toxins from the air, such conditions vary in the laboratory and at home.

Most of the research, including the NASA 1989 study, tested indoor plants in the lab’s confined, controlled environments. In such a way, the results of those studies do not apply to the realities of the house and workplace where indoor air is often mixed with outside air. There are cases when the air in the laboratory and home are completely different, and the dynamic of the results vary significantly.

Additionally, plants tested under laboratory conditions are exposed to optimal conditions; they have ample sunlight for photosynthesis and receive sufficient water. The amount of light in the house or workplace varies depending upon location and availability of resources.

Regardless of the contrasting debate emerging from this new research, the same scientists do not deny other benefits of indoor plants. They agree that plants are known to fight stress levels and make people feel happier.

The whole idea surrounding the positive effects of nature still remains intact. And while they do not significantly alter indoor air, the other branch of research cannot simply be overlooked.

The 1989 NASA studies act as an example of dedicated researchers who surrounded and explained the optimal effects of indoor plants.

So it is good to have some house plants that release oxygen at night.

How Do Plants and Trees Release Oxygen During the Night

Let us see, why do plants produce less oxygen during the night and how do plants release oxygen at night.

In the process of photosynthesis, sunlight is an essential factor for plants to produce the energy they require. Due to this reason, they carry out respiration during the night, i.e., a process by which plants inhale oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

On the other hand, there are some plants and trees that release oxygen during the night. Also called 24-hour oxygen plants, they perform photosynthesis at night and are able to energize themselves throughout the day. This type of photosynthesis is called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). CAM primarily occurs in desert plants that survive on other plants for a living but is also common in certain urban or houseplants.

In most plants, the stomata – pores found along the surface of the leaves that facilitate gas exchange – open during the day to consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Plants must inhale carbon dioxide using sunlight because the carbon atoms are a source of building sugar, proteins, and nucleotides.

On the other hand, plants exposed to CAM do not open their stomata during the day because a significant amount of water loss can cause them to dry out. Such plants that are exposed to dry, arid conditions open their stomata at night once the weather cools down. And hence, this results in far less water loss than scorching hours under the sun.

To meet sufficient sun energy and carbon atoms needs, CAM processing plants consume carbon dioxide at night and store it in four-carbon acid called malate. These carbon acids are then released during the day so plants can conserve water, but also produce sufficient energy at the same time.

Steps of CAM Photosynthesis

  1. The CAM process begins at night when the plants open their stomata, and CO2 gas is able to release into the cytoplasm of the CAM mesophyll cells. In these cells, CO2 molecules combine with OH- ions to become HCO3, the enzyme PEP carboxylase.

CO2 + OH- → HCO3

  • PEP carboxylase catalyzes the reaction given below to add CO2 to a molecule called phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP).

PEP + HCO3- Oxaloacetate

  • Oxaloacetate receives an electron from NADH and then becomes a molecule of malate. MDH, or Malate Dehydrogenase, catalyzes this reaction, allowing the reaction to appear like this:


  • Malate is now stored in the plant cells, and CAP photosynthesis process begins until day time.

Examples of Plants and Trees That Release Oxygen During the Night

Let us check out a list of plants that release oxygen during night or plants that produce oxygen at night.

#1- Aloe Vera

Research shows that aloe vera plants are known to remove toxins in the air, such as aldehydes and benzenes. They release oxygen at night and are well suited for bedrooms or living areas.

The characteristics of aloe vera plants include thick, pointed leaves with white transparent gel. They have slow growth and flourish in atmospheres with high sunlight levels. Aloe vera plants are popular for several medicinal treatments and are highly beneficial for the skin, nails, and hair.

plants that produce oxygen at night
plants that produce oxygen at night

Aloe Vera is one of the best plants that produce oxygen at night and good to have indoors.

#2- Peepul

Also known as Sacred Fig, Peepul plant releases oxygen during the night as well. It has numerous benefits such as treatment of asthma, constipation, and used as a diabetic controller. Peepul is also known to remedy tooth decay.

Apart from its medical benefits, Peepul plant is also highly regarded in many religions across South Asia.

#3- Snake Plant

Snake plant is a houseplant that comprises upright leaves that point towards the ceiling. It is known to grow as tall as 3 feet and is also popular absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and removing toxins such as formaldehyde.

The plant is extremely low maintenance and does not need to be regularly watered. Instead, overwatering can essentially damage the plant and prevent it from benefitting the environment.

Snake plant is another house plants that release oxygen at night.

#4- Areca Palm

Also known as Golden Palm or Butterfly Palm, this plant is also popular for releasing oxygen at night. However, it requires special care and attention since the soil must be moist in the summer and dry in the fall season.

Areca Palm plants also occupy much space, and their leaves tend to sprout outside the surface area of the pot they’re growing in. It is required for them to be kept under sunlight; however, they prefer partial shade as well.

#5- Neem

Other than purifying the area, neem trees are also trees that release oxygen during the night. They accompany many medical ailments and have been popular for centuries in some cultures.

The neem sprouts in three, all connected to one root. It is advised to grow this plant in the middle of the garden or any yard since they act as natural pesticides. Furthermore, they also have hair and dental care properties.

#6- Orchids

Orchid plants are flowery plants that bloom into large segments of each other. They are useful in their properties and are also aesthetic looking – cleaning the air and adding a pop of color to your room.

Orchid plants can grow in dry soil and is popular in removing Xylene – a toxic chemical present in wall and furniture paint.

#7 Christmas Cactus

Also called Schlumbergera, this plant is mostly found in East Brazil. It is popular for air purification since it provides the environment with oxygen during the night as well.

The water cycle of the Christmas Cactus varies, depending upon season to season. During the summer, they require water every two to three times a week, and once a week in the fall. The Christmas Cactus plant grows blooming flowers with vibrant colors that pollinate effectively by hummingbirds.

#8- Tulsi

Also known as Holy Basil, this plant is native to Southeast Asia. It is used to treat common colds, asthma, sore throat, and increased cholesterol levels. Tulsi plants are also popular stress relaxants and inflammation controllers.

Tulsi is another plants that release oxygen during night.

#9- Money Plant

Money Plant is known as Devil’s Ivy and is given its former name because the leaves of the plant resemble coins. Since the plant is popular in releasing oxygen during the night, it is known to cure sleep disorders and clean the air during late hours.

#10- Bromeliad

Bromeliad plants are known to grow under shaded areas. As a result, they breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the night. These plants are known to grow well in fast-draining soil and produce flowers only once during their lifetime.

#11- Elecampane

This plant is known for its curative properties. It is a perennial herb and has the ability to produce oxygen at night as well. Elecampane plants bloom bright yellow flowers similar to a sunflower, which can often cause confusion between the two.

plants that release oxygen during night
plants that release oxygen during night

#12- Ficus

Ficus plants have tree-like structures and are also another common houseplant. Since they prefer shady areas or place with medium sunlight, they grow well during the night. Interestingly, they are low maintenance plants and can acquire a long lifespan.

#13- Weeping Fig

Comprising of leaves that are a mix of light and dark green in color, the Weeping Fig plant does not require water very frequently. They require minimal filtered sunlight rather than bright rays, allowing them to perform CAM photosynthesis during the night.

#14- Syngonium Plant

These plants are flowering plants that belong to the Araceae family. Comprising of arrow-shaped leaves and bright flowers, the Syngonium plant is kept indoors and outdoors, both. Since they do not like direct sunlight, they are oxygen givers at night and perform CAM photosynthesis once the sun begins to set.

#15- Gardenia Plant

Gardenia plants flourish when given adequate soil and proper water drainage systems. Even though they are mostly kept outdoors, they can also act as indoor plants with extra maintenance.

Due to their high-transpiration abilities, these plants are rich in providing oxygen at night. Regardless of their location, indoors or outdoors, they energize themselves once they are exposed to less light.

I hope you got the top 15, what plants release oxygen at night, and the list of indoor house plants that release oxygen at night.

Oxygen Produced by Urban Trees in the United States

Despite a plant or tree’s ability to produce oxygen at night, it is important to understand how much is being consumed based on the location you are in. A study claimed that factors such as the number of trees, growth rates, and diameter distributions significantly determine how much oxygen a population is consuming.

Cities that are highly populated have the lowest proportion of oxygen consumption. Cities such as Jersey City and New York City are only some of the examples with less oxygen availability.

Reports have shown that urban trees can produce significant environmental benefits, such as oxygen production. However, statistics showcase that in the United States alone, annual carbon sequestration is estimated at 22. 8 million tons by urban forests. Furthermore, air pollution removal lies at 711,000 metric tons, and oxygen production by United Stated urban forests is 61 metric tons. However, the value provided to society is almost nil.

The reason for this inconsistent gap between the benefit of oxygen production in society is due to a large amount of oxygen already present in the atmosphere.

According to Miller (1979), “We have a large number of serious ecological problems, but suffocation from lack of oxygen is not one of them.

The oxygen content of the atmosphere remains essentially constant with the oxygen consumed by all animals, bacteria, and respiration processes roughly balanced by the oxygen released by land and sea plants during photosynthesis. The present atmospheric oxygen content seems not to have changed since 1910. Furthermore, because air is about 20 percent oxygen, the total supply is immense.”

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Urban forests, city plantation and indoor houseplants, all, have some contributions to air quality. Even if the statistics showcase a small change, the impact of several trees is long term. Furthermore, the types, areas, and size of the plants and trees also matter. If trees that release oxygen during the night are planted, a significant impact on the overall environment will be noticed.

Hence, it is important to balance the ecosystem and contribute on an individual and global level for a greener society. We list out the plants that release oxygen during night. Lets of plants these plants in our house.

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