Cacti make a wonderful addition to your home due to their amazing shapes and sizes. Apart from being unique plants, cacti can survive where other household plants struggle. Considering these amazing qualities, you may be wondering, do cacti produce oxygen?
Do Cacti Produce Oxygen?
Yes, cacti produce oxygen the same as other plants during photosynthesis. They exhale oxygen so as to breathe in carbon dioxide (CO2) through their stomata (the tiny holes in the stem). Using sunlight as a source of energy, the cacti transport water and carbon dioxide into food.
Now, let’s move on to the amount of oxygen cacti produce, how they breathe and more!
How Much Oxygen Do Cacti Produce?
It is difficult to determine the amount of oxygen cacti produces since it is in very small amounts. In fact, the oxygen content of a cactus is so small that you won’t notice it in a room. So you can only feel their impact when hundreds of cacti produce oxygen in the room at a time.
If you’re looking for plants that improve air quality, cacti do not fit your needs. Of course, the plants will help, but only in a small way.
By nature, the stomata of cacti close during the day and open at night. This is one of the adaptations for survival in extreme weather conditions. Hence, the oxygen levels of a room filled with cacti can improve at night.
While it makes sense to bring many cacti into your home to increase the oxygen supply, there’s a price to pay. Understand that the cacti will increase your room’s humidity, which may not be convenient for you. Besides, you’ll need to keep maintaining the plants to keep them healthy.
Fortunately, you’ll be gaining other benefits apart from an increase in your environment’s air quality. Cacti absorb toxins in the surroundings and can also improve the appearance of your home.
But it is better to allow natural air into your home if you want to increase your oxygen supply.
How Do Cactus Breathe?
Cactus breathes during photosynthesis, which is slightly different from the other plants. It allows them to breathe in carbon dioxide and release it as oxygen. This unique breathing ability helps the cactus survive in severe dry climates.
Most plants breathe through their leaves from their stomata, but cacti don’t have leaves. Interestingly, the cactus stomata are located in their stems, which is uncommon in the plant kingdom.
Cacti and some succulents are special types of plants in certain ways. Generally, most plants breathe out carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen. But cacti release oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide at night.
Native to deserts, where there is hot sun and little water, the cactus needs to develop ways to survive. Normally, plants inhale carbon dioxide through their leaves during the day. When exposed to sunlight, the plants lose some moisture in the process known as evaporation.
However, cactus cannot afford to lose water since they live in the desert. That’s why the plants only absorb carbon dioxide at night when there is no sunlight. So they reserve the carbon dioxide for the following day, when there will be enough light to manufacture food.
Do Cacti Clean The Air?
Yes, cacti can purify the air depending on their number and sizes. They carry out this cleaning process through metabolic decomposition and photosynthesis.
Cacti purify the air by absorbing particles and gas in the environment and then changing them into organic chemicals. These plants feed on the chemicals and release oxygen during the process.
Surprisingly, cactus can clean the air from volatile gas, glues, formaldehyde, benzene, and tobacco smoke. They can also purify the atmosphere from carbon dioxide, paint and radiation particles. This means having one or more cactus plants in your environment will keep you safe from toxins.
Cacti That Produce The Highest Oxygen
Generally, all cacti can produce oxygen regardless of their types or sizes. But some cacti produce more oxygen than others. So, if you want more oxygen in your home, you should think about getting one of these cacti.
Let’s take a look at 5 of them:
1. Bishop’s Cap
Native to Central and Northern Mexico, the bishop’s cap cactus is commonly used for decorative purposes. They are covered in spikes and can develop a frosty white covering later on. It is one of the ways plants protect themselves from the hot sun. Usually, the plants come in yellow or green.
2. Barrel Cactus
Barrel cactus or fierce cactus have the shape of barrels, which is probably how they got their name. They have rigid spines, which help them protect their juicy pulp.
With the right conditions for growth, the barrel cactus flourishes, whether they are indoors or outdoors. They can grow up to 10 feet if nothing is standing in the way.
3. Angel Wings Cactus
The angel’s wing cactus, also known as the bunny ear cactus, is a popular houseplant among plant lovers. They are easy to care for and can grow up to 5 feet under the right conditions. But you need to handle these cacti with care as they contain short prickles.
4. Saguaro cactus
Not only are the saguaros large, but they also have the shape of a tree. They are covered with spines and have a long life span. Provide the plants with the right amount of light and water, and they’ll grow just fine.
5. Old Lady Cactus
Old lady cactus, or Mammillaria Hahniana, is also among the group of cactus that produce the most oxygen. They have an attractive appearance, which is why many plant lovers desire them.
Besides, the plants can survive in extreme conditions and are easy to care for. Even though the old lady cactus prefers an outdoor environment, you can grow them indoors successfully.
More on cacti plants: Can I Use Cactus Soil For Peace Lily
Now that you know that cacti do produce oxygen and can purify the air, you may be thinking of getting a few. There’s no doubt that these plants are captivating, whether they are indoors or outdoors.
But first, you need to make the necessary preparations to take care of the plants. Be ready to provide the cacti with enough light, water, and nutrients to allow them to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Good To Have Cacti In Your Bedroom?
No, it is not ideal to have cactus in your bedroom. Despite being beautiful and protective plants, cacti have spines, which can be a problem. Like sharp objects, the spines on the cactus can pierce your skin if you’re not careful.
Avoid placing the plants in your living room or kitchen too, especially if you have young children in the house. Preferably, keep the cactus in a place where it won’t interfere with your daily activities.
How Do Cacti Help Humans?
Cactus plants help humans in several ways since they contain essential nutrients. A study shows that eating cactus can help to lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body fat. Including cactus fruits in your diet can also help to limit the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Does Cactus Bring Negative Energy?
No, cactus does not bring bad energy to humans. Although there’s a belief in some parts of the world that the sharp thorns on cactus contain bad energy. And having the plants in the home can cause anxiety, misfortune, and stress in a family.
But these beliefs are just assumptions; cacti are beautiful and harmless plants that everyone should have at home.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below